SINGAPORE. Welcome to our day-by-day coverage of TFWA Asia Pacific Live 2022 in Singapore, which ended on Wednesday. The show made a welcome return as an in-person event after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

Our rolling coverage featured our choice of the week’s highlights in words and images, from Monday (scroll down) to Wednesday.


TFWA announced that 677 delegates from 235 companies attended the event at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre over the three days. This included 261 representatives from 43 buyers and landlords, 100 representatives from 56 agents, and 206 delegates from 83 brands, plus other partners and media.

The TFWA One2ONE meetings service saw 411 meetings arranged, alongside the networking lunches and hosted coffee breaks.



The TFWA Asia Pacific Live Networking Event officially closed with an informal wine tasting supported by Duty Free Global. Pictured on the left (left to right) are Lagardère Travel Retail Business Director Spirits, Wine & Beer Asia Scott Hamilton; Distell International Head of Europe & Global Travel Retail Luke Maga; Traveller’s Trove Director Gerry Murray and B&S Spirits Purchase Manager Max Meuleman.


(Left) Meta Business Group Scaled/SMBs Director Dhruv Vohra and (right) Bain & Company Partner Praneeth Yendamuri

The final session of the TFWA Asia Pacific Live Networking Event was titled ‘Digital Transformation in South East Asia’. It featured Meta Business Group Scaled/SMBs Director Dhruv Vohra and Bain & Company Partner Praneeth Yendamuri.

Vohra and Yendamuri discussed the rise of social commerce, cashless payment, last mile fulfilment and the region’s migration from offline to online. The session highlighted key themes from Vohra and Yendamuri’s recent report called ‘Southeast Asia, the home for digital transformation.’ This includes the role that social media has in influencing everything from consumer trends to national elections.

They also discussed how the move from web 2.0 to web 4.0 will impact the way brands engage with consumers. In China, 36% of all purchases are made online; in Southeast Asia this figure is 9%. Vohra predicts that new technologies like AR and VR will transform the ecommerce landscape in Southeast Asia over the next decade.


The Moodie Davitt Report Brands Editor & Digital Marketing Manager Hannah Tan-Gillies met with Caudalie Head of Global Travel Retail Benoît Davaillon, who previewed Caudalie’s expansion in Asia Pacific. The French natural beauty brand is launching new doors in Cambodia and Indonesia with Dufry, Malaysia with Valiram and Australia with Gebr. Heinemann.


TRBusiness held a panel discussion which explored travel retail’s sustainable future. The panel was moderated by TRBusiness Editorial Director Charlotte Turner. It comprised (left to right) Mondelez WTR Managing Director Jaya Singh; m1nd-set Head of Business Development Anna Marchesini; m1nd-set Founder and CEO Peter Mohn; Lagardère Travel Retail Director of Human Resource and Talent Development Jackllyn Chau and Ritual Cosmetics Global Travel Retail Director Melvin Broekaart.

The Moodie Davitt Report met up with the team at Dr. Ci:Labo to talk about the Japanese dermo-cosmetic brand’s big ambitions for travel retail and China. (Left to right) The Moodie Davitt Report Brands Editor & Digital Marketing Manager Hannah Tan-Gillies; Filtr.Qingwa Communications Director James Brown; Dr.Ci:Labo General Manager Travel Retail Albinus Saw; Dr.Ci:Labo Regional Travel Retail; Business Development Manager Michelle Tong; The Moodie Davitt Report Publisher Irene Revilla and Dr. Ci:Labo Regional Travel Retail Sales Lead Sandy Ong


Hybrid event: The opening panel session on Wednesday morning about the future of the regional market brings together three speakers who dialled in virtually (on screen from left, Tripadvisor Group Head of Destination Marketing APAC Sarah Mathews, ACI Asia Pacific Senior Expert, Airport Economics and ESG Ilia Lioutov and Duty Free Expert Founder Jason Cao) alongside Dufry Chief Operations Officer Asia Pacific Pedro Castro (right) and moderator John Rimmer. Below, Castro takes delegates on a journey through the lessons of COVID, and concludes with the upbeat message that “travel retail is back”.


