Latest Member Research now available : What do travellers want from their airports of the future?

Understanding current behaviour is important to adapt today’s strategy, but as consumers move rapidly with the technological advances and globalization of today, it’s just as important to be aware of what today’s consumers are expecting from tomorrow’s airports. This is the theme of the latest wave of APTRA’s consumer research commissioned from the Swiss based research company m1nd-set. The detailed report, which is compiled based on feedback from over 2200 travellers from around the region, looks at some key questions that the industry is concerned with today. Consumers’ expectations about pre-travel communication about airport shopping, their attitude to multichannel buying with pre-ordering possibilities, pick–up on return and home delivery services are some of the questions covered in the report. Insights into expectations about how airports need to facilitate the passengers’ airport experience with technology for check-in, immigration and flight information as well as a host of other services are also covered in the report.
Members can access this and all previous reports in the members’ only section of the APTRA website. For further information on all report findings, please contact Peter Mohn on

Christmas comes early for APTRA as 3 new members sign up

APTRA is delighted to welcome three new members in this late stage of the year. Italian fashion house Diesel, Chinese tobacco & liquor distributor China International Duty Free and French organic wine house, Jean-Marc Brocard have all recently joined the association. For the contact details the company representatives, please log onto the website to access the members’ directory.


Diesel, which is owned by the OTB Group, is an international lifestyle company, producing a wide-ranging collection of jeans, clothing and accessories. Since its creation in 1978, Diesel has experienced extraordinary growth and has evolved from being a leading pioneer in denim into the world of premium casual wear, to provide an alternative to the established luxury market. The brand is available in airport retail across Asia, Europe, Latin America and North Africa. For more information, please contact Michele Turrin, Global Duty Free & Travel Retail Manager

China International Duty Free (CIDF)
CIDF is a Distributor of Chinese Tobacco and Liquor products selling to duty free operators globally. The company’s head office is in Dubai. As well as distribution CIDF also helps to sell and market its principals brands; they conduct training, buy and construct space in store and create and run promotional activities to generate further added value for the retailer. The brands CIDF works with are Ashima, Baisha, Diaoyutai, Furongwang, Yun Yan, Yuxi, on the tobacco side, Maotai, Yang He and Xi Jiang Jiu on the liquor (Baijiu) side. For more information, please contact Ian Clarke, COO.

Jean-Marc Brocard
Internationally distributed and recognized as a top Chablis Estate, Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard is present in more than 55 countries. The domain has a vineyard of more than 150 hectares to provide distinguished Chablis in their own singular style, which has made the Jean-Marc Brocard brand successful for more than 40 years. With 66 ha certified organic, the domain has a deep concern for nature and the environment and is one of the main actors in organic farming in Chablis. Domain Jean-Marc Brocard wines are available onboard Air-France, British-Airways, ANA, Singapore Airlines, and SWISS Air to name a few. For more information, please contact Antoine Laudet, Area Sales Manager.


From the President, Jaya Singh… Thank you for your support

On behalf of all the board of APTRA, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to all our members for supporting the association throughout 2014. We could clearly not do the work we do on your behalf without you. Your contributions, not only financial contributions, but also the assistance you provide in the advocacy work we undertake, your involvement in helping produce the Responsible Retail Training Programme, your contributions to the new member database and input in our surveys so we can align our strategy with your expectations; this is all invaluable to the association. As I said in my speech at the TFWA Asia Pacific event in Singapore earlier this year – the association is ultimately the sum total of all individual parts coming together as a greater whole.
We look forward to your continued support in 2015, which I mention now because you will be receiving your membership renewal notices in the coming days, if not already. Your timely membership fee payment is important to us so we can carry on the work and plan ahead for the year. Thank you !
Jaya Singh, APTRA President.

TFWA 2013

APTRA Welcomes new board member: Dr. Jennifer Cords

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Jennifer Cords of Imperial Tobacco joins its Board with immediate effect, replacing her colleague Sebastian Clausen who has moved to another position within the company.

