September 29 2021  |  Industry News

Duty Free magazine rebrands: new name, new focus, new logo

By Wendy Morley

When our magazines began over 30 years ago, Europe was the only focus in travel retail. Our publisher Aijaz Khan noticed the need to expand beyond these limited horizons, and therefore created magazines focused on each of the regions that he thought would become important in the channel: Asia, Gulf-Africa and the Americas. His foresight was impeccable, as these regions grew in importance to the point that Asia in particular far surpassed Europe. In recent years, however, travel retail is becoming increasingly more global; now so are we.

The past year and a half has brought a great deal of reflection, and with it change. That is as true of us at this magazine as it is of others in the industry and the world at large. As a result of that reflection we are now undergoing a transformation. We are so proud to announce our new magazine branding, our new logo and our new focuses, and we are incredibly excited to share these with you.

In the past, our magazines were created for specific regions and we released issues specific to trade events such as TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, Summit of the Americas, TFWA Asia Pacific, FDFA and MEADFA. While we will certainly continue to report on regional news and create issues with a focus on events such as these, as with the industry at large in recent years, we are going fully global. As one travel retail leader recently stated to me, while in the past we approached the traveler and channel on a local or regional level, travel has become increasingly global and that is how we must now approach the channel.

Along with our new logo, new focus, new name and rebranding will be our new website. Soon you will be able to find all our news, interviews, articles and issues at

And so we have now become Global Travel Retail magazine.

Beginning in January, 2022, our issues will be released monthly. These monthly issues will give you cutting-edge features including interviews and roundtable discussions, where the industry’s leading minds discuss topics that are hugely relevant to all within the industry. We will offer special reports on topics such as sustainability, with news and insight into the infrastructure and behind-the-scenes decision making that affect travel the world over.

Targeted B2B in China

You could not discuss global travel retail in 2020 without talking about China, as so many factors came together to bring incredible success to the duty free landscape in that country. From the decision to make Hainan a duty free haven, to the partnerships between China’s duty free companies and western companies, to a pandemic that did not allow the 1.4 billion Chinese to travel outside of their own borders, the result has been sales that sometimes topped even 2019 numbers. While Chinese people will soon begin traveling outside the country again, this will not decrease the domestic market, but rather will increase the importance of this demographic as a global whole.

We are so proud to be able to offer to you highly targeted access in Mandarin to both traveling Chinese consumers and the Chinese travel retail decision makers.

In our new, exclusive Chinese B2B channel, our translated magazines, articles, ads, videos, online posts and targeted advertorials will reach the exact key Chinese decision makers you want to reach.

We also have editors on the ground in China, reporting on news, launches, openings and events happening within the country.

Direct to consumer

Normally, B2C can be challenging – how do you reach the exact people you want to reach and not throw money away sending your message to those who aren’t interested or who don’t have the financial ability to purchase your item?

Our partnership with China i2i Group allows for the most efficient and effective choice for reaching your target consumer. We have direct access to i2i’s 7.2 million followers (and growing!) on all popular social media outlets in China. Every one of these individuals has received a visa to travel to other countries. In non-pandemic times they travel outside of China on average four to five times per year, and on average 50% of all their travel-related expenditure is spent on shopping.

This group includes high-net-worth individuals and business travelers, and when they are not spending outside of China, they are traveling and spending in China, with 93% of these followers traveling domestically in the past year.

Recovery on the horizon

We have all been through an exceptionally challenging time. “Unprecedented” is the word most commonly used, and with good reason. While there is no magic fix coming and recovery will take much time and effort, signs that the recovery has begun in earnest are clear. Vaccines are being distributed, and they are working. Borders are opening to those who are vaccinated. Air routes are returning and planes are beginning to fill with passengers. The airline industry is hiring people and buying planes.

While full recovery is forecast to take two to three more years, the pent-up travel demand is real and palpable. Online searches for travel information have reached record levels, and as soon as people are able to do so — and feel safe to do so — they are snapping up tickets.

This, along with the return of such events as TFWA WE and the planning for live events next year, has led to a feeling of industry-wide optimism and excitement. We all here at Global Travel Retail magazine are truly looking forward to working with you in the coming year and beyond.

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