Rituals Global Travel Retail Director Melvin Broekaart and The Moodie Davitt Report Brands Editor & Digital Marketing Manager Hannah Tan-Gillies catch up to discuss the next chapter of ‘The Art of Soulful Living’

(Above and below) Delegates crowd around the Toblerone booth, where the chocolate brand is giving away personalised sleeves for its Toblerone 360g bar



With limited social events at this edition of TFWA Asia Pacific, delegates gathered in the TFWA Lounge on Monday and Tuesday nights for post-show, pre-dinner drinks

With sustainability a key focus for APTRA’s research and advocacy work in 2022, a discussion on corporate social responsibility began with a brief presentation about what sustainability means from APTRA President Sunil Tuli (second left). Other speakers included Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail General Manager, North Asia Simon van Moppes (centre), Heineken Global Duty Free Global Account Manager Airlines Alexander de Nerée tot Babberich (second from right) and Concourse Director & Partner Chris Morriss (right), alongside TR Business Managing Editor Luke Barras-Hill as moderator (left).

Sunil Tuli: “We are not yet doing enough about sustainability. People have to be aware and do something about it.”

Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail General Manager, North Asia Simon van Moppes: “If you design something in an ethical way, there is a cost attached. Do we pass that cost onto the shopper? People are willing to pay more for something that is produced sustainably, but not that much more. So there’s a challenge. I don’t believe we can move to a more sustainable model without everybody in the industry contributing. It’s the right thing to do, but we have to do it together.”

Heineken Global Duty Free Global Account Manager Airlines Alexander de Nerée tot Babberich: “For inflight are looking at our packaging, for example trialling 25cl cans rather than 33cl for lower weight, with a more modern, premium look. So we can improve efficiency onboard while reducing weight, which the airlines are seeking.”


A panel discussion this afternoon addressed the challenges of engaging the new consumer of spirits post-pandemic. Speaking were (from second left) Brown Forman Global Travel Retail VP Managing Director Aude Bourdier, Duty Free Global Founder & Commercial Director Barry Geoghegan, Distell International Head of Europe & Global Travel Retail Luke Maga and Lotte Duty Free Oceania CEO and Director Stephen Timms. The session was chaired by DFNI Editor Kapila Ireland (left). 

A key discussion on day one focused on the changing dynamics in wine & spirits. It explored how new consumer trends can create opportunities for brands and retailers in drinks and beyond, the role of omnichannel and how global brands see travel retail. The panel discussion featured: Brown Forman Global Travel Retail VP Managing Director Aude Bourdier, Duty Free Global Founder & Commercial Director Barry Geoghegan, Distell International Head of Europe & Global Travel Retail Luke Maga and Lotte Duty Free Oceania CEO and Director Stephen Timms. The session was chaired by DFNI Editor Kapila Ireland.

Panellists began by addressing the new consumer and latest trends in the market. Aude Bourdier highlighted the sense of discovery that she said prevails among many travellers today. “The new generation, especially those that travelled abroad, have seen other brands, and are eager to discover and enjoy.”

Aude Bourdier: “It’s the same consumer through the journey so how do we as brand owners ensure the message is holistic?”

Barry Geoghegan said: “The experience of COVID changed the dynamic of on-trade versus off-trade. People were making cocktails at home and we see that continue, with the expansion of RTDs in Asia also. We see the evolution of Irish, Japanese and American whiskies, aided by the influences of KOLs. We see gin now as a factor in Asia, which it wasn’t before. Younger people want to buy things they never experienced before. We also have to consider all Asian nationalities, not just focus on China as in the past.”

Luke Maga noted: “We see a lot of experimentation. There is great growth in single malts, we see it in our own spirits and liqueurs.”

