World marks 70th anniversary of duty‐free trade! - Solomon Star News

World marks 70th anniversary of duty‐free trade!

11 August 2017
Airports Fiji Limited executive chairman Faiz Khan gets in a jovial mood with Prouds Duty-Free Stores manager Ashwin Chand as other Prouds staff look on. [Photo supplied]

As the world marks the 70th anniversary of duty‐free this year, Fiji is not far behind with this milestone achievement – thanks to the Motibhai Group which has been the pioneer operator at the Nadi International Airport since 1971.

Riding on the back of 46‐years of unbroken service in the duty‐free and travel retail sector of Fiji, Motibhai Group are the pioneers of duty‐free trade in the country.

“We have an unbroken record of 46‐years as far as the duty‐free and travel retail is concerned and this segment of our business has literally evolved with the tourism sector and economic prosperity of our beloved country,” Motibhai Group chairman Kirit Patel says.

“We are an integral part of the world duty‐free scene. In the intervening years we have brought innovation and world class operations at Nadi Airport duty‐free store so much so that we have received four coveted International Frontier Marketing Awards as follows:

  • Best New Outlet – 1985
  • Best Marketing Award – 1986
  • Downtown Border Retailer of the Year – 1988
  • Airport Retailer of the Year – 1992

“These international awards are significant recognition of our duty‐free operations,” Mr Patel adds.

“Having won numerous awards and recognitions at an international stage, I believe we have an unbroken world record to be one of the oldest airport duty‐free operators.

“More importantly we have always presented our offerings to meet the exacting requirements of ever changing passenger mix. This has been the hallmark of our success, as passenger satisfaction is of paramount importance.”

Mr Patel said the presence and gradual development of Nadi International Airport since it was established in the 40’s has created opportunities for generations of travellers and business operators.

“I wish to commend the management of Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) for carrying on the good work and keeping up with the times via its modernization project to enable world‐class shopping and travelling experience for visitors to our shores,” Mr Patel said.

He said the company re‐branded its duty‐free operations at the airport as ‘Prouds’ in 1996 to align the company branding together with its town/city and resort stores which were already trading as Prouds since the sixties.

Airports Fiji Limited executive chairman Faiz Khan commended Motibhai Group on its long service to the duty‐free and travel retail industry.

“Nadi International Airport has transformed itself to meet the modern traveller’s needs. An important part of our airport experience is duty‐free shopping. Our passengers have the luxury of choosing from world renowned brands that is made available at our duty‐free outlets such as Prouds,” Mr Khan said.

“With the Nadi Airport upgrades now complete, our passengers enjoy a walk through duty‐free shopping experience. The expansion and refurbishments mean our passengers are processed with ease allowing them more time to spend shopping in our duty‐free outlets.”

In 1947, the visionary Irishman Dr Brendan O’Regan had the bold idea to open a shop in Shannon Airport, in the west of Ireland, to sell duty free goods to the US servicemen and other travellers passing through the airport.

Seventy years on, the industry Dr O’Regan helped to create is now worth some US$64 billion, and is a vital generator of revenues that help improve transport infrastructure, reinvigorate local economies and generate employment – not to mention bring the world’s best brands to millions of travellers across the world.

The global campaign to recognize this milestone event is being spearheaded by Tax Free World Association (TFWA).

Founded in 1984, TFWA is the world’s largest duty free and travel retail association with a membership of more than 500 companies supplying this global market.

- Motibhai Group