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How to Choose Tropical Souvenirs to Make Your Gift Shop Stand Out

How to Choose Tropical Souvenirs to Make Your Gift Shop Stand Out


A lazy day at the beach with waves lapping on the shore and palm leaves swaying to and fro—the tropics are indeed all about fun in the sun. With such a fun place to be, there should be, at the very least, something to remember it by: a tropical souvenir. 

A souvenir from the tropics can serve as a warm, sunny reprieve in a way. During the harsh winter or a tedious day at the office, one can escape to the balmy memory of summer by simply looking at a tropical keepsake. 

A souvenir such as this can, in turn, encourage people to plan their next beach adventures ahead and keep them going back to the area. That said, beaches and coastal areas—even those that aren’t in tropical regions—won’t be complete without tropical gift shops or souvenir shops.

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Tropical Gift Shops: Pros and Cons


Selling memorabilia relevant to a certain theme is no doubt a lucrative business. Not only does it help with the tourism of the area, but it also caters to what tourists want: mementos to take back to their homes or give to their loved ones. In other words, souvenirs serve as tangible reminders of intangible events and memories.

Aside from the fact that souvenirs and gifts are always in demand, one advantage of owning gift shops is that it allows business owners to be creative. These shops need to offer a wide range of products, which means there’s room for extra creativity. Furthermore, shops with a variety of selections seem fairly attractive to a wider target market. 


As with all businesses, there are a few drawbacks of opening a souvenir shop. One of the downsides is that it heavily depends on peak seasons. 

A souvenir shop, particularly a tropical- or beach-themed one, often caters to tourists who like to make the most of their summer or holidays at the beach. Because of this, this kind of business can be significantly less profitable during the off-season.

In addition, the gift shop business can be a competitive one. This fact rings especially true if your shop is in or near main tourist destinations. Moreover, a gift shop selling common souvenirs might not even get noticed, let alone stand out.

That’s why we’ve prepared a list of tropical products that can make your gift shop turn heads, even during the off-season.

Buying Tropical Products in Bulk for Your Souvenir Shop | Rainforest Bowls

Things to Consider When Choosing Tropical Souvenirs

Before we get on to the list of ideas for your tropical gift shop collection, let’s take a look at the things you might want to consider when getting tropical souvenirs for your shop.


When choosing products, you have to stick to the tropical theme you’ve chosen for your gift shop. 

For instance, when you think about the tropics, the things that come to mind are vibrant colors, sunny days, and the warm beach. That means your offerings should remind your customers of that. That also means you have to avoid drab and uninteresting souvenir items. 

Simply put, the products you’re selling should encourage people to revisit your area the next time they’re going on vacation.


This is probably the most important factor you should consider when stocking up on tropical souvenirs: their designs. 

The designs of most tropical souvenirs are pretty straightforward. Just print a palm tree vector art on a shot glass, and you have an instant tropical item. For this reason, you might want to take note of the things that remind people of the tropics, such as coconut trees, the sun, the ocean, and seashells, among others.

Apart from this, you might want your products to have designs that are reminiscent of your area. For instance, there are coconut bowls that make one remember the ocean as these bowls feature hand-carved patterns of ocean waves. If your area is known for its abundance of exotic hibiscuses, then it’s a great idea to sell products with colorful hibiscus designs. Or if the beaches near your shop are filled with turtles laying eggs, then you might want to offer products reminding people of those delightful sea creatures.

Buying Tropical Products in Bulk for Your Souvenir Shop | Rainforest Bowls 

Materials or Ingredients

What better products to sell in a tropical gift shop than items made from materials or ingredients unique to the tropics? 

Instead of selling ordinary snacks or drinks that can be found in any grocery store, you might want to consider getting food made with tropical fruit ingredients or flavors, like mango, coconut, pitaya, avocado, and durian. And rather than offering everyday products made of artificial materials, you might want to include items crafted from natural materials. 

Some ideas of all-natural products you can offer in your collection are compostable and reusable bamboo straws and utensils made from coconut wood.

All-natural Bamboo Straws


Some other things that you can include in your offerings are handicrafts. As we’ve gotten used to mass-manufactured products, buying handicrafts is definitely a welcome change. Needless to say, these products are made by hand rather than a machine. 

That’s why there’s something about handcrafted products that feel less alienating. A lot of tourists also love to buy things with a story behind them and products that offer some form of human connection. More importantly, when you get handcrafted products in bulk, you’re also promoting the livelihoods of craftspeople and their local communities.

What Customers Look for in Tropical Gift Shops

Most people shopping for souvenirs expect that they’ll find a wide variety of products to choose from in the gift shop. Because of this, it’s best to stock up on different kinds of souvenirs to meet their needs and preferences. Also, if your shop offers a diverse range of souvenirs, you’ll have a better understanding of what customers buy and want the most. 

Be that as it may, your products should still keep a consistent and solid theme. No matter how varied your products are, it’s best that they continue to adhere to the tropical theme.

While choosing the tropical souvenirs for your shop seems exciting, it can get a bit overwhelming. Yes, it does allow room for creativity, but with the myriads of tropical products out there, it’s challenging to narrow them down for your selection. 

Whether you’re just about to open a gift shop or you’re looking to buy other products for your existing shop, read on and find out what customers mostly look for in tropical gift shops.

Beach Essentials 

At times, people go to the beach on impulse, even if the next holiday is still months away. But more often than not, tourists go to the beach during holidays, and many of them typically forget to bring a swimsuit or other beach essentials. For this reason, your shop should be ready for these kinds of customers, especially those who haven’t been able to pack a complete set of beach essentials.