Steve Timms said: “We see a push towards localisation and craft. We see growth there, and expectations among travellers who want to see this. There are gins, whiskies and international travellers want to engage with those products, especially at the premium end. We do need to reimagine how we are different. The consumer has been trained to buy online and that’s difficult for duty free. So we need to engage and make travel retail different from before.”

Luke Maga and Steve Timms: Adapting the assortment to a new generation of consumers

On the return to travel and consumption, Bourdier said: “We have adapted. We see younger consumers who are willing to engage. The fundamentals are still there. They want gifting, self-treat and to treat themselves.

“It’s important to note that we are here for the long term, not the short term and GTR is about the longer term. We will see Asia come back, it may take longer than other markets, but it will come back.”

Luke Maga said that while travel retail is a “shop window to the world” it has been difficult to justify allocating super-premium products to the segment in a period of limited travel, notably when domestic market sales are strong.

“We still champion the channel but it’s becoming more challenging. As a channel and category we must reflect on the lessons of the past two years. Who are the consumers? Have we got the right products and the right staff on the shop floor to engage with the appropriate nationality? There is an educational aspect in talking about mixability of cocktails for example. It’s time to reset, look at the range and assortment.

“That means engaging the retailer, ensuring people cannot just walk past the store. People we see will pick up a local whisky over a bigger brand. It’s about taking a white paper approach, asking how do we get the new consumer in the door?”

Barry Geoghegan: “There must be shared investment”

Barry Geoghegan added: “For the younger generation we have to make the assortment relevant. I want something special, different, that reinvigorates the assortment and mixes it up a bit more.”

Geoghegan highlighted the complexity of the business now with raw materials in such short supply and as prices change quickly. “Short-term there will be pinches but we hope travel retail will remain key to brands.”

Steve Timms said: “We need to start with a clean sheet of paper. Supply is not easy. Everyone needs to plan well in advance, allowing us to forecast while accounting for supply chains ramping up again. We are reinvigorating people about the excitements of duty free but we cannot disappoint them because if we do, they won’t come back.

On the omnichannel opportunity, Timms said: “It’s about connecting with the consumer before they reach the store to the time when they get back to their home country. If you do that then you’ve achieved an omnichannel strategy.”

Other speakers highlighted the importance of a joined-up approach from the industry Trinity. Luke Maga said: “We are doing work on in-store activity, trying to capture the traveller in a 10km radius before they reach the airport, and drawing them in, via geo-targeting. But that could cost you £40-50,000 for a few weeks of data. That’s before we pull stock from the shelf. It has to evolve. It is our job to help the retailer pull the sale through, understand the customers, ensure we are putting the product though that sells. It needs a joint approach.”

Barry Geoghegan added: “There must be shared investment. It’s crazy not to share information and data; the reality is we need to do it.”

Aude Bourdier said: “It’s the same consumer through the journey so how do we as brand owners ensure the message is holistic?”


A strong session on the Indian market was one of the conference highlights of day one at the TFWA Asia Pacific live networking event. Joining TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer (left) on stage were Delhi Duty Free CEO Ashish Chopra, Bangalore International Airport Ltd Assistant Vice President – Commercial Development Pravat Kumar Paikray and Beam Suntory Managing Director Global Travel Retail Ashish Gandham. 

In a special session on India, Delhi Duty Free CEO Ashish Chopra offered an encouraging view of the rebound, notably in the past two months as international traffic restrictions fell away.

He said: “We have started the year well. We expect to recover to 95-100% of previous sales levels in 2022. From October to March we did 66% of our pre-pandemic sales. But in the last two months (March and April) we have clicked around 88% of previous sales, with pent-up demand, as traffic reached 70%.”

Chopra highlighted trends in shopping from Delhi Duty Free’s latest financial year (FY22) compared to 2020, Spend per passenger has risen +25%, ATV is up +32% but penetration is down -5%. He said: “Once the blue collar or budget traveller comes back, penetration will be key and that will drive the industry forward. That is what we must focus on. People will not all spend +40% more when we have 100% of travel back. We have made good progress but what we must do is ensure there is something for everyone in the assortment.”

