Investing in digital touchpoints and enhancing brand loyalty were key topics covered by travel retailers speaking at the conference – as well as a focus on catering for Gen Z and younger Chinese travellers.
Dufry’s president and CEO Asia-Pacific, Freda Cheung, said that the global travel retailer’s strategic partnership with Alibaba in Asia will leverage growth through technology and reach. ‘Alibaba’s strength is technology and innovation, while Dufry’s strength is our network with more than 1,200 locations and over 5,000 outlets.’
She said the two operators are working together to increase engagement and touchpoints. ‘AI on the back end is critical to tailor the customer journey – we need to do more to customise and personalise the duty-free offer.’
‘We want to turn travel time into valuable time by creating attractive exciting retail environments for travellers and balanced by more digital environments,’ said Marvin von Plato, CEO of Heinemann Asia-Pacific.
‘As with every opportunity in APAC, we prioritise and then decide to grow per location. Our new stores at Sydney Airport have all been renovated, tailored to a new mix of international travellers with Chinese a major component, for example. Plus, in domestic [travel] there are 27m annual passengers we see as 27m potential touchpoints, and we are looking to expand our brand experiences here.’