DFTR - A unique market

A European approach to legislating for the duty free and travel retail (DFTR) sector that takes into account the unique nature of the retail channel.

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Differentiating the travel retail market from the high-street

ETRC believes that recognising the uniqueness and importance of the duty free and travel retail market is the first step to unlocking the true potential of the duty free industry.

Duty free and travel retail has long been acknowledged as a market which is unique and distinct from the domestic retail market. Access to travel retail is restricted to those who are travelling and in possession of a boarding pass.

Airport duty free and travel retail shops are therefore not in direct competition with the domestic market; rather they compete with each other across international borders.

A limited and often exclusive product range is on offer, from luxury goods to perfume. Notably, the brands on offer at duty free and travel retail are predominantly brands with a European heritage.

Sales from airport duty free and travel retail stores generate an important stream of funding for airports. This funding is in turn re-invested in airport infrastructure and operations for the benefit of all passengers.

For European SMEs, this specific market provides a unique opportunity to profile themselves to an international customer base and expand rapidly into new markets.  It has enabled producers such as Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur to develop from small products into the global brands they are today.

In French law, Espace Voyageur is the travel retail space found in specific geographical areas at airports. These areas are beyond security or immigration controls where both duty/tax free and duty/tax paid sales of consumer goods are made to travellers. Espace Voyageur also extends to sales made on board aircraft and on board ferries and cruise ships.

ETRC is promoting greater awareness of the uniqueness of our industry and the need to enshrine the concept of Espace Voyageur at a European level. ETRC also seeks to ensure that future legislation does not hinder or damage the industry but promotes growth and innovation ultimately for the benefit for all travellers within the EU.