Past Events

Jewel Tour, Singapore

On Sunday, 12 May 2019, WiTR members who attended TFWA in Singapore were treated to a tour of the spectacular new tourist destination – Jewel Changi. Read one member’s account of the experience.

WiTR celebrates International Women’s Day in Singapore

On the 12th of March 2019, WiTR organised an intimate networking and insight-sharing event at Changi Airport to celebrate International Women’s Day.

In line with International Women’s Day 2019 theme of ‘Balance for Better’, this year’s event focused on the balance between inner and outer beauty, illustrated in sharing sessions by co-sponsors beauty company Shiseido and traditional Chinese medicine specialist Eu Yan Sang, along with WiTR Steering Committee Member Chandra Mahtani (Changi Airport Group).

Hosted in Singapore at Changi Airport Recreation Club’s Altitude Lounge, the event attracted nearly 50 female executives from the travel retail industry, as well as local brands and operators.

Chandra kicked off the evening’s programme with a welcome address that detailed WiTR’s efforts to bring together female peers from different segments of travel retail – not just in terms of networking, but also in making a meaningful difference to people in need. Chandra shared the outcome of WiTR’s fundraising efforts last year for the charity organisation Hand in Hand for Haiti, as well as WiTR’s current fundraising plans for Friends International. The funds will be used for beauty salon training for young women to enable them to provide for their children and siblings.

The event continued with an insightful sharing session on Japanese beauty by Ms. Kristina Strunz, Global Brand Director Skincare Shiseido & Cle de Peau.

Mr. Ng Pu Jue, a Traditional Chinese Medicine Specialist Trainer, concluded the session with an informative discussion on health and wellness.

Guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner buffet and donated generously to WiTR’s appointed charity, Friends International. An exciting lucky draw with prizes sponsored by Shiseido, Eu Yan Sang, Shilla, DFS, FNA, Pashma, WH Smith and Sprint-Cass marked the end of a wonderful evening for women in travel retail. All guests went home with door gifts generously sponsored by Shiseido, Eu Yan Sang and WH Smith.

Ms. Elisabeth Jouguelet, Vice President of Marketing and Innovation, Shiseido Travel Retail, commented: “As a beauty company, women are the core of who we are. We are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day with WiTR and Changi Airport Group and we believe that bringing women in the travel retail industry together is empowering and provides networking opportunities that will foster creativity, collaboration and partnership.”

Ms. Serene Seow, Managing Director, Eu Yan Sang Singapore, was delighted with the event’s turnout and said, “Eu Yan Sang is privileged and honoured to celebrate International Women’s Day with WiTR and Changi Airport Group. Caring for generations of women since 1879, we believe in building women’s confidence through health and wellness – a healthier mind, body and skin. By connecting through health and wellness, we hope to provide women in the travel retail industry with a better networking platform that will foster more collaboration and partnership.”

TFWA Asia Pacific Networking Event

When: Monday, 13 May 2019 from 17:00-19:00 (during TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition)
Where: Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in the AP Bar
Who: All women in the duty free and tax-free industry are warmly invited
What: Join us for a drink or two during this networking session (no charity funds are raised at this event), where there will also be the opportunity to hear about WiTR’s 2019 charity initiative, Friends International, from Colleen Morgan, who supports this charity which was voted for by the WiTR members.

We look forward to seeing you there!

City of London Distillery Visit

Date: Thursday 28 February
Time: N/A
Location: City of London Distillery

Cheers from the City of London

Two dozen women from brands, retailers and media in the British travel retail scene gathered on Thursday 28th February at the City of London Distillery, the only gin distillery in the city’s ancient Square Mile, for a fun and informative evening.

The Women in Travel Retail event, which was sponsored by the distillery’s joint venture partner Halewood Wines & Spirits, was an opportunity to learn about the art of gin distilling and to catch up with industry colleagues while sipping a sparkling City of London Gin and tonic.

During the ‘Gin Craze’ of the 18th century, there was a gin distillery or gin shop in every street, all profiting from the exotic spices and citrus fruits arriving at the port of London. After the craze was stamped out, the distilleries closed down and for nearly 200 years there wasn’t a single gin distillery in the city – until the City of London Distillery opened in 2012.

