Asia Pacific's Travelling Consumer

Asia Pacific Consumers as Travel Retail Customers (2005)

TFWA’s Asia-Pacific Traveller Study, “Asia Pacific Consumers as Travel Retail Customers”, confirmed that as a whole, consumers in the region are prolific travel shoppers. 93% of the sample—which included travellers from Japan, S. Korea, PRC, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong—purchased a branded or luxury item (a non-essential item) while travelling.
This could have been from the airport, onboard the aircraft, from a downtown duty free store or the high street. And average spending levels were as high as €994 for Japanese and €888 for PRC Chinese, with other nationalities spending less.

Where A-P Travellers Shop & Why

One of the more interesting insights gleaned from TFWA’s study was the share of the travel market’s shopping expenditure that each venue—whether airport, downtown duty free, high street or inflight shops—commands.
- Airport shopping was primarily motivated by price and the purchasing tended to be pre-planned rather than impulsive.
- More than half of the sample purchased from a downtown store.
- Unlike the airport shopper, clothing and fashion and local goods/souvenirs were at the top of the list of the high street shopper.
- Just over one-third of the sample shopped in a downtown duty free store, spending on average €302 at these venues during their trip.
- 10% of our group of Asia-Pacific travellers purchased onboard the airplane.

What A-P Travellers Purchase & Where it is Purchased

The purchasing patterns of travellers from Asia-Pacific are in stark contrast to those of European travellers. Most notably, what has long been considered the core purchases of travellers—liquor, tobacco and perfume—do not figure into the top three most frequently purchased categories for the Asia-Pacific groups under study. According to TFWA research, only 17% of European travellers purchase confectionery in sharp contrast to the 58% of A-P travellers who purchase confectionery. Fragrance, on the other hand, is purchased by 43% of Europeans and only 27% of A-P travellers.

 - Duty free shops in general account for 90% of the tobacco purchased by these travellers. Airports take in 70% of those purchases.
- Approximately half of fragrance and cosmetic purchases are made at the airport.
- Duty free shops in total account for 85% and 77%, respectively, of fragrance and cosmetic sales.
- A surprising amount of confectionery, 44%, is being purchased from downtown stores.
- 23% of cosmetics are purchased downtown and a full 15% of wine & spirits are purchased downtown.

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