APTRA Economic Impact Report to help negotiating

By Andrew Pentol |


Christina Oliver, Executive Director, APTRA.

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) is eagerly anticipating the upcoming release of its first Economic Impact Report for the Asia Pacific region.

According to the association, the report, which was produced in conjunction with the Duty Free World Council, will provide essential data about the vital role the industry plays in local and national economies.

Speaking exclusively to TRBusiness, Christina Oliver, Executive Director, APTRA, who assumed the role in December 2018, reveals the report is expected to be released in September and describes it as a really exciting piece of research [click below video].


“It is the first Economic Impact Report for Asia Pacific,” she emphasised. “This means it does not just have commercial information about sales, channels and per category, but actually covers socio economic aspects such as GDP, job creation and probably some estimations about tertiary industries that are affiliated to travel retail. It is very important to us.”

The report will add value to members in two ways, according to Oliver. “The first is when we are talking to regulatory bodies about the impact of duty and travel retail across Asia. It is super important for us to be able to not only have the commercial discussion, but have that wider perspective on what the socio-economic impact equates to and what the quantifiable evidence of that is.”

She continued: “Secondly, the currency of today is information and this type of information is unavailable. It is new and we are very excited about it. Generally, I think it adds value to all members for negotiation and simply awareness about the opportunity of travel retail.”

In order to raise awareness of the report, APTRA is looking to do something a little different. “This could involve organising a business forum where we pull leaders together from around the region. I would like to extend this to the public affairs or legal departments, so they understand the importance and use of this Economic Impact Report.

Regarding other projects, Oliver remarked: “Research is one of the cornerstones of APTRA and we have just released our Understanding Young China Research, which was undertaken in conjunction with TFWA.

“The aim of the research was to understand the preferences, habits and attitudes of 18-30-year-olds. In addition to the emergence of the Economic Impact Report, we will have a consumer-led piece of research out at the end of the year.”

She added: “We are looking at advocacy a lot more, given the issues coming up and working hard to look at a stakeholder mapping.”


The new APTRA Board (left to right): Alain Maingreaud, TFWA; Jonathan Holland, Jonathan Holland & Associates; Karl Marnane, Butlers Chocolates; Gabriela Steiner-Zajax, Lindt; Julia Bauer, ITL Pacific (HK Limited); Grant Fleming, Lagardère Travel Retail (President); Andrew Gardiner, Melbourne Airport; Sunil Tuli, King Power HK; Pan Har Ying, JTI (Treasurer); Ryan Hill, Bommidala (Secretary); and Stephane Geffroy, Kansai Airport; and [not present in photo] Teo Chew Hoon, Changi Airport.

While research is a cornerstone of the association, there are several threats and challenges the association must continue to repel. “Tobacco is under scrutiny in various different ways with plain packaging top of that agenda. Pressure, is also building across the various other categories.

“Other issues include labelling and transparency in content, whether its confectionery or cosmetics and sugar.”

This year, during the opening plenary at the TFWA Asia Pacific Conference in Singapore, Andrew Ford announced he was stepping down as APTRA President, a position he had held since 2017.

Later in the week, it was first revealed by TRBusiness that Lagardère Travel Retail Head of Strategic Development for Asia Grant Fleming, had been elected as new President. A new 12-strong board was also appointed.

“Grant was previously the treasurer, so he knows APTRA and knows how to handle the issues we face. We are talking about forward momentum with APTRA and I am enjoying being a part of this.”


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