The first day of the event, which also hosted an exhibition, attracted about 180 delegates, and was intended to provide an insight into how the Shanghai Hongqiao airport is responding to demand for an improved travel-retail requirement from passengers.
The event was opened with a presentation from Shanghai Hong Kong Airport Management executive vice-general manager, Michael Yuan. He said that the 17,000sq m of commercial space at Hongqiao airport has to cater to the needs of about 33 million passengers a year. About 90 percent of the passengers are domestic travellers and 10 percent are international travellers.
Yuan said, ‘We have just 17,000sq m for commercial purposes so how can we maximise commercial opportunity and meet needs of passengers? We can’t devote the whole area to first-class brands as need to consider food and beverage. The rapid development of other airports in Shanghai, rivals from downtown retail and insufficient commercial space to satisfy our requirements are all challenges we must overcome. The existing retail portfolio, management systems and communication platform must all be adjusted. We have limited space so needed to plan carefully, but have made a great breakthrough among our piers in being the first to introduce Armani and Hermes stores in Chinese travel-retail.’
Hainan Duty Free Goods vice-chairman and general manager, Wang Yong Fan, said that the developing duty-free policy for travellers would do a lot of good for domestic businesses.