Drinks veteran Alan Snelling to retire after 50 years in International Sales

By Charlotte Turner |

Drinks industry stalwart, Alan Snelling has announced that he will be retiring on 1 June, after 50 years in International Sales, most of those served in the duty free and travel retail industry.


Starting with Parker Pens back in 1972, Snelling said he ‘found his true home’ at Beefeater Gin where he joined in 1983, looking after key accounts in Africa, Middle East and Far East.


In 1991 Snelling set up his own company, Ufton Travel Retail Ltd, which has now been operating for over 30 years. The trading and consultancy business, specialising in the wine and spirits categories, has ‘solved a multitude of problems’ for suppliers and operators throughout the world, said Snelling.



“There have been some big changes over the years, most significantly in technology; those first 25 years were successfully achieved without mobile phones or computers,” said Snelling.


“In those early years, there were some real characters in the industry and people became synonymous with their brands; then in the late 1980s major brands, airport operators, and even airlines began to merge; a process continuing to this day, which has brought a new style of management more suited and adaptable to the development of new technology through which the industry needs to survive.”


Alan Snelling pictured here in Cannes for the TFWA World Exhibition, attended almost 50 events run by TFWA in his career to date.

Alan Snelling – pictured here in Cannes for the TFWA World Exhibition – attended almost 50 events run by TFWA in his career to date and served on the association’s Management Committee in the 1980s.

Since those early years, Snelling has attended all but three of the World Exhibitions organised by Tax Free Trader and TFWA – some 47 events, and was a member of the TFWA Management Committee in the late 1980s.


Snelling said he will be keeping an eye on the industry from a distance, and sends his best wishes to all friends in the travel retail world.

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