APTRA unveils Singapore events with Simon Baptist keynote speaker

By Kristiane Sherry |

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Simon Baptist and ForwardKeys’ Marina Giuliano will speak at the APTRA Exchange seminar.

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) has released its programme of events set to take place in Singapore next month, with noted economist Simon Baptist heading the APTRA Exchange speaker bill.

Running adjacent to the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference (Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 7-11 May 2023), the Association will host a networking event for members and non-members, as well as its Exchange seminar.

Due to be held on Sunday 7 May from 12:30-3:30 at The Tanglin Club, Raffles Ballroom, the APTRA Networking Lunch will see around 100 delegates enjoy food, drink and music from Miami-based DJ Denz Devarez, also known as Go Travel’s Denz Van Der List.

Tickets are priced at US$100. To secure a space, delegates must email APTRA Administrative Officer Sharolyn Paul: [email protected]

APTRA: ‘Future-forward’ perspectives

Members and non-members alike are invited to attend the APTRA Exchange seminar, due to take place on Monday 8 May from 2:30-4pm at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Ballroom.

With the Asia Pacific region fully reopened, speakers will explore future-forward perspectives on the opportunities ahead in the region.

Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit will present detailed insights into post-Covid China. 

Currently based in Singapore, Baptist also holds the rule of EUI Asia Managing Director, overseeing the organisation’s research, consultancy, and C-suite advisory across the region.

He holds a doctorate in economics, and was previously a University of Oxford Lecturer. 

In his session ‘Recession averted? Economic and business outlook for 2024 and beyond’, he will explore China’s dramatic exit from its zero-covid strategy against the backdrop of inflation, fuel and finance costs, and currency movements. 

He will also present opportunities over the coming years and decades as Chinese consumers evolve and weaker global growth.

Stephen Hillam from Pi Insights will share rationale for creating an APTRA Index, while GTR’s very own DJ Denz Devarez will perform at APTRA’s networking lunch.

Marina Giuliano, VP of Brands, Retailers and Media at ForwardKeys, will the provide insights on how the return of Chinese travellers and the acceleration of Indian travellers will influence the passenger mix in the year ahead. 

Giuliano has almost 20 years’ experience in tourism, and applies her insights to global luxury brands and retailers across categories as they try to capture the right customers and promote sustainable growth. Brands she has worked with include  L’Oréal and LVMH.

During ‘The State of Play of Travel Retail in Q2 and Beyond’, she will share research on international departures and key airports and focus on the role Chinese and Indian travellers will play going forward. 

Finally Stephen Hillam, Managing Director of Pi Insight, will share rationale for creating an APTRA Index to track duty free performance and value, following the success of the ETRC Index

Hilliam has held senior positions across GTR consultancies, and founded Pi Insight in early 2019 to provide the industry with research, insight and data solutions. Pi works with brands, retailers and industry associations to provide strategic direction. 

He holds degrees from the University of Hull and University of Northampton, both in the UK.

Asia Pacific ‘accelerating’ towards full recovery

Sunil Tuli says APTRA is welcoming new members every month

“With the entire industry getting back together in person for the first time in four years, APTRA will be hosting two fantastic events for industry colleagues to connect and network at an APTRA Networking Lunch on Sunday 7 May and at the APTRA Exchange on Monday 8 May, where a stellar line-up of experts will share strategies on optimising this new era of travel retail,” said Sunil Tuli, APTRA President. 

“We hope to see many APTRA members and extend our welcome to anyone in the industry to join us at these events.  APTRA will also be supporting The Smile Raising dinner on 6 May in aid of Smile Train, a life-changing, international cleft charity.

“Although we initially expected Asia Pacific to be the first region to return to trading when the pandemic started, it ended up having the longest and toughest of restrictions.  

“However, travel retail in Asia Pacific is now back and accelerating towards a full recovery, APTRA is welcoming new members every month and we are excited to be ramping up our programmes of networking and connection, research and knowledge, alongside our continual monitoring and action on advocacy and regulation.”

Last month, Tuli spoke to TRBusiness stressing that the pandemic and its continuing repercussions should not distract DF&TR from addressing long-standing issues, such as the fundamental problem of stagnant conversion levels.

Pre-registration for the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference via the trade association’s website closes today (5 April).

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