Over 320,000 duty free and travel retail jobs at risk in Asia Pacific

Governments in the Asia Pacific are urged to include the duty free and travel retail industry in their financial support packages.
By: | April 3, 2020

Over 320,000 local jobs across the Asia Pacific region in the duty free and travel retail industry are at risk of being overlooked by governments as they cope with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Many governments in the region have announced financial support packages to help cushion the impact of the crisis especially for the aviation and hospitality industry.

But the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) is urging over 45 countries across the region to include the duty free and travel retail industry in their support packages.

According to ‘The Economic Impact of Duty Free and Travel Retail in Asia Pacific’ (October 2019), the US$36bn industry provides 320,000 jobs and contributes almost US$15bn to GDP across Asia Pacific

Grant Fleming, President of APTRA, said, “The dynamics of duty free and travel retailing are intrinsically linked to the aviation and maritime industries and its viability is entirely dependent on the return in passenger traffic. This means 320,000 jobs are at risk that could be safeguarded if governments extend financial support packages to the industry.

“The travel ecosystem is multifaceted and, beyond airports, the duty free and travel retail industry integrates deeply with the region’s vital tourism market – directly with operators such as airport retailers, airlines, cruise-lines and downtown shopping malls and also indirectly with everything from hotels to travel agents and tour guides.

We are calling on over 45 governments across the region to recognize the unique economic contribution of the entire Travel Retail industry and to prioritize support packages to our channel and the many that are, and will be, affected financially by COVID-19,” he added.