APTRA prioritises advocacy support for members with new report and heat map

By Andrew Pentol |


Sunil Tuli, President, Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association.

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) has launched an Advocacy Report & Heat Map, highlighting the key trends in regulatory and legislative challenges across the region.

The first in a new quarterly series of advocacy updates, the launch of this ‘valuable commercial tool’ is evidence that APTRA is prioritising advocacy support to members.

Sunil Tuli, President, APTRA explained: “Despite the Covid-19 crisis, we must remain alert to regulatory change because policy development and government decision-making on regulatory issues in core categories is still very much active.

“Asia Pacific is a vast and complex geography of over 40 countries, with a highly diverse political landscape. Regulatory change moves at different rates and is not always predictable. We cannot afford to take our eye off the ball.”


He added: “A key objective of APTRA’s mission is to nurture and help protect travel retail from changes in legislation. There are two pillars to our advocacy strategy. Firstly, with the launch of this new report we have done the legwork for members, giving them a valuable tool with insight on what’s in the pipeline in specific countries and categories.

“Secondly, we are actively engaged with governments to ensure the industry has a voice and that policymakers understand the critical economic contribution of travel retail to the region, which provides a direct GDP contribution of $7.6bn* and 140,000 jobs.”

New APTRA Advocacy Report

Exclusively available to all APTRA members, the report highlights complex regulatory challenges across the region plus a summary of significant issues which have dominated the past 18 months.

A detailed assessment of each category outlines the current status on specific threats, from the initial stages of agenda building through policy formation, adoption and implementation.

Despite the World Health Organisation’s recent postponement of its investigation into illicit trade and tobacco control, more immediate tobacco threats include the implementation of plain packaging measures and stricter graphic health warnings across many countries.

Meanwhile in the war on sugar across Asia Pacific, several countries including Singapore, are formulating domestic regulation in specific drinks categories. These are due for implementation in the coming 18 months.

With many emerging legislative trends designed to address domestic health issues, APTRA is striving to ensure government decision-makers understand travel retail  should be segregated from domestic health policy regulations. This is because goods are typically purchased by travellers and those leaving the country.

APTRA overview of tobacco threats

In addition, many policy-makers do not understand the ‘essential contribution’ of travel retail to the financial health of airports, according to APTRA. The Association also suggests policy makers do not understand the vital role of the industry in the economic development of countries and the region as a whole.

The association concluded: “APTRA aims to be a value-added partner to governments as they frame regulations and policies to ensure they make appropriate allowance for these unique aspects of the travel retail market.

*Source: The Economic Impact of Duty Free and Travel Retail in Asia Pacific’ published by APTRA and DFWC (October 2019)

Sunil Tuli, President, Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association recently took part in the TRBusiness Adapt & Survive Skype video series. Click here for the interview.


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