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Visitors from emerging markets come to N.Y., L.A. to shop

December 13, 2010 | 12:35 pm

Touristson rodedrive They are coming to shop for name-brand clothes and souvenirs and they are carrying a lot of cash.

Foreign visitors from countries with the fastest growing tourist markets to the U.S. are spending an average of $3,517 per trip, with nearly one-third set aside for shopping, according to a survey of more than 2,500 tourists.

An online survey of visitors from China, Brazil, India, Australia and Korea conducted between August and September found that New York was the top shopping city for such visitors while Los Angeles came in second, followed closely by Las Vegas and Atlanta.

The study by Macy's and the Shop America Alliance, a group that promotes shopping centers, restaurants and retailers, shows that the amount of spending by tourists from emerging markets is nearly identical to the amount spent last year by those coming from established markets such as Canada, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

The tourists from the fast-growing markets such as China and Brazil spent an average of $3,517 per trip in 2010, including $1,006 on shopping while the tourists from established tourist countries such as Mexico and Canada spent an average of $3,692 on a trip in 2009, with $1,063 on shopping, according to the survey.

Among tourists from the emerging markets, 47% said they planned to visit a theme park during the visit -- the top activity cited by the foreign visitors, followed by visiting historic sites (44%) and visiting national parks (30%). Shopping was the eighth-most popular activity with 30% saying they come to the U.S. to spend at outlet malls.

Levi's, Ralph Lauren and Diesel were the top brands sought by shoppers from the emerging markets, according to the survey.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Tourists pose for photos on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Credit: Los Angeles Times