Over 320,000 jobs in Asia-Pacific travel-retail industry under threat

Governments across Asia Pacific are being urged to protect more than 320,000 duty-free and travel-retail industry jobs at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association claims that the jobs in the US$36 billion industry may be overlooked by politicians devising financial rescue measures to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic. It is asking governments to support the industry along with airlines, airports and maritime businesses.

In a special report, the association outlines the industry’s almost $15 billion contribution to GDP across Asia Pacific.

“Airport retail and commercial services, including food and beverage, constitute a crucial business sector providing up to 60 per cent vital commercial income for airport owners, outpacing aeronautical revenue streams,” read a statement issued by the association. 

“It is the most significant direct contributor to the investment in Asia-Pacific’s aviation infrastructure and ongoing development of world-class national gateways, the region’s hubs to the world.”


“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,” said association president Grant Fleming. 

“This means 320,000 jobs are at risk that could be safeguarded if governments extend financial support packages to the industry.”

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