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General News Last modified on March 26, 2020

government support urged for duty free and travel retail industry

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) is urging governments across the region to prioritise support packages for the travel retail industry to help many operators survive the coronavirus crisis.

APTRA is writing to government policymakers responsible for determining Covid-19 fiscal relief and funding across ministerial offices including aviation, maritime, retail, F&B and tourism industries.

It is calling on its 100+ members to continue the call for action via local outreach within countries to reinforce the initial message to the greater network of stakeholders and decision-makers.

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The broad-reaching appeal is supported by a report recently commissioned by APTRA and DFWC, ‘The Economic Impact of Duty Free & Travel Retail in Asia Pacific’, considered a key tool exemplifying clearly the Travel Retail industry’s vital input to the aviation, maritime and tourism sectors, and the economies and employment across the region. 

Published in October 2019, the report cited that, in Asia Pacific in 2017, the industry provided over 300,000 jobs and made a contribution of almost $15 billion to GDP.

APTRA is working closely with DFWC and, with the assistance of Hume Brophy, it is creating a plan, aligned to the global objective, to monitor government packages and share knowledge as best practice to try to appeal to other governments.  

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APTRA president, Grant Fleming, said: “We are sending a clear and simple message that financial support for the entire Duty Free and Travel Retail industry is required.

"All governments and agencies in charge need to understand the importance of our industry for their economies and should correctly apportion and prioritise financial efforts quickly. 

"APTRA’s mission is to strengthen, nurture and protect our industry. There has been no greater need for a call to action than now.

"As an association we believe we can voice the needs of industry via a unique stage for the entire industry and not merely seen as a group of businesses. This approach can charge the appeal.

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“APTRA is at its strongest member number since its inception 15 years ago, and we know that the support of our members across the region can add to the volume to broadcast the awareness to governments at this critical time when there is such a need for help. 

"Our objective is simple: we are seeking commitment from governments to apply financial support to the duty free and travel retail industry by including us within the designated community of essential services deemed vital in supporting the aviation, maritime and tourism industries that are so critical to the region. 

"Let’s be in no doubt of the imperatives in this drive for action. Our industry dynamics are vastly different to domestic market retail because we are dependent on the return in passenger traffic. 

"This campaign is fundamentally about securing financial support for industry survival and we are encouraging our association members in different countries to get behind it and use their existing connections to deliver the message to their governments.”

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