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Following the Biblical flooding along the Gulf Coast of Texas last week, parts of the Americas are facing a monster category 5 storm that could impact many travel retail markets in the months to come.
Hurricane Irma–packing winds as high as 185 miles per hour– has decimated some of the key tourist islands in the Caribbean and is now barreling directly towards South Florida, a logistics center for the industry and home for some of the most important companies throughout the Americas.
While damage and casualties are being assessed in those areas already hit by the storm, the Bahamas, Cuba, and the U.S. are bracing for the worse. TMI brings you an assessment of damage known to date, as we ourselves prepare to batten down.
BY THE NUMBERS.
International tourism is soaring. UNWTO reports the strongest half-year results since 2010, with international arrivals reaching 598 million from January to June. Page 3.
One of the only markets to show weakness, international arrivals to the U.S. are declining even more than originally reported. The U.S. Travel Association, which produces the monthly Travel Trends Index, has revised its assessment of international visitation to the U.S. downward. See details on page 4.
Robust arrivals to Canada, on the other hand, are also reflected in strong duty free sales. Airport sales soared 27% in June, and land border sales grew nicely by nearly 7%. Page 3.
n more news from Canada, the Frontier Duty Free Association today announced the departure of Executive Director Laurie Karson, who has been with the Association since 2005. TMI speaks with FDFA President Abe Taqtaq about future strategy.
Argentina‘s aviation industry is on the verge of major growth after 10 airlines launched a bid to operate more than 500 new routes during a public hearing in Buenos Aires on Wednesday. John Gallagher reports.
NOTE: We may be quiet next week following Hurricane Irma, but will be doing our best to carry on. Thank you to all of our colleagues and readers who have offered us bed, board and office space if only we could get there! And to all our many Caribbean and Florida-based readers, stay safe, stay dry and please let us know how you are doing once the danger passes.