SINGAPORE, 24 April 2020: Over 320,000 jobs in the retail duty-free business across the Asia Pacific region are at risk of being overlooked as governments implement 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’ report published late last year claims the industry is worth USD36 billion, provides 320,000 jobs and contributes almost USD15 billion to GDP across the Asia Pacific.
APTRA says staff in other sectors linked to travel and hospitality, including freelance tour guides are receiving financial assistance, but workers in retail segments such as duty-free have not been included in support packages.
APTRA president, Grant Fleming comments said: “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…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.”