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Enthusiastic response to TFWA Asia Pacific reflects optimism in region

Duty free and travel retail operators in Asia are looking forward enthusiastically to the annual…

Duty free and travel retail operators in Asia are looking forward enthusiastically to the annual TFWA Asia Pacific exhibition and conference (Singapore, 20-23 May) which will give them an unrivalled opportunity to do business with the suppliers of a huge range of travel retail items.

Buyers from airports and agencies across the region will be seeking out the latest and the best in prestige fragrances & cosmetics, luxury fashion & accessories, fine liquors, tobaccos, jewellery and gifts to satisfy their burgeoning markets.

In contrast to the sluggish performance of other markets, the Asia Pacific region is experiencing unprecedented growth in travel and tourism:

  • The Chinese National Tourism Administration reported a colossal 40% increase in outbound tourism in 2002 with 16.6 million passengers travelling abroad, many for the first time; arrivals reached 97.9 million visitors, an increase of 9.9% on 2001.
  • Japanese outbound tourism is buoyant with visitors to China up 25.2% last year, to New Zealand up 15.4%, to Australia up 5.8% and to Hong Kong up 4.4%. The Japan Tourism Marketing Company registered a 9.8% increase in inbound tourists in 2002, with the key generators of growth being South Korea, Taiwan, the USA and China.
  • The World Tourism Organisation has declared that intra-regional tourism is the engine of growth in Southeast Asia and accounts for 77% of international travel by the citizens of the ASEAN countries. Intra-regional passengers jumped from 40.9 million in 1990 to 97 million in 2002.
  • New travel retail areas are being planned by a number of airports to capitalise on this growth and the future potential.

Returning from a series of high level meetings with duty free operators in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Andrew Ford, TFWA CEO, and Jean Marc Caubet, TFWA Marketing Director, expressed their delight at the positive mood in the region.

The operators are really enthusiastic about this show, said Ford. They are experiencing positive growth in traffic and sales and for them TFWA Asia Pacific is a shopwindow for all the brands they want to offer in the future. In some cases, encouraged no doubt by the fact that the GATE ONE Event will be running concurrently, some operators are sending twice as many representatives as last year. Our exhibitors can look forward to a very busy week.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.