Duty Free and Travel Retail industry calls for extended and targeted support to address long-lasting impact of COVID-19

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Impact of COVID-19 on the Duty Free and Travel Retail channel 

The Duty Free & Travel Retail (DF&TR) sector has been severely impacted by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The imposition of travel restrictions across EU Member States and beyond has led to significant drops in passenger numbers in aviation and maritime transport traffic, resulting in dramatically lower turnover for travel retailers and lost sales for suppliers operating in this channel. 

DF&TR is reliant on passenger transport capacity being resumed, and this will certainly not return to full capacity for some time. In addition, passengers will need to have the confidence that they can travel safely again. 

In short, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on DF&TR started earlier, will last much longer and be more pronounced than on any other retail channel, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

DF&TR needs to receive the same consideration for economic support as that given to other parts of the passenger transport industry to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

ETRC has been working with industry partners and members to call for targeted measures and financial support for the industry in order to initiate recovery, with staff and passenger health and safety as our priority. 

Looking beyond immediate support, as part of COVID recovery plans, ETRC has been developing strategies to ensure the vitality of the channel in the long term. ETRC is participating in the EU Aviation Roundtable, a stakeholder forum with the objective of developing a COVID Recovery Strategy that will support the recovery of the aviation industry. As part of this, ETRC has launched a campaign to secure Arrivals Duty Free shops in the EU, for third country travellers. 

At a time when the EU is looking for innovative ways to sustain a long-term recovery for the transport industry, an opportunity like Arrivals Duty Free provides a long-term sustainable means to drive growth and help build income for airports, governments, retail operators and brands. 


Destination Summer Campaign, Summer 2021

Four leading travel and tourism associations, Airlines For Europe (A4E), Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) have together launched Destination Summer, with the goal of working with European Union and national policymakers to adopt a harmonised approach for the lifting of travel restrictions – enabling the safe and smooth resumption of free movement for European citizens. 

To discover more and see how you can get involved, see here 























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