Top spirits at TFWA Asia Pacific 2016

5th May, 2016 by Kristiane Sherry

An essential exhibition for the travel retail industry, the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference returns to Singapore for its 2016 edition this weekend. Here are the spirits exhibitors you won’t want to miss.

The Asian spirits market is more complex than ever - making this year's TFWA Asia Pacific a must for international spirits brands

The Asian spirits market is more complex than ever – making this year’s TFWA Asia Pacific a must for international spirits brands

This feature was initially published in the May 2016 edition of The Spirits Business.

As a luxury leader with young, dynamic populations, Asia Pacific has been one giant success story for travel retail over the past decade. But while the region remains the largest in value terms, growth is slowing, from +12.1% in 2013 to +9.9% in 2014.

Near double-digit growth remains a cause for celebration, particularly for an industry which posted global declines in the first half of 2015. It’s against this backdrop of tentative optimism that key stakeholders prepare to travel to Singapore for the annual TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference, held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre from 8-12 May.

Around 300 exhibitors will be showcasing their wares, including a strong contingent of spirits suppliers. New brands to the event include Italian drinks group Illva Saronno, while a raft of established names will showcase travel retail exclusives targeted specifically to the region.

Event organiser TFWA is looking to newness and has implemented a tranche of new digital technologies to “enhance the visitor experience” at the show. In an updated format, the TFWA web app is now compatible with any mobile device and provides users with instant access to exhibitor details, stand locations and news updates, as well as essential show information – from shuttle bus timetables to start times of the social events. Visitors can access the app at app.tfwa.com.

Meanwhile, the online Exhibition Directory makes a return in 2016, crammed with exhibitor details such as contact information and product listings. New for this year is a sophisticated browse function which allows visitors to search for, collate and print detailed information at the touch of a button.

“Our suite of digital tools will help to create the ideal environment for doing business, sharing knowledge and of course networking,” said Carla Guiducci, TFWA vice president, marketing. “They will help all who are headed for Singapore this year to make the very most of what we hope will be an action-packed yet highly productive event.”

Conference content

A valuable information exchange for travel retail professionals, the full-day TFWA Asia Pacific Conference will once again update and inspire delegates and exhibitors alike at the beginning of the week. The conference in 2016 returns with a new format, which will see two consecutive plenary sessions followed by three concurrent workshops and additional networking time. The first plenary session will open with a state of the industry address from TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen, followed by an update from Jaya Singh, president, Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA).

Author and diplomat Kishore Mahbubani, a former ambassador to the UN and now dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, will then share his understanding of the political and economic challenges facing the region. “Futurist” and author Mike Walsh will conclude the session with a review of how the duty free and travel retail industry should respond in the current climate of disruptive change.

The second plenary session will focus on the experience of travel retailers, with Philippe Schaus, DFS Group CEO, Jack MacGowan, Aer Rianta International CEO, and Kevin Chiang, Ever Rich Duty Free general manager, addressing delegates.

Following a business networking lunch, three workshops will take place simultaneously: Workshop A, Off-airport duty free: Asia Pacific’s powerhouse; Workshop B, Tracking the millennial traveller; and Workshop C, Safeguarding our industry’s future.

Workshop A will outline the exciting duty free developments that have taken place away from airports in the region, with a particular focus on downtown duty free. The importance of millennial travellers will be the subject of Workshop B, while Workshop C will examine threats to growth in the fast-changing world. For 2016, the conference and workshops will take place in a new location within Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, on Level 5. A dedicated conference app is in development, which will allow delegates to take part in real-time polls and put questions direct to the speakers.

“The new format of the conference means it offers more breadth and more depth, and even more opportunity to gain first-hand insight from some of the most high-profile figures in the business,” said Thom Rankin, TFWA vice president, conferences and research. “A record number of exhibitors and a healthy number of delegates have already registered to join us in Singapore. This year’s exhibition and conference is definitely shaping up to be an essential diary date for anyone who has an interest in the duty free and travel retail sector within this dynamic and exciting region.”

With such a packed diary – Sunday’s Golf Tournament, Tai Chi, and Opening Cocktail; Tuesday’s Chill-out Party; and Wednesday’s Singapore Swing Party are all crucial networking opportunities – a tight exhibition schedule is essential. So click through the following pages to discover SB’s spirits highlights from across the show floor… 

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