Breaking News: Around 10 p.m. tonight EST (Jan. 9) NOAA reported that a huge 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck off of Honduras, approximately 152 miles north of Puerto Lempira. This is the largest earthquake in decades to strike in the Caribbean on the Cayman trench. At this time there are no reports of damage, since the quake hit far out to sea. However, a tsunami watch was issued for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands-both still recovering from the effects of a devastating hurricane season — as well as the surrounding islands, but has since been canceled. We will monitor the situation.
This week’s issue of Travel Markets Insider focuses strongly on news from Latin America, beginning with TMI’s special feature on new company Beauty Brands Sur America which is making a big impact in Colombia’s soaring perfume and cosmetics market. TMI had the opportunity to meet with South American beauty expert Barbara Kern, GM of the new company, to hear how BBSA intends to serve this market with top notch service, professionalism and innovation. Story on page 3.
In other Latin-based news developments, Argentina approves new duty free allowances. Page 1
Fraport Brasil begins operations at Fortaleza and Porto Alegre airports. Page 2.
Former military airport El Palomar will be converted into Buenos Aires’ third airport, especially serving the growing number of low-cost airlines in the country. John Gallagher reports. Page 2.
The Chilean port of Valparaíso is proposing a new cruise pier that will be able to accommodate two 300-meter ships simultaneously. Page 4
In a round-up of South American economic developments, recent numbers from Venezuela indicate how seriously the economy in Venezuela is falling; while Argentina appears to be rising out of the stagnation and decline of the past years to show continuing recovery. Page 6.
Today’s lead story looks at the 10 busiest air routes in North America and even here the Latin country dominates, with the first and third place rankings going to intra-Mexican routes. See page 1.
For a more international scope, Dubai Duty Free reports that its sales soared to a record breaking US$1.93 billion in 2017. Perfumes alone generated $300 million. Read more on page 1.
SUPPLY SIDE: SPIRITS
Grey Goose shares a touch of winter magic at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Page 1.
Johnnie Walker celebrates Chinese New Year with a very special Year of the Dog limited edition Blue Label. Page 4.
Heineken introduced two key new elements in Cannes this past year: a pioneering new counter-top draught system, Blade; and the global duty free launch of non-alcoholic Heineken 0.0%. Read details on page 4.