Bangalore International Airport Ltd Assistant Vice President – Commercial Development Pravat Kumar Paikray addressed commercial developments at what he dubbed the ‘new gateway to India’.

As reported, BIAL has been managing RFPs for its core non-aeronautical channels in the new T2 in recent months. This includes a 15-year joint-venture agreement with a duty free partner, the winner of which will be announced shortly.

Paikray said that the dream of a new terminal in a garden – Terminal 2 – is set to become reality in the next six months. “We aim for Bangalore to be a new home for shopping and dining. Tender processes are almost complete.”

The airport will feature numerous firsts for India, with a blend of local and international names. Big F&B names include Wolfgang Puck and UK chef James Martin, alongside brands such as Giraffe, Starbucks, KFC and Subway. First-time entrants to Indian airport F&B include Hard Rock Café, Johnny Rocket’s, Wendy’s and Jamie Oliver’s Pizzeria. There will also be a micro-brewery inside the airport.”

Fashion brand names will include Hugo Boss, Muji To Go, Swarovski, Michael Kors, Armani Exchange, Tumi and Superdry, as well as Hamley’s toy store.

Beam Suntory Managing Director Global Travel Retail Ashish Gandham said that travel retail represents a “premium connection to the global traveller” and a key brand-building opportunity for the brand owner.

He said: “We have shown commitment to the channel over the past two years, with people at the core of what we do. We have retained our teams, we have enhanced collaboration with our partners and continued the innovation agenda while investing in experiences.”

On the Indian opportunity, he said the traveller demographic remains highly valuable. “The shopper is hyper-connected, they grab trends fast and the infrastructure is coming to support that.”

Gandham also highlighted the powerful role of sales staff, especially in the spirits category – people now want to interact more than ever with staff, he said.

“The traveller now has high expectations, whether it is assortment of an elevated in-store experience. Innovation and exclusive will be critical, and we must tailor offers to specific groups and value pools. They want a seamless, digital in-store experience, with an experiential and immersive offer.

“It’s not only about the store but about the Trinity model at work to deliver that experience. That path to purchase must be taken care of, by all parties. We must use data to anticipate trends and adapt the offer, and navigate challenges such as manpower and supply collectively.”

Click here for a detailed story on this session.


Telling an exciting story in India: We were delighted to reconnect in person today with the team from Bangalore International Airport Limited as the new Terminal 2 takes shape, with some big announcements about the commercial offer imminent. With Dermot Davitt (centre) are Assistant Vice President – Commercial Development Pravat Kumar Paikray and Assistant General Manager – Commercial Development Saurabh Singhal.


Great to catch up for coffee with the excellent Changi Airport Group Corporate & Marketing Communications team in Singapore this week. Pictured (from left) are Hui Hui Ng, Dennis Yim Kein Fai and Tessa Wong with Dermot Davitt (second left)


Futurist and Innovation Strategist Charlie Ang gave delegates an overview of the biggest macro trends that will make or break businesses in the next decade

Digital Futurist and Innovation Strategist Charlie Ang gave a compelling keynote presentation on the macroeconomic factors that will impact businesses in the 2020s. The key megatrends he highlighted are the fourth industrial revolution, the climate emergency, geopolitical disorder and ageing demographics.

According to Ang, the convergence of these factors is the strategic inflection point that will make or break businesses in the next decade. He also underlined the fourth industrial revolution as having the most impact on consumerism. This revolution refers to the fusion of technology that blurs the lines between physical, digital and biological.

“When compared to previous technology revolutions, the fourth revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than linear pace, disrupting almost every industry in every country,” Ang said. “Technology 4.0 will reshape society.”


“What we have right here in this region is an unmatched opportunity to drive our recovery and revitalise our long-term performance” — APTRA President Sunil Tuli

Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) President Sunil Tuli expressed his optimism for the rebound of travel in the Asia Pacific region. He said, “International borders are opening to vaccinated travellers, giving us hope that things are headed in the right direction.

