TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference 2015, the 20th event for the duty free & travel retail industry in Asia Pacific, closed on 14th May in Singapore after a very successful week.
With occupied exhibition space topping previous years at 9,118 square metres – up 9% on 2014 – and 292 exhibiting companies present (+12%), of which 73 were new to the show, there was a huge variety of products on display for the benefit of visiting buyers and agents.
Visitor numbers were considered satisfactory by organisers TFWA in a year which has been challenging for the duty free and travel retail industry, with aviation accidents, a new approach to gift giving and luxury consumption among the all-important Chinese travellers, financial instability and political tension in several countries and the resulting slowdown in the growth of air passenger traffic.
A total of 2,655 trade visitors attended the show, equivalent to last year, from 1,053 companies (+3%) of which more than a third were “key buyers” – duty free and travel retail operators and landlords from airports, airlines, ferry and cruise companies, cross-border and downtown duty free stores.
“I was very impressed by the quality of the stands, the assortment of products on display and the energy around the show,” said Erik Juul-Mortensen, President TFWA. “This year has not been easy for the industry in this region and, in light of that, we are really very satisfied with the number of companies present and the quality of the visitors.”
Duty free and travel retail sales in the Asia Pacific region in 2014 totalled US$23.6 billion, up 5.5% on the previous year, according to provisional figures from independent analysts Generation Research, which ranks the region top in the global industry with 38% of total sales. The second largest region is Europe, followed by Americas, Middle East and Africa.
Comprising a one-day conference, a number of quality workshops and a three-day exhibition, the event is the ideal meeting point for the regional industry and efficient networking is essential. The popular ONE2ONE service facilitated over 350 meetings between delegates and the 63 airports and airlines present, and hundreds of other formal and informal meetings took place in and around the show.
Networking events this year included a Welcoming Cocktail in Raffles Hotel, a Chill-Out Party at the Pan Pacific Hotel, a Singapore Swing Party at Universal Studios on Sentosa Island, a golf tournament and a relaxing Tai Chi session.
Over a thousand delegates (+16%) attended the opening plenary of the Conference on 11th May on the theme ‘Staying a Step Ahead’ at which the speakers were Liew Mun Leong, founding President and CEO, CapitaLand Group and Chairman, Board of Directors, Changi Airport Group, Andrew Wu, Group President Greater China, LVMH, Jaya Singh, President APTRA and Erik Juul-Mortensen, President TFWA.
Four topical workshops provided actionable data and fascinating perspectives on ‘Asia’s rising stars’, ‘Enhancing the customer experience; ‘Cruise control’ and ‘Competing in e-commerce’.
Stephane Garelli, Professor at the International Institute for Management Development and at the University of Lausanne, provided an entertaining and informative presentation on ‘Competitiveness in a new world’ at the closing plenary.
Forthcoming events organised by TFWA include TFWA World Exhibition & Conference from 18th to 23rd October 2015 in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes and the Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association Conference from 22nd to 24th November 2015 at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre, Dead Sea, Jordan.