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Congratulations to TFWA in partnership with regional association APTRA for organizing last week’s excellent inaugural Industry Conference on China in Beijing. I was very privileged to be one of the more than 370 members of industry from all corners of the world who attended the information-packed event brimming with riveting insights and fascinating observations.
Whether by judicious planning or serendipitous good fortune, the fact that the ‘China’s Century’ travel retail conference took place just down the road and at the same time as one of China’s most important political events of the year, and perhaps the decade, added enhanced credibility to the program.
China’s 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), the annual meeting of China’s top legislative and advisory body, this year took on new meaning, as its deputies (3,000-strong) elected a new government, which takes place only every five years. In fact, the leaders in Beijing confirmed Xi Jinping as president this past Wednesday, completing China’s 10-yearly transition of power.
I would personally like to thank TFWA and the delegates present who serenaded me with a wonderful “Happy Birthday” song and speech during the Opening cocktail. The Opening Cocktail – sponsored by DFS Group and Patrόn Spirits — was held in the stunning Tai MiaoImperial Ancestral Temple near the Forbidden City. The Gala Dinner – hosted by King Power Group (Hong Kong) — on Wednesday night — was also lovely, staged in the Golden Hall of the Bejing Hotel with an artistic performance of ‘The Moving Forbidden City’ by Hu Xiaodan. An overview of the event is featured in this issue of TMI, and a full report will be carried in the Travel Markets Insider April / Orlando magazine.
In other news: The 2013 Bacardi Cruise Competition fetes the winning Bacardi Bartender and Chef of the Year, and TMI‘s Michael Pasternak was there. Page 1.
JTI’s popular Santiago Llairo, who has been Director of Corporate Affairs & Communications for JTI’s Worldwide Duty Free business, is moving to a new position in the UK. Gladys Rodriguez has been named to succeed Llairo. We wish both great success in their new positions. Page 1.
More PEOPLE News. Airport specialist Alan Gluck joins AIRMALL USA. Ferrero Travel Retail restructures.
Cruise Shipping Miami (formerly Seatrade) – the leading exhibition and conference for the international cruise industry — is drawing to a close, and the PPI Group, as multi-media partner for the mega-event, has been documenting all aspects of the week-long event that hosted more than 1,000 exhibitors. Page 4.
Supply Side: Patrón Spirits introduces its first Duty Free exclusive; Johnnie Walker unveils the 2nd blend from the Explorers’ Club Collection; Pernod Ricard releases Absolut Denim limited edition gift pack.