“We must never lose sight of the opportunities in this region which remains the engine room of travel retail,” Tuli added.

“We are in a prime position to move recovery forward. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2022 Economic Impact Report, the Travel & Tourism sector across Asia Pacific is set to rebound significantly, creating almost 77 million new jobs in the next decade.The sector’s contribution towards GDP is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of +8.5% between 2022 and 2032, more than double the +4% growth rate for the region’s overall economy.

“The 2022 report marks a significant positive step forward for our industry which was left reeling by the impact of the pandemic, due to the widespread introduction of unnecessary and hugely damaging travel restrictions…What we have right here in this region is an unmatched opportunity to drive our recovery and revitalise our long-term performance. The way to optimise that recovery is to work together, to share information, strategies and tactics. I can promise you that APTRA will be doing exactly that and will be with you every step of the way.”


TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer officially opens the first session of the day

TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer officially opened the first session of the TFWA Asia Pacific Live Networking Event 2022 on 10 May. Rimmer gave an overview of the workshops and keynote sessions that will run over the next two days and highlighted the importance of meeting face to face in driving industry recovery.

He was followed by TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen who welcomed delegates to to the event. Commenting on the revised format of the TFWA Asia Pacific Live Networking Event, Juul-Mortensen said: “When it became clear in early March that conditions were not yet right for a return to our usual conference and exhibition format, feedback from TFWA members still indicated a strong desire to get together in person. Thanks to the Singaporean authorities’ success in managing the pandemic, the proactive approach of the Singapore Tourism Board and the generosity of our official host Changi Airport Group, a revised event format became feasible, and so here we are.

“Play the game and demonstrate your commitment to the event and the Association,” said TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen to companies who don’t actively contribute to TFWA’s events

“As travellers emerge from COVID-19, it’s clear their outlook has changed,” Juul-Mortensen added. “Our priority is to keep pace and even anticipate those new expectations. They will continue to evolve and so must we.”

Juul-Mortensen expressed a positive outlook on industry recovery and stressed that spend per passenger is increasing across the board. “Heathrow’s retail revenue per passenger was up by +5.8% in 2021, Paris Charles de Gaulle’s increased by +13.1%, with the trend extending to other regions. Dufry’s annual results revealed that spend per passenger exceeded 2019 levels location by location,” he added.

He also directly addressed the companies that don’t actively contribute to TFWA’s events, particularly those who rent suites or meeting rooms outside of the exhibition halls.

He said, “I make no apology for calling out companies that seek to profit from TFWA World Exhibition & Conference without contributing to it. I’m talking about those who occupy a table, hotel suite or apartment nearby, instead of taking stand space on the Exhibition floor. We do our utmost to make sure the show works for exhibitors as well as visitors, whose time is more effectively spent if they concentrate all their meetings inside the Palais, so we ask those attending – exhibitors and visitors – to play the game and demonstrate their commitment to the event and the Association.”

Delegates file in as the first conference session of the TFWA Asia Pacific Live Networking Event was about to start


The return of a physical event also means the return of hard copies of media titles, including The Moodie Davitt Report, at the Singapore show

Singapore splendour: A view to gladden the heart from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel across to the city beyond, and below, the convention centre that will host delegates over the coming days

This week will be the first view that many brand owners have of the Lotte Duty Free liquor & tobacco operations at Changi Airport after the retailer took over the concession in June 2020. Here is the main T1 arrivals shop; other stores will open soon.

A warm welcome from Changi Airport Group to arriving travellers in Terminal 1. In the return to travel phase, the airport is quieter than usual but the airport company is planning for an acceleration of activity in the months ahead.

Jewel Changi was a welcome sight after a long, two year hiatus. Jewel was the host of The Moodie Davitt Report Duty Calls charity dinner in 2019. It was sell-out gathering where over 300 travel retail guests came together for the 2019 event, raising around US$265,000 for Southeast Asian children’s charity Friends-International

The Moodie Davitt Report team has officially landed in Singapore for the TFWA Asia Pacific Live event

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