At the top of the list of beach essentials is swimwear. Assuming that your shop is near the beach, it’ll attract more customers when you offer bathing suits and men’s swim trunks. Of course, most people would prefer swimming while wearing the appropriate attire rather than going skinny dipping.

Buying Tropical Products in Bulk for Your Souvenir Shop | Rainforest Bowls

It’s also worth noting that these swimsuits should come in different sizes and cater to people of all ages, including kids. That said, it’s better if your shop also sells floaties and goggles. 

Apart from this, you might want to offer sunglasses, colorful Hawaiian shirts for men, and women’s tropical shirts. When your shop has these beach essentials, there’s no doubt that some tourists will thank you for offering products that will allow them to completely enjoy the beach.

Last-Minute Essentials 

Speaking of essentials, another thing that some people might thank you for selling is a set of last-minute essentials. 

It’s inevitable for some travelers to forget to double-check their packing checklist and bring a few toiletries. That’s why your shop should also offer these products. While most tourists might choose to go to a nearby grocery store to get these things, it won’t hurt to make it convenient for your customers to complete their checklist in your gift shop. 

These last-minute essentials should still complement your shop’s theme. For instance, those who’d love to stay at the beach for the entire duration of their stay might look for sunscreens. 

Some travelers might need toiletries, like bamboo toothbrushes and tropical toiletry bags. You might also want to offer bamboo phone charging stations and tropical snacks and drinks for tourists to munch on as they travel back to their respective homes.

Some people might want to share their beach experience with their friends and loved ones back home by getting them souvenirs. That’s why your gift shop won’t be complete without gifts, of course.

Selecting gifts to include in your collection entails making it easy for customers to choose gifts, and choosing gifts is by no means easy. Some of the things that you might want to offer in this selection are classic or popular gifts that most people prefer to buy—all while keeping them in theme. These gifts can be dark chocolate covered mangoes, shot glasses, palm leaf keychains, and wooden picture frames with seashells, to name a few.

Novelty Items

Offering novelty items is another way to attract more customers. Tropical-themed novelty items are most likely not sold elsewhere, which means these are some of the best things that’ll make your shop stand out. For instance, people might want to buy hula hoops, frisbees, or playing cards to pass leisurely time at the beach.

While most novelty items usually do not serve any practical purpose, it doesn’t mean you should avoid getting items that can be used every day. Some practical yet unique items are ergonomic mouse pads designed with vibrant tropical leaves, tropical shockproof phone cases, and bowls made from coconut shells for eating or drinking.

Gifts for Special Occasions

More often than not, many tourists flock to the beach during the holidays. Because of this, you might want to consider stocking up on gifts people typically buy for special occasions. It’s also best to mark your calendars and take note of the days when people might want to get last-minute gifts.

Perhaps the ideal products to stock up on during holidays are tropical pop-up greeting cards. They’re easy to buy and pretty straightforward. If it’s Valentine’s Day, then you might want to consider including tropical Valentine’s Day cards in your selection. The same goes for year-round occasions and other special holidays, such as birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Christmas, or New Year.

Brand Merchandise 

Selling products with your store name on them is one of the best ways to get your brand out there. You can also try taking advantage of the nearby sights and attractions and printing your shop name or logo along with these attractions on your products, such as T-shirts, mugs, scented beach candles smelling of mangoes and passion fruit, or water bottles. It’s guaranteed that tourists will love to take these items home. It might also be a great way to make your gift shop as famous as the main tourist destinations in the area. 

When customers use your brand merchandise, chances are people from other parts of the country or the world will see your brand. That means you can easily make your shop stand out as more and more people will be familiarized with it. Plus, those who plan to visit the area in the future might be more inclined to get gifts and souvenirs from your store.

Where to Buy Tropical Souvenirs and Gifts in Bulk

Most business owners know full well that buying in bulk is a great way to save money, especially in the long run. The same goes for buying tropical souvenirs for your gift shop.

But where should you buy these souvenirs in bulk? Well, there are many US stores online that sell tropical-themed items. The problem with this, however, is that these stores’ items might not offer that authentic tropical vibe customers look for in tropical gift shops. 

This leads us to another option: getting souvenirs from tropical countries. While this option ensures a genuine touch of the tropics, you might not be sure about their quality, especially considering their distant destination countries and the hassle of returns and exchanges. You’ll also have to worry about the cost of shipping and the risk of items breaking while they are being transported from a faraway country.

All-natural Coconut Bowls

Fortunately, Rainforest Bowls has the best solution to this problem. We offer coconut bowls made from reclaimed coconut shells and crafted by artisans in Vietnam. Plus, there are bamboo straws in different sizes and forks, butter knives, and spoons made from scrap coconut wood. 

What’s great about our tropical products is that they’re eco-friendly, 100% natural, and sustainable to boot. They also offer that genuine tropical feel as they are made from materials native to the tropics and are made by hand by craftspeople in the tropics. 

While they’re straight from a tropical country that’s thousands of miles away, we guarantee their quality as we check each product before shipping it out to our customers. Choose from our wide array of tropical handcrafted products, get huge wholesale discounts, and contact us today!


Author Profile

A mother of succulents, various indoor plants, and a white mini Chewbacca, Diet Immarie Salazar simply adores living closer to nature—literally. In her home nestled in the mountains, she frequently writes about how and why people should enjoy a more natural and eco-friendly lifestyle.

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