After finishing 2017 with 12.6% growth, sales to travellers in Asia Pacific accelerated in 2018 to around +15% for much of the first nine months according to Generation Research. That impetus is certainly being felt in the run-up to TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference (12-16 May in Singapore). For the first time, floorspace at the Exhibition will exceed 11,000 square metres, reflecting strong demand from exhibitors. With several weeks still to go, 312 companies have already confirmed their stands at the Marina Bay Sands venue, surpassing last year’s total. Two important measures of regional dynamism are the number of first-time or returning exhibitors (60 so far, a new high), and the strong showing of Asian companies among the participants.
This year’s Conference debuts a new format, three consecutive plenary sessions replacing the previous plenary-plus-workshop model. Joining the TFWA and APTRA Presidents as keynote speakers at the morning session will be Robert Guest, Foreign Editor of The Economist newspaper, and Kate Ancketill, who heads up retail-innovation consultancy GDR Creative Intelligence. The first afternoon plenary will look at industry developments through the eyes of two major retailers and the world’s most successful airport for retail sales. Professional training, sustainability, branding and store design, all central to the industry’s future, will figure in the final session. Throughout the Conference, delegates can contribute via the TFWA App.
Three new venues feature in the 2019 Networking programme. The golf on Sunday morning will tee off at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club, which has hosted the PGA Asian Tour and Singapore Open. Sunday evening’s Welcome Cocktail moves to the terrace of the imposing Fort Canning Hotel, a place of great historical significance set in a beautiful 18-hectare hilltop park. The Singapore Swing Party on Wednesday night gets underway at Ola Beach on Sentosa Island. In a retro fairground theme, there will be dancing to live music, stalls with games plus classic burgers and candyfloss to enjoy.
Online pre-registration has now closed, but visitors can register on-site at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.