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320,000 jobs at risk in Asia Pacific Travel Retail & Duty Free industry

320,000 jobs at risk in Asia Pacific Travel Retail & Duty Free industry

Over 320,000 local jobs across the Asia Pacific region and a $36 billion industry are at risk of being overlooked by politicians as they devise financial rescue measures to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) is calling on governments in over 45 countries across the region to support 320,000 local and front-line employees in the region by including the duty free and travel retail industry in the same financial support packages as airlines, airports and maritime industries.

‘The Economic Impact of Duty Free and Travel Retail in Asia Pacific‘ (October 2019), details a US$36bn industry providing 320,000 jobs, contributing  almost US$15bn to GDP across Asia Pacific.

Airport Retail and commercial services, including food and beverage, constitute a crucial business sector providing up to 60% vital commercial income for airport owners, outpacing aeronautical revenue streams.  It is the most significant direct contributor to the investment in Asia-Pacific’s aviation infrastructure and ongoing development of world-class national gateways, the region’s hubs to the world.

Grant Fleming, President of APTRA, comments. “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.”