With stricter health and safety measures being reinstated in many countries throughout the region following the advance of the Omicron variant, it became clear that a live Exhibition organised in this situation would not be able to provide the desired level of benefit and support to the industry.
However, a number of options are currently being reviewed by the Association to ensure that TFWA can continue to provide the best level of support to the duty free and travel retail industry in the Asia-Pacific region, regardless of the situation. Further details will follow next week.
“It is with great regret that the TFWA Board and Management Committee have decided that the ongoing Covid-related travel restrictions in many key Asian markets prevent us from staging the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition in Singapore as we had all hoped and worked for. We have done our utmost to maintain the event and were encouraged by the clear demand for it to take place, but we are unable to guarantee that the travel and health situation will improve sufficiently to enable and convince a broad cross-section of the (regional) industry to fully participate.
“We know how disappointed our exhibitors and visitors will be, as well as our business partners in Singapore who have worked so hard to create a safe and welcoming environment for events such as ours. I would especially like to pay tribute to the Singapore Tourism Board and other government authorities who are doing so much to open the country to tourism and business travel. We are sure that those efforts will be rewarded in future and remain committed to returning to Singapore with a live exhibition in 2023.
“I would like to thank all those TFWA members and exhibitors, and duty free and travel retailers, who have committed to this year’s event. We thank you for your loyalty and ask for your understanding for this difficult decision. Our thanks go to the TFWA team for all they have done to try to stage this event in very challenging circumstances. I have absolutely no doubt that the Asia-Pacific market will recover and TFWA is determined to play its part in contributing to its future growth. Our Singapore event has helped build a strong platform for duty free & travel retail in the Asia Pacific region and will do so again.
“Looking ahead, we are conscious that the support of our members and of the duty free and travel retailers is essential if we are to maintain the programme of high-quality events that has come to define the travel retail calendar and is a lynchpin of our industry’s growth. TFWA exists to provide a platform for brands to do business in the global duty free and travel retail market, and for retailers to offer a compelling range of products to travellers. We cannot provide that platform without brand and retailer support. In the coming days we will communicate directly with our members with a full update on the situation and the way forward for the Association.