In every crisis comes opportunity – an old adage that today’s travel retail market in China amply proves. Amid the fall in international travel caused by the covid-19 pandemic, authorities in China have moved to support the domestic tourism business with a number of stimulus measures, helping create a boom in “offshore duty free” sales to mainland Chinese visitors to Hainan in particular. New opportunities in downtown duty free are also contributing to the market’s dynamism.
Amid this new, promising travel retail environment, the Chinese consumer is changing. Trends that were under way before the covid-19 crisis are accelerating, notably with regard to digital engagement, environmental awareness and more.
The opening day of China Reborn heard from the nation’s biggest travel retailers on how they are adapting to this changing market and to evolving consumer needs. The session also explored the new developments that will shape the Chinese market in the years to come.
Speakers included Charles Chen, President of the market’s leading travel retailer China Duty Free Group; Lagardère Travel Retail CEO North Asia Eudes Fabre; and Angel Zhao, President of International Business Group at Ant Group, owner of Alibaba. TFWA President Alain Maingreaud opened the session with a broad look at the importance of China to the global travel retail industry.
This session explored what the latest travel data tells us about the current state of travel in China, and about the shape of the recovery to come in 2021. It also analysed the latest shopping data, and explored what these tell us about the development of Chinese consumer behaviour post-crisis.
The session opened with an address from Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association President Sunil Tuli, who was joined by CNSC Deputy General Manager Evita Qu and Jessica’s Secret CEO Mirko Wang, who shared insights on the latest Chinese shopper preferences. The session also featured representatives from two leading Chinese aviation data providers: Wang Zhi Yong,General Manager of CAPSE; and Hao Li Ping, Vice General Manager of TravelSky Technology.
The final webinar in the TFWA China Reborn event looked at the bigger picture – at the future for China’s trade relations with the world, and its investments in tech, tourism and travel. How will China plan its recovery from the shock caused by the current crisis? What is the future for the Belt and Road Initiative? How will tech change the way Chinese shoppers behave? And how will the luxury goods market in China develop in the years ahead?
This session heard perspectives from leading economists, experts on tech and on the consumer market, examining the outlook for China as the country emerges into a new future.
Speakers heard from leading consultant and the founder of Gao Feng Advisory Edward Tse; Director of the China Centre for Economic Research Prof Yao Yang; Business of Fashion Asia Correspondent Casey Hall; and Founder of DutyFreeExpert, Founder and General Manager of Amberich International Jason Cao.