2017 Programme

09:00 - 11:00

Plenary session 1: Re-igniting our industry

Main Ballroom, Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

The Asia Pacific region continues to lead the global duty free & travel retail industry, both in terms of size and dynamism. Yet growth has slowed compared with recent years, and the political and economic climate would appear fragile. The free movement of people, and stable diplomatic relations between nations, cannot be considered givens. In these circumstances, how can our industry in Asia regain the growth levels enjoyed a few short years ago? 

This year’s TFWA Asia Pacific Conference was themed Reigniting our industry, and explored the implications of the current political and economic environment for travel, tourism and related markets. Delegates heard from thought leaders from within and beyond the industry, with the opportunity to debate the issues that will shape the immediate future of duty free and travel retail. 

The Conference featured two plenary sessions during the morning, followed by three themed, simultaneous workshops after lunch. At the close of the conference at 16:00, delegates were invited to attend an informal networking session and enjoy the refreshments provided.


Erik Juul-Mortensen, President, Tax Free World Association

At a time when established norms are being challenged as never before, the factors on which our industry depends – political and trading stability, free movement and consumer confidence – appear under threat. TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen looked at the implications for our industry in Asia Pacific, exploring recent developments in the market and assessing the prospects for growth. 

Erik Juul-Mortensen's presentation (pdf: 90MB)

Jaya Singh, President, Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) is active in defending the interests of the regional industry. President Jaya Singh updated delegates on the key issues facing the business in Asia Pacific, touching on efforts to define and communicate its economic value to the wider travel industry.

Jaya Singh's presentation (pdf: 47MB)

Our keynote speakers this year explored how businesses can drive growth amid a changeable political and economic climate.


Anil Gupta, author, commentator and member of the World Economic Forum

Professor Anil Gupta is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and globalization. Author of several acclaimed books including The Quest for Global Dominance, Getting China and India Right and The Silk Road Rediscovered, he is one of the world’s most influential management thinkers. He explored the rise of Asia at a time of global flux, examining the economic and geopolitical factors that will affect the region’s future growth. He also addressed advances in technology, and their influence on tomorrow’s consumer.   


Rafidah Aziz, former Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry, Chairman of AirAsiaX

served as Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry for 21 years from 1987 to 2008, and is regarded as an authority on regional and global trade. As the world enters a period of intense, delicate negotiations between nations and trading blocs, she examined the future for regional economic integration, and assessed the implications for trade and free movement.

11:00 - 11:30

Business networking with coffee

Foyer area, Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

11:30 - 13:15

Plenary session 2: Re-igniting our industry

Main Ballroom, Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

In this session of the TFWA Asia Pacific Conference, delegates heard from senior retail executives on how the current economic climate is affecting consumption trends, and on how brands and operators can cooperate to deliver durable growth. The session looked at retail trends on domestic and travel markets, courtesy of a high-level line-up of distinguished speakers.

Among speakers in this session was Porter Erisman, former Vice President at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.  Having joined Alibaba in 2000 and going on to play a key role in the company’s development, he has a unique insight into one of the retail world’s greatest success stories.

Delegates also heard from Andrea Belardini, the CEO, Asia, Middle East and Africa of the world’s biggest travel retailer, Dufry. Andrea addressed recent developments in the regional duty free market, outlining how his company is adapting its approach to cater to Asian customers’ changing needs and expectations.

Andrea Belardini's presentation (pdf: 3MB)

Both morning plenary sessions were moderated by John Rimmer, Conference, Research and Corporate Affairs Director, Tax Free World Association.

13:15 - 14:30

Business networking lunch

Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

14:30 - 16:00

Workshop A: Rediscovering Japan

Main Ballroom, Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

The growth of the duty free & travel retail industry in Asia Pacific owes much to the Japanese market. It was the opening of outbound travel from Japan in the 1960s and 70s that drove the regional market’s first wave of growth, with Japanese travellers central to the strategies of brands and retailers around the globe.

Since then, China and South Korea have emerged and overtaken Japan with regard to market size, and yet Japan remains a vital generator of revenue for the world’s tourism, travel and related industries. The country’s travel retail business has enjoyed significant growth in recent years thanks to new infrastructure, investment in tourism and the development of downtown duty free.

It is timely, then, to take a fresh look at Japan’s duty free industry, and to assess how customer behaviour and preferences are evolving in this historically important, strategically vital market. The Rediscovering Japan workshop brought together leaders from the airport, retailer, brand and tour operator sectors, providing a detailed picture of the national business today.

The high-level line-up of speakers at this session included Hideki Hayashida, Senior Vice President of leading airport group and retailer NAA; Isao Takashiro, Chairman & CEO of JATCO, Japan’s biggest travel retailer and operator of Tokyo Haneda Airport; Nobuo Nabika, President of The Ginza, the Shiseido-owned premium skincare and cosmetics brand; and Tadashi Shimura, President of the Japan Association of Travel Agents.

Hideki Hayashida's presentation (pdf: 4,3 MB)
Isao Takashiro's presentation (pdf: 5,1 MB)
Nobuo Nabika's presentation (pdf: 3.5 MB)
Tadashi Shimura's presentation (pdf: 1,3 MB)

This workshop was moderated by Dermot Davitt, President, The Moodie Davitt Report.

