Dufry extends airport concession, expects international travel

Global travel retailer Dufry has extended its duty-free concession at Cambodia’s three international airports as the country prepares to welcome foreign tourists again. The company committed to another five-and-a-half years at Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville international airports. It will also refurbish the shops at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports. The shops will stock core duty-free products along with Cambodian souvenirs.

Announcing the contract extension, Pedro Castro, Dufry’s chief operating officer for Asia-Pacific, said, “Through the refurbishment of our main shops we will provide travellers with a new and attractive shopping experience, thus further increasing productivity of these important Cambodian hubs, which enjoy an increasing attention of international passengers.”

Cambodia’s three international air hubs welcomed 11.6 million international travellers in 2019. While passenger traffic was down more than 92 percent in the first seven months of this year, compared with January to July 2020, the potential for a bounce back in sales has encouraged retailers to continue with their airport concessions.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the Tourism Ministry to allow foreign visitors back into the country as soon as it is safe to do so, with the quarantine period cut from 14 to seven days. Thanks to a rapid immunisation campaign it is thought the Kingdom could reopen as early as next month. Cambodia is among the 20 most-vaccinated countries in the world per head of population and is close to achieving herd immunity.

Alain Brun, chief executive officer of Cambodia Airports, called Dufry’s decision a vote of confidence.

“The partners share an optimistic outlook for global air travel and the many opportunities that the return of passengers will confer to airports and retailers with creative minds,” he said. “To provide a seamless experience at our airports in Cambodia and to cope with the latest trends in travel retail, our teams will prioritise key objectives including accelerating the moves towards e-commerce, synergies between online-offline sales channels and putting emphasis on health and wellness offerings.”

In a further hint that reopening is soon to be announced Siem Reap dropped its red and yellow zone lockdown restrictions on Thursday, reportedly at the instruction of the prime minister, and just ahead of the  Pchum Ben three-day holiday.

Source: Khmer Times