Speaker Line-up Confirmed For This Year’s TFWA Asia Pacific Conference

TFWA has confirmed an impressive line-up for this year’s TFWA Asia Pacific Conference. The annual event, which will take place on Level 5 of the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore, will see experts from within and beyond duty free and travel retail take to the stage.

 The conference theme ‘Re-igniting our industry’ will run throughout the plenary sessions and workshops on Monday 8th May. TFWA president, Erik Juul-Mortensen, and Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association president Jaya Singh will open the event, before being joined for the first plenary session by keynote speakers Anil Gupta and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

Professor Anil Gupta is a commentator, member of the World Economic Forum and author of acclaimed books The Quest for Global Dominance, Getting China and India Right and The Silk Road Rediscovered. Professor Gupta will explore the rise of Asia at a time of change, examining economic and geopolitical influences on the region’s future growth as well as looking at recent advances in technology. He will be followed by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, chairman of AirAsia X, a leading authority on regional and global trade and former Malaysian minister of international trade and industry. She will examine the future for regional economic integration, and assess the implications for trade and free movement. 

In the second plenary session, Porter Erisman, former vice president at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, will share his unique insight into one of the retail world’s greatest success stories. Andrea Belardini, CEO Asia, Middle East and Africa of Dufry, will address recent developments in the regional duty free market, and outline how his company is adapting its approach to cater to Asian customers’ changing needs and expectations. 

After networking over lunch, three workshop sessions will run in parallel on a range of subjects.

Workshop A, called Rediscovering Japan, will provide delegates with a detailed picture of the national business today and bring together leaders from the airport, retailer, brand and tour operator sectors. The line-up of speakers at this session includes Isao Takashiro (chairman & CEO of JATCO), Hideki Hayashida (senior vice president of NAA), Nobuo Nabika (president of skincare brand The Ginza) and Tadashi Shimura, (president of the Japan Association of Travel Agents). 

Workshop B, Re-engage: driving customer loyalty, will explore how the travel retail industry can increase repeat spend from travellers. This session will hear from CC Lee (COO at China Duty Free Group), Nicola Wells (director global marketing & strategy at Aer Rianta International) and Kian Gould (founder & CEO of AOE). The workshop will include discussions on ways to enhance the value proposition, marketing techniques, communication and the future role of technology in engaging passengers and encouraging spend.

 Workshop C, Re-assessing our industry: challenges today and tomorrow, will look at two areas: firstly, regulatory changes and challenges that the industry as a whole must address if it is to thrive; and secondly, the latest data and insights on traffic trends and consumer behaviour, as well as the impact they are likely to have on the global duty free and travel retail industry. This session’s speakers will include Sarah Branquinho (external affairs director, Dufry, and president of ETRC), Dr Jennifer Cords (head of corporate affairs and compliance (global travel retail) for Imperial Brands and an APTRA board member), Lewis Allen (director of environments for Portland Design), Terna Jibo (head of strategic insights for Portland Design) and Olivier Jager (co-founder & CEO of ForwardKeys). The latest data from TFWA research will be presented as part of the session, including highlights of recent studies produced by travel analyst ForwardKeys and strategic insights specialist Portland Design. 

Changi Airport is the diamond sponsor of the conference, the business networking coffee break in the morning will be provided by Leonidas, and the hostess outfits are kindly sponsored by Pourchet. 

“This exciting region continues to lead the recovery in the duty free and travel retail sector, accounting for the top three countries in terms of sales during 2016 and an impressive six out of the top ten. It’s looking to be another excellent exhibition and conference, with a record number of companies and exhibiting space,” said Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of TFWA. 

The TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference will run from 7th to 11th May 2017. More information, including full details on how to register, can be found at www.tfwa.com.

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