14:30 - 16:00

Workshop B: Re-engage: driving customer loyalty

Breakout Room 1, Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

Most in the duty free & travel retail industry would admit that not enough travellers enter retail outlets during their journey through the travel environment. But even fewer travellers could be described as loyal customers. The challenge to increase rates of penetration and conversion is, arguably, secondary to an even greater challenge: how to convert the increasing number of international travellers around the world into loyal, repeat customers for whom duty free & travel retail is part of their journey.

The Re-engage: driving customer loyalty workshop explored how our industry can increase repeat spend from travellers, at a time when sales growth is well behind increases in traffic. Topics for discussion included ways to enhance the value proposition, marketing techniques, communication and the future role of technology in engaging passengers and encouraging spend.

This session heard from CC Lee, Chief Operating Officer at China’s leading travel retailer China Duty Free Group; Nicola Wells, Director Global Marketing & Strategy at multinational operator Aer Rianta International; and Kian Gould, Founder & CEO of innovative technology provider AOE, whose work at Frankfurt Airport in particular is setting new standards for customer engagement.

CC Lee's presentation (pdf: 1MB)
Nicola Wells' presentation (pdf: 3,6MB)
Kian Gould's presentation (pdf: 5,7MB)

This workshop was moderated by Kapila Gohel, Editor, Duty-Free News International.

14:30 - 16:00

Workshop C: Re-assessing our industry: challenges today and tomorrow

Breakout Room 2, Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre

In Asia Pacific as elsewhere around the globe, the duty free & travel retail industry is subject to regulatory pressures that could potentially restrict its ability to trade. It is vital for all industry stakeholders – landlords, retailers and brands – to be aware of the challenges faced, and the action necessary to meet them.

The TFWA Asia Pacific Conference offered an opportunity for the regional industry to discuss these issues, and to assess their likely impact on the business.  

The Re-assessing our industry: challenges today and tomorrow workshop updated delegates in two areas: firstly, the regulatory and other challenges that the regional and global industry must address if it is to thrive; and secondly, the latest data and insights on traffic trends and consumer behaviour, and the likely impact on our industry. The latest data from TFWA Research was presented as part of the session, including highlights of recent studies produced by travel analyst ForwardKeys and strategic insights specialist Portland Design.

All delegates, including trade press, were encouraged to attend a session that addressed the most pressing issues requiring action and a united front from our industry – across all regions and product categories.

Among speakers in this session were European Travel Retail Confederation President Sarah Branquinho, Imperial Brands Head of Corporate Affairs and Compliance (Global Travel Retail) and APTRA Board Member, Dr. Jennifer Cords, Portland Design Director of Environments Lewis Allen and Head of Strategic Insights Terna Jibo, and ForwardKeys Co-founder & CEO Olivier Jager.

Sarah Branquinho's presentation (pdf: 1,2MB)
Dr. Jennifer Cords's presentation (pdf: 1,5MB)
Olivier Jager's presentation (pdf: 1,1MB)
The Portland Design presentation (pdf: 10,4 MB)

The workshop was moderated by Charlotte Turner, Managing Editor, Travel Retail Business.

16:00 - 17:00

Afternoon networking session with refreshments

Foyer Area, Level 5, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre


TFWA Asia Pacific Bar

Level 4, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre


1/ Beware of fraudulent accommodation providers
It has come to our attention that unknown third parties are calling exhibitors and visitors, supposedly on behalf of TFWA, to enquire about hotel rates or to acquire information about hotel bookings.
Please be aware that TFWA is making no such approaches to exhibitors and visitors on this issue and we strongly recommend that you exercise extreme caution should you be contacted in this way.
Who are they?
Show participants have reported falling victim to fraudulent accommodation providers using names such as
Corporate Booking Services - CBS International, Global Housing Services, Corp., Gold Exhibitions, EU Convention Bureau, stareventz.net, Concierge Plus Group, Global Living Group, The Ultimate Living Group, Riviera Network, Business travel International, Expo Travel Group, Splendor Global, Universal Shows, Universal Events, Premier Destinations, Euro-Events, Biz Trade Shows, Go Fair Ltd, World Expo Plus, Expo Pros, Euro Concierge Net, Capital Exhibitions, Originata Events or Euro Events Expo (this is not an exhaustive list).
How can you avoid these frauds?
Before making any commitment with an unknown accommodation provider, we recommend that you:
- Check thoroughly all documentation from the provider. In France, all property rental and travel agencies must be licensed and hold a bank guarantee and civil liability insurance. These details must appear on all company documentation including the website. 
- Be wary of our logos on accommodation providers’ websites. The TFWA name and event titles are sometimes used unlawfully.
- Book through our exclusive hotel booking platform where you can benefit from special hotel rates.
How do the frauds work?
- A fraudulent venture repeatedly emails our show participants with accommodation offers for the event.
- Their website and/or emails feature our show name and logos, creating an impression of authenticity.
- They promote attractive deals with local accommodation providers.
- Once payment has been received, the ‘company’ generally disappears and can no longer be contacted.
Please also note that bookings made through the official hotel reservation platform are absolutely secure.
2/ Beware of the fraudulent listing services "Expo guide" and "International Fairs Directory"
We would also like to warn exhibitors, should they be contacted by companies named "Expo Guide" or "International Fairs Directory", that they are online listing services and are in no way affiliated with TFWA or its official exhibition guide. The use of our association name and show name by these companies has been made without our authorization. We therefore urge exhibitors to be cautious and encourage them to contact us when receiving these types of solicitations from unfamiliar sources.
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