LEADER/NEWS Leader DF&TR in China: Alive and well

Following my exploration of China’s duty free and travel retail industry recently, during the TFWA’s excellent China’s Century Conference in Hainan, I had a lot to process… The conference itself was packed with data and detailed insights (at times bewildering for some delegates, but informative for most). On top of this, my visit to CDFG’s Haitang Bay duty

free complex in Sanya after the conference was equally informative and illuminating. This may go some way to explaining why the news pages in this issue appear to be brimming with PRC-related content, but I feel this is justified and entirely relevant as we approach yet another unmissable industry event; the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition and Conference in Singapore. As always, TFWA promises that this event will be bigger and better

than the year before, reflecting the dynamism of the region despite the numerous challenges it faces, such as a slowdown in China’s economy, or the continued crack down on Daigou trading or political tension from trade disputes between China and the US. Of course, the industry’s optimists will point to ratcheting

tourism figures such as those recently released by the International Air Transport Association (see p39). According to IATA’s 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast, Asia Pacific travellers will comprise more than half of all new passengers in the future. Data shared by Ctrip reveals that the number of China’s outbound

tourists reached 149.7m, increasing 14.7% in 2018. However, it is also important to remember – for those who operate outside of China – that the number of China’s domestic tourists also grew in double- digits to 5.5bn last year (+10.8%).

Asia-Pacific: ahead of the curve Ctrip also revealed that travellers under 35 years old accounted for 70% of Chinese travellers in 2018 and those under 29 years old made up more than 50% of the total; otherwise known as millennials and Gen Z travellers. These travellers have been categorised by numerous travel

agencies, tech companies and customer insights analysts as being less loyal to brands, smartphone and social-media obsessed whilst showing preferences for products which are ethically manufactured and/or contain sustainably sourced ingredients. This is of course an oversimplification of the reams of data &

analysis available on these travellers and shoppers (much of which was shared with delegates at the recent TFWA China’s Century Conference). However, these are nonetheless important characteristics of a huge volume of consumers, which will (or at least should) shape the future of the DF&TR industry. I can speak from personal experience when I say that many brands

available in China’s DF&TR stores are already addressing the demands of millennials and Gen Z travellers; especially in the downtown stores. For sure there is always room for refinement, but if the impressive display on offer at CDFG’s busy Haitang Bay duty free complex, is anything to go by, we can assume that the DF&TR industry in China at least is alive and well.

Charlotte Turner, Managing Editor APRIL 2019 TRBUSINESS 13 Sponsored by


TRBusiness & Nestlé launch industry-voted ‘Question Time’

TRBusiness is delighted to announce the launch of a new video series called ‘Travel Retail Question Time’, providing a unique open forum for the industry in a first-of-its-kind interview format. TRBusiness is offering readers the chance to put their questions to

a high-ranking and influential executive at one of the world’s leading duty free & travel retail operators whilst we capture it all on camera. Readers will submit the question they always wanted to ask, but

never had the chance to. We will then shortlist the top 10 questions and these would be voted for, again by our readers. The five most popular questions – as voted for by our readers –

will then be put to our selected interviewee who for the first video in this series will be Ramesh Cidambi, COO of Dubai Duty Free. Cidambi is the Chief Operating Officer of DDF and is responsible

for all aspects of the company’s operation, reporting to the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Colm McLoughlin. This new initiative will be supported by Nestlé International

Travel Retail. “At Nestlé International Travel Retail we’re always looking

to innovate and support new initiatives that raise the bar in the industry,” says Stewart Dryburgh, Nestlé International Travel Retail General Manager. “When TRBusiness approached us with the Travel Retail Question

Time concept, where readers are asked to pose the questions that they feel are relevant to a key industry stakeholder, we were immediately interested. “With the tag-line – ‘have a break from the usual topics’ – this

idea was a natural fit for our #1 brand KitKat as well as a great idea to stimulate discussion and debate in the industry. As such we’re delighted to support this project and hope it brings TRBusiness readers great value.”

Visit to vote for your favourite questions from a shortlist of 10, all submitted by the industry.

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