Lightning Hainan growth prompts shift of TFWA Asia Pacific to offshore haven

By Luke Barras-hill |

TFWA President Alain Maingreaud.

The Tax Free World Association (TFWA) has announced that the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference 2021 will be held in Sanya, Hainan Island, China in May 2021.

The decision was made today at a TFWA Management Committee meeting.

In a statement, TFWA said: “In light of the current situation in Asia and the rapid development of the offshore duty free sector despite the ongoing crisis, the TFWA Management Committee decided at its meeting this morning that the 2021 TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference will be held in Sanya, Hainan.”

As reported, the hugely popular meeting was expected to return in May next year and while Singapore was thought to be the venue, it had not been confirmed.


The TFWA AP event will combine physical and digital elements themed across three areas: Discovery, a chance to explore new products and the latest trends online or physically; Networking, offering the chance to reconnect with business partners live and via e-meetings and events; and Learning via a conference and workshops programme.

More details are to be revealed soon, added the association.

Alain Maingreaud, President of TFWA and the subject of an exclusive interview recently said: “Hainan, as a dynamic and fast evolving part of China and a centre of recovery in our business, is the perfect location for this, the first chance for us to come together once again as an industry. I’m sure that you will welcome this opportunity as much as I do, as we begin what we hope will be a fresh start for duty free and travel retail.”

Sales from offshore duty free shops in Hainan reached more than RMB12.01 billion/$1.81 billion in the period from 1 July to 31 October.

In March, TFWA made the difficult – but correct – decision to cancel the Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference in Singapore (10-14 May) due to escalating health and safety concerns linked to the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). This was followed by the cancellation of this year’s World Exhibition & Conference.

The association will host its ‘China Reborn’ virtual event next week (1-3 December).


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