INTERNATIONAL. Asia Pacific travellers have a very high propensity to buy duty free and travel retail goods compared to those from other regions. So much so that they also pre-plan their purchases far more than anywhere else.

The results come from a new study from Switzerland-based travel retail research agency m1nd-set, which was based on interviews conducted with 75,000 passengers worldwide. The aim was to look at the major differences in shopper purchasing and planning behaviour across regions.

Based on the agency’s data, Asia Pacific travellers account for 34% of global passengers entitled to make duty free purchases, but they account for a 42% share of global duty free and travel retail sales.

Surprisingly, the only other region to over-index is Europe, where duty free entitled passengers make up 26% of the global total but 31% of global duty free and travel retail sales. Under-indexing are Middle East and Africa (15% vs 11%) and the Americas (26% versus 16%).

There is work to be done in the Americas and Middle East when it comes to duty free shopping.

The report also reveals that while 81% of international duty free shoppers generally plan their airport purchases to some extent, this rises to 85% for travellers in Asia Pacific. The least planned purchasers are Europeans (78%) and travellers from the Middle East and Africa (77%).

m1nd-set CEO Peter Mohn commented: “It is vital to understand the shopper mindset for each nationality and customer segment within each market and culture to increase the conversion rates in duty free shops.”

According to Mohn, the key to increasing conversion is personalising the customer experience “so each individual feels special, understood and catered for”. He said: “It’s vital to understand the difference between cultures and the purchasing drivers from one culture to the next.”

In the context of regional demand for international air travel, Europe is still dominant with a 46% market share (794 million passengers) followed by Asia Pacific at 27% (476 million).

International travellers from Asia Pacific plan their duty free purchasing more than the average passenger.