March 2020

TFWA Asia Pacific canceled. The Asia Pacific leg of the annual duty-free trade show TFWA is canceled. Each year in May, exhibitors, and visitors from all over the world come to Singapore for the show. Including many cigar companies, who use the tradeshow to talk to the local cigar distributors. Regular exhibitors are companies such as Drew Estate, Balmoral, Scandinavian Tobacco Group. But other companies don’t have a booth at the show, yet hold meetings in Singapore during the show. Last year, we interviewed Bobby Newman from J.C. Newman Cigar Company. And we ran into people from Plasencia Cigars, Bossner, Oliva Cigars and more. 

It is not the first event that’s being canceled. The Asian pre-qualifiers for the Cigar Smoking World Championships were canceled before, although Kuala Lumpur is back on the roster. Other, not tobacco-related events such as the Singapore Boat Show and the Asian Green Day tour were postponed as well.

A statement of TFWA

At its meeting earlier today, the TFWA Board and Management Committee decided to cancel the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference due to be held in Singapore on May 10-14. The decision was taken as a result of widespread concern, expressed by many exhibitors and delegates, concerning the significant negative impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the global duty-free & travel retail industry. The Management Committee took into account the need to ensure as far as possible the health and safety of TFWA’s customers, staff and all who attend the event; it also noted that certain key nationalities are currently subject to immigration restrictions in Singapore, with further travel restrictions possible.

TFWA President Alain Maingreaud said: “This is not a decision that we wanted to take, nor is it one the Board and Management Committee has taken lightly. However, we feel that canceling the event is the best and most responsible course of action, given the health crisis that has spread throughout the world, and the huge impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on our market.

“We trust that our customers and business partners, especially in Asia Pacific, will understand our decision and accept that it has been taken with the best interests of the industry, and those who serve it, in mind. We remain fully committed to our mission to provide the duty-free & travel retail industry with a platform to prosper, and we will return to Asia Pacific in 2021 with renewed vigor and confidence in our industry’s resilience and capacity for re-invention.”

TFWA website

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