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“We are Walking.” Those are the words of ASUTIL Secretary General José Luis Donagaray speaking at the latest webinar hosted by South American Duty Free Association ASUTIL earlier this month. Although regional experts like Airports Council International – Latin America Caribbean (ACI-LAC) Director General Rafael Echevarne continued to paint a dire picture of the travel industry in Latin America and the impact of COVID-19, Donagaray stressed the “slow but steady” progress being made throughout the region and how aviation was meeting the changing regulations and protocols. See what his words refer to in story beginning on page 1.
Diego Arrosa, CEO of Corporacion America Uruguay, which oversees Uruguay’s Carrasco International Airport, discussed the multi-level recovery plan behind the reopening of the airport in Uruguay. Story on page 2.
In more news from South America, TMI’s John Gallagher speaks with duty free store operators along the Uruguay border. Although traffic is slow, some stores are open and seeing hints of recovery. Page 1.
THE GLOBAL VIEW
Gebr. Heinemann reports solid 2019 results but warns that the dramatic slump in travel will produce severe losses in 2020. Page 3.
THE VIRTUAL FUTURE
With the cancellation of the TFWA World Exhibition in October, two of the industries’ leading global publications – The Moodie Davitt Report and TR Business — are mounting virtual events designed to give the industry an opportunity to “gather” in a safe and productive manner during the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The Duty Free World Council (DFWC) and its member associations have announced that they will be present at the two virtual events: the TRMarketplace online event that takes place from September 28 to October 2, and the Moodie Davitt Travel Retail Virtual Expo 2020 on Oct. 12-16.
In addition to the Council sharing details of its work, each Council member: APTRA, ASUTIL, ETRC, FDFA, IAADFS, MEADFA and TFWA, will also present the initiatives they are working on both under the DFWC umbrella and individually, with a live link to all of their recent regional reports. More details on page 1.
The TRMarketplace, a joint venture between TRBusiness and Bluedog Productions, opened its platform on Friday to enable DF&TR stakeholders to book meetings in advance of the official event.
With four weeks remaining before the forum begins, Travel Markets Insider spoke with TRBusiness’ founders Nigel Hardy, International Sales & Marketing Director, and Janice Hook, Director, about the upcoming event.
We will present a full preview of The MoodieDavitt TR Virtual Expo in the next issue of TMI.
With e-commerce providing a lifeline for so many of the companies suffering from the lack of travel, TMI presents an introduction to what might be a viable new outlet for sales for duty free operators and suppliers. Duty Free Zone (www.dutyfreezone.com), a digital listing of more than 3000+ Duty Free Stores from around the world, is going live with its new Marketplace concept as of Sept. 1, 2020.
In its latest iteration, DutyFreeZone.com has developed a multi-vendor marketplace platform that will enable customers to purchase duty free products as duty paid, for delivery in their own country, explains company founder Reynald Grattagliano. See full story on page 5.
Despite a very successful restart to its cruise offering in the Western Mediterranean with the MSC Grandiosa on August 16, MSC Cruises announced last week that it was “regretfully” postponing the restart of MSC Magnifica by four weeks until September 26. The delay is connected to new testing measures for residents of Italy who have traveled to Greece, which the company says led to cancellations and a softening in demand. The ship’s itinerary includes three Greek ports. More detail on page 5.
MONARQ Group has announced a partnership with non-alcoholic spirits brand Fluère Drinks