So-called pent-up ‘revenge spending’ from Chinese passengers who have returned to travel is driving “positive trading” for a number of APTRA members as the pandemic recovery continues across Asia Pacific, according to the trade association’s President Sunil Tuli.
Speaking to TRBusiness, Tuli said “revenge shopping” from the passenger group was leading to a sense of optimism across the region.
“While other nationalities may have reverted to more typical purchasing behaviours, with more people generally travelling, in 2023 the prospects for travel retail in the region are highly positive,” he said in an article within the TRBusiness May Asia Pacific special edition. At least two markets (Singapore and Australia) have actually exceeded their 2019 duty free revenues for the same period.”
Tuli, who is also the CEO of travel retailer King Power Group (Hong Kong), said the region was “forging ahead”.
According to the latest forecast from research partner ForwardKeys, produced for APTRA members, international departures from across Asia Pacific are expected to reach 53% of 2019 volumes in the second quarter of 2023.
“As such, a steady, solid progression is clearly apparent – including highly positive spending patterns and, ultimately, this should materialise into a solid, manageable and stable base for the region’s full recovery,” commented Tuli.
He noted that the recovery of Chinese passenger numbers was still in its infancy. However, tour groups were starting up again to key destinations including New Zealand and Thailand, where China was the largest market pre-pandemic.
“To help the industry make the most of the recovery period, APTRA is working on several advocacy campaigns to support the case for increased allowances in priority markets and, although this type of influencing can be a slow process, it is an important priority,” he continued.
“It is worth noting that many governments have returned their attention to regulatory reforms and this is a particular focus for APTRA. In fact, this is the busiest time in the history of APTRA – we are currently working on a record 11 campaigns spanning advocacy, regulation and issues.”
See TRBusiness’s May Asia Pacific special edition, available in print and online here, for more insights from APTRA.
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