Organisers the Tax Free World Association said visitors were up 12% from last year to 2,905.
This included representatives from 1,186 companies, up by 14% from 1,044. Of the total, 1,081 were described as ‘key buyers’ (an increase of 10% from 986 in 2015), from 273 companies, a 5% increase from 259 in 2015. 1,293 of those attending were agents, up from 1,142 by 13%. These were from 578 companies, an increase of 18% from the 2015 figure of 491.
TFWA said the exhibition occupied a total of 9,817m2, up 6.1% from 9,233m2 in 2015. A total of 310 companies exhibited, up 9% from 285 the previous year. 79 of these companies were new exhibitors. Among the newcomers were a raft of internationally renowned names including LVMH.
The One2One meeting service received requests for more than 1,000 meetings, a 16% increase on last year’s figure. 33 of the 41 airports attending and 30 of the 35 airlines attending the exhibition registered for the service. This year, the cruise and ferry category was also added for the first time. Launched in 2009, the facility has proved so successful that it will now also be available at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference at Cannes later this year.
In his opening address, TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen said that while the duty free and travel retail business has enjoyed phenomenal growth in the Asia Pacific region in recent years, the sector is coming under pressure. Improved customer segmentation, greater transparency and flexibility were, he stated, key to survival as the industry undergoes a period of change.
At the end he said: “This has been a busy week and the atmosphere on the exhibition floor has been exceptional. In spite of the challenges we are all facing, there has been a real spirit of optimism here this week. This definitely bodes well for our industry both in Asia Pacific and across the world.”