TFWA China Reborn
China's Century Conference
Opening the first day of the TFWA China’s Century Conference, TFWA President Alain Maingreaud said that while concerns have been raised about economic growth of ‘only’ 6.6%, the China of today is growing from a much larger base, and so it is important to retain a sense of proportion. Across the rest of the region, the picture is positive for duty free and travel retail with sales in Asia Pacific increasing by 14.7% in the first nine months of 2018.

Alain Maingreaud

Next on stage, Andrew Ford from APTRA outlined the activities of his association, including the launch of APTRA and TFWA’s Young China Travellers research.


Following official welcomes from the Hainan Departments of Commerce and Finance, Charles Chen from China Duty Free Group (CDFG) revealed that Hainan’s duty free sales topped US$ 1.5 billion last year, with CDFG’s Haitang Bay operation contributing US$ 1.1 billion. He also outlined how retailers need to maximise the use of big data and online channels to provide an attractive offer.

Charles Chen

Stephanie Du of WeChat Pay spoke of the significant impact of WeChat Pay, which now has over 900 million active users and is supported by one million stores. Kevin Guo from Ctrip said that encouraging travellers to share their travel experience is key to market success.

Stephanie Du

David Jea from Hangzhou International Airport said that his airport has a retail area of 21,029 square metres and boasts a total of 177 stores. Telling the story of Xi’an Xianyang International, Heinrich Gabel said the airport’s commercial offer features 60 commercial tenants and 200 brands.

Stephen Hillam of NPD Travel Retail presented the conclusions of a new study into the young Chinese customer. He said travel retail needs to optimise the range to drive increased channel relevance, highlight differentiated familiarity to provide a clear point of difference, and look closely at the online channel. Cartier’s Cécile Naour pointed out that as young Chinese consumers gain confidence, they are less loyal to brands, and it is therefore important to build trust.

S Hillam C Naour

Chronicling the rise of price comparison tool Jessica’s Secret, Mirko Wang said the product now offers price information covering 15 million SKUs in 400 stores located in over 40 countries, which is updated every 30 minutes.

Robert Lee of China National Service Corporation concluded day one by outlining how as the duty free product and the mode in which it is sold develops, so will the channel, with downtown duty free stores representing a huge opportunity.