Russian and Japanese visitors spent less in Europe during the first half of 2014 as compared to the same period a year ago, according to Global Blue, the leading tax-free shopping operator, but Chinese spending continued to go up. Russians spent 7 percent less in France and the rate of decline reached 8 percent in Italy, 12 percent in Germany and 20 percent in the U.K.  Spending in the U.K. fell also among Thai and American tourists. The Japanese spent 10 percent less in Italy and 22 percent less in France. On the other hand, the sales tax refunds requested by Chinese visitors went up by 8 percent in the U.K., 14 percent in France and 17 percent in Italy. According to Global Blue, Chinese tourists topped the shopping list in 2013, followed by Russians, Indonesians and Americans. Their joint spending increased by 8 percent, representing two-thirds of the total amount for which tax refunds were requested.