“We were delighted to welcome the WiTR members to our unique distillery,” commented Simon Roffe, Managing Director Global Travel Retail at Halewood.

“The growth of the premium craft gin business is very exciting and our City of London Gin brand is a classic example of demonstrating ‘sense of place’ in the travel retail setting. It is fitting that the first travel retail listing for the brand was at London City Airport with Aelia, and I am pleased to say that it is now appearing in select locations across Europe and on several cruiseships and airlines.”

Roffe added: “We are optimistic that the hands-on experience that our visitors enjoy at the City of London Distillery will soon be replicated within the travel retail channel with masterclasses, ginlabs and so on.”

A raffle for two bottles of City of London Gin was held during the evening which raised £125 – the first contribution to Friends International, WiTR’s charity of the year for 2019.

TFWA World Exhibition and Conference Networking Event

Diary note:  WiTR’s biggest annual networking and fundraising meeting will take place during TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in Cannes on Tuesday October 2nd 2018 at 17:45.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Singapore Networking during TFWA AP

Date: Monday 7 May
Time: After the TFWA AP Conference
Location: AP Bar

Thank you to our WiTR members who joined us for the networking session in the AP bar after the TFWA AP conference.  It was great to see so many of you there and we look forward to seeing you in Cannes later this year.



Orlando networking cocktail – during the Summit of the Americas

Date: Sunday 18 March 2018
Time: 17:00-19:00
Location: Marriott Spa Pool area (West Terrace)

Cocktails kindly sponsored by Edrington Americas Travel Retail, WiTR is holding the next networking event during the Summit of the Americas event in Orlando.

This is just prior to the official Opening Cocktail, which begins at 7:00 p.m.

All women in the industry are invited to attend.
Please be sure to help support our Silent Auction and raffle draw.
All donations gratefully accepted.

Please RSVP to Lois Pasternak at

For those who have not already, member an official WiTR member via our website. Got o, and follow the easy instructions to become a member.

MEADFA networking event – Dubai

Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) held its customary networking event during the Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) conference in Dubai on Monday 29 January 2018, kindly sponsored by JTI.

Date: Monday 29 January 2018
Time: 17:00-18:00
Location: Nomad bar – located at the Ground Floor, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel

Kindly sponsored by JTI, WiTR is holding a networking event during the MEADFA conference in Dubai.

WiTR 2018 charity desktop calendars will be on sale during the event, priced at £15 (US$20 or AED 75). Please bring your wallets to support this initiative.

TFWA World Exhibition 2017

Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) held its annual meeting at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference on Tuesday 3rd October 2017, as a networking event and to raise money for the 2017 charitable project of Sunrise, a charity operating in Cambodia, to build and further equip classrooms at Sunrise’s Siem Reap Learning Centre. Sunrise Learning Centre opens the door to the poorest sectors of the community by providing them with the opportunity of gaining the valuable skill of learning a foreign language. These skills empower disadvantaged and vulnerable people to find good jobs in this burgeoning tourist city.  “The money that is raised through this event will help children in residential care in Sunrise in Cambodia,” said Geraldine Cox, the founder of Sunrise. “These are children from babies through to 18-year-olds. When they reach 18, one of three things happens to them – they either get a university degree which we pay for their study if they pass grade 12. If they don’t pass grade 12 we give them vocational training or get them a job. Nobody leaves us without a salary or somewhere safe.”

We are pleased to announce WiTR supporters raised a grand total of €19,000 from the raffle, auction and donations. A huge thank you to all that participated in the event!

TFWA Asia Pacific 2017

The Women in Travel Retail (WiTR) meeting at the TFWA Asia Pacific show featured a special address by Geraldine Cox, founder of Sunrise Cambodia, whose work with vulnerable children we have been supporting.

Cox founded Sunrise Cambodia in 1993. Since then she has poured her heart and soul into providing safety, education and a loving home to hundreds of children across Cambodia who have been rescued from physical and sexual abuse, begging rings, trafficking and illegal adoption rackets.

“Sunrise is a haven for them,” says Cox, “There’s a wonderful feeling of family, even those who grow up and leave still keep in touch.” Since Sunrise Cambodia’s centres also provide education to children in the community, its total reach is in the thousands. It is urgently in need of funds to continue the work.

Photo credits: TFWA Dailies

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