The devastating flood that hit the city of Cannes this past weekend—with widespread damage and 19 deaths in the Côte d’Azur region– put a damper on preparations for the 2015 TFWA World Exhibition & Conference taking place Oct. 18-23 in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.
The TFWA Board, Management Committee and permanent staff issued immediate condolences to the victims and families affected by this tragedy and offered their appreciation to Cannes Mayor David Lisnard, his teams, and the industry partners in Cannes who worked round the clock to ensure that our event – and others under way –took place without disruption.
The travel retail business may also be cloudier than it has been. TFWA reports that annual growth in global duty free and travel retail has slowed from +18% in 2011 to just +4.3% last year as cooling Asian economies combined with reduced passenger flows among higher-spending nationalities such as Russians.
“We aim to offer to our visitors an exciting portfolio of brands across the various product categories, introducing alongside all the major players a selection of companies which are relatively new to the sector. We are confident that this year’s exhibition will be a true reflection of the dynamism of our industry,” said Alessandra Visconti, TFWA Vice-President Corporate.
Keynote speakers headlining the opening plenary of the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference on Monday, Oct. 19, are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who led his City through the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and Peter Long, Joint CEO of TUI Group, the world’s largest leisure, travel and tourism company that operates several airlines, hundreds of hotels, travel agencies, retail stores plus a dozen cruise ships.