Leading a small team at Imperial Tobacco, Cords is responsible for Global Corporate Affairs Travel Retail and Duty Free with a mission to promote the duty free export principle and to be the pathfinder for the global Imperial Tobacco business in matters relating to duty free & travel retail. During her career she has worked in Canada, United States and the Netherlands, and is now based in her home country Germany. Cords also represents Imperial Tobacco on the TFWA Management Committee, in ETRC and in CEETRA (Central Eastern Europe Travel Retail Association).

Jaya Singh, President APTRA, commented: “Jenny’s experience in the corporate affairs and legal fields for a major tobacco company will bring valuable resources to the association in its advocacy work. We are delighted to welcome her to the Board. “She does of course have some big shoes to fill and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sebastian for the enormous contribution he made to APTRA as a Board member, advisor on matters relating to tobacco sales in duty free and, for the last couple of years, as Secretary to the Board.”

Ryan Antarctica

Run Run Ryan…

APTRA board member Ryan Hill, Managing Director of Asia Travel Retail at Edrington, has completed ‘The Last Desert’ Ultramarathon – a 250km race in Antarctica, run over seven days. Ryan finished the race in 25th position out of a field of 69 competitors. With temperatures as low as -20° C, and frequent storms which can make certain race routes impassable, the conditions and logistics of the race present a number of challenges. Race organisers are often only able to confirm the race route on the morning of competition while competitors are forced to live on a boat, sailing overnight in dangerous waters to different areas of Antarctica.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to complete The Last Desert Challenge,” said Ryan. “With the conditions we faced it was a true test of willpower and stamina but the support I had from back home, the motivation of raising funds for a great cause and the camaraderie with fellow competitors spurred me on and helped me push through the pain.”

Ryan was raising awareness and money for the The Snow Leopard Trust. The Snow Leopard Trust, works with local communities in areas such as Mongolia, China, India and Kyrgyzstan to tackle some of the major issues which threaten one of the most endangered species on the planet. Currently Ryan’s fundraising total sits at just over GBP 14,000 – nearly 60% of his target of GBP 25,000. Reaching the target of GBP 25,000 would provide enough funds to support between 5 and 7 communities taking part in Snow Leopard Enterprises – a scheme run by the Snow Leopard Trust which aims to create sustainable economic opportunities that reduce the motivation behind poaching and retribution killings of snow leopards.

APTRA members still have time to make a donation:
1. For credit card payments, please visit
2. For cheque payments, please make cheques payable to “Snow Leopard Trust (UK) Limited” and mail to: Edrington Singapore, 12 Marina View Asia Square Tower 2, Level 24-01, Singapore 018961
Attn: Run4snowleopard. For sponsorship enquiries or to host a conservation programme with the Snow Leopard Trust, please contact for more information. Visit for more information on the race.

NZ flag

APTRA calls for responsible sales approach to New Zealand bound passengers 

As announced earlier this year, the New Zealand government has proceeded to enforce a reduction in the tobacco allowance for inbound travellers.  The new regulations were implemented as of November 1. Inbound travellers will now have to pay GST and duty on tobacco exceeding the allowance of 50 cigarettes, which has been reduced from 200, or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco. 
The gift concession for tobacco has also been removed, where previously parcels received from overseas containing tobacco were permitted.Arriving passengers will have the opportunity to either pay the additional GST and duty, or declare and discard excess tobacco on arrival. People who don’t face being fined and having their tobacco seized, and potentially even face prosecution.

APTRA President Jaya Singh commented: “We are appealing to all retailers to keep their staff informed of this latest development to avoid passenger dissatisfaction. This is another blow to the legitimate businesses around the world and we will continue to impress upon governments the importance of maintaining duty free allowances and the negative impact on national economies as a result of lower airport revenues. While we understand the health driven motivations behind this legislation, duty free sales of tobacco represent an insignificant percentage of overall tobacco sales – less than 1%. Such legislation, we believe, will have no impact on the consumption of tobacco as smokers will simply continue to purchase locally or on their outbound journey.”
Please note that the approximate duty levels payable on excess quantities of tobacco can be found on this website:

Latest Member Research now available :
What do travellers really want from their airport experience?

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The latest chapter of the 2014 APTRA research programme is now available for members’ in the dedicated area of the website. The report, commissioned from the Swiss based research company m1nd-set looks at the various levels of satisfaction of Asia Pacific consumers with airport services as well as how they rate the importance and relevance of these services. The research looks not only at the shopping and other commercial offerings but also at other convenience services offered by airports such as the lounges, wifi, speed of the transit and children’s facilities, to name a few. The report looks in detail at the opinions of travelers on the importance of the services for business and leisure trips independently. The research provides interesting findings on what travelers really want from their airport experience and can help airport managements assess better the nice-to-have but not vital from the vital services to ensure passengers are in the right mind-set when travelling through.
Members can access all reports in the members’ only section of the APTRA website. Please note that as the website has been upgraded, members who have not yet done so will need to re-register to access the members’ section.
For further information on all report findings, please contact Peter Mohn at


As APTRA sets its sights on the second industry association China conference, which takes place in Shanghai in March next year, we bring you some highlights from some of the China-centric stories making the headlines in the press in recent days… 


Chinese emerge as world’s biggest overseas buyers of 2013 

According to online news service Want China Times, the Chinese were the world’s leading overseas spenders in 2013, with per capita overseas consumption worth US$1,867, which is three times the amount spent by European or American tourists. They are also the world’s largest group of buyers at duty-free shops. The article quotes research from the Fortune Character Institute, highlighting the fact that in 2013, Chinese consumers purchased 47% of all luxury products sold worldwide at an estimated value of US$102 billion. Read the full article here.

Indonesia turns on the visa-free charm for China 

To capture more of the Chinese consumer spend, governments around Asia and even the world have been easing the visa restrictions for inbound Chinese travellers.  Indonesia is the latest country to announce such moves and will be lifting visa requirements for Chinese travellers next year. As reported in travel trade media TTG, they are anticipating the move will lead to a significant increase – up to 40% – in the number of Chinese tourists. Nationals of Australia, Japan, South Korea and Russia will also be exempt from visa requirements to enter Indonesia, as of January 2015. All good news for Indonesia’s duty free retailers… Read the full article here.

Reliance on Chinese tourists raises concern  

Is it all good news though? As the Korean Times reports, there could be a downside to the increasing dominance of the Chinese traveller for businesses around the region.
The article poses the question What would happen to Korea’s tourism industry if the number of Chinese tourists decline? This question, according to the report, has begun surfacing among airlines, hotels, duty free shops, restaurants and other hospitality-related businesses as they are increasingly dependent on those coming from mainland China. The article highlights how some duty free businesses are generating more than 50% of their business from Chinese tourists.
Diversification is the key, according to the Korean Tourism Organisation. They will be making efforts to attract tourists from Russia, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, strengthening Korea’s presence in these countries to woo the growing number of middle-class consumers seeking to travel overseas. Read the full article here.

Chinese travellers booking over 30% of travel via mobile 

Despite the concerns raised in the above article, or even because of these concerns, it is increasingly important to reach Chinese travellers in the early stages of their journey. This starts with the pre-travel search and booking stage. According to online travel tech news service TNooz a growing segment of Chinese travellers are booking their travel via their smartphones. The article reports that 75% of travellers booking online are aged between 25 and 44 and are ready to spend and travel both domestically and internationally. For brands and retailers interested in marketing to Chinese travellers from the booking stage, the article details the major travel booking sites to include in the media plan. Read the full article here.

Shops of the future

Online retail will not kill physical shops, but rather liberate them. This is the view expressed by design agency Portland Design’s Managing Director Ibrahim Ibrahim. He gives an insightful perspective on what shops of the future might look like in an interview featured in Global Blue’s in-house magazine “Visitors. From the emergence of the click and collect model to the popularisation and increasing affordability of 3D printers, Ibrahim predicts retail will be boosted by the digital revolution with the new experiences and shopping concepts that will be generated. Cashiers will increasingly become story-telling “hosts”, providing a totally different shopping experience, the aim of which will to maximise and sustain customer loyalty. The article concludes with some sound advice on how to address the challenges ahead that retailers in order to remain relevant to tomorrow’s consumers. 

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