ForwardKeys predicts healthy trading for travel retailers in Asia

Changi set to lead airport growth, TFWA conference told | Travel from Australia, China and India all shows an uplift

May 7, 2018

Travel retailers in the Asia Pacific region can look forward to healthy business opportunities in the months ahead according to the latest figures from ForwardKeys which predicts future travel patterns by analysing 17 million booking transactions a day.

ForwardKeys revealed its findings at the Duty Free and Travel Retail Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore (May 7), organised by the Tax Free World Association (TFWA).

For the important Chinese market, the fastest growing destinations over the next three months are currently Japan (flight bookings are 88.8% ahead of where they were at the equivalent time last year) and the United Arab Emirates (currently 48.6% ahead). Indonesia and Hong Kong are also favourites.

During the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival centred around June 18, Chinese international departures are ahead 21.3% compared to last year, with Japan and UAE again proving to be the destinations with the largest booking increases. For return-home flights (June 11 – 24), Hong Kong, Osaka, Phuket and both Tokyo airports all show growth.

The Chinese are also returning to South Korea, not in organised groups – restrictions are still in place – but as independent travellers. Bookings for them for the next three months are ahead by 90.1%. Travellers from Vietnam and the Philippines are also heading to South Korea in significantly greater numbers.

Amongst the major Asian airports, Changi is showing the most impressive growth in international travellers, currently ahead 16.8% on departures for the next three months.

Changi airport is experiencing a particularly strong growth in usage from Australians and Indians as both transit passengers and visitors to Singapore.

ForwardKeys’ analysis is able to identify which nationalities are in the airport at which times of day and this can be particularly useful to retailers. Jameson Wong, ForwardKeys’ Director, Business Development, APAC said: “If you are particularly keen to target Chinese buyers in Changi, they are in their highest concentrations during the peak morning period from 7.00 – 9.00 am and during the afternoon from 3.00 – 6.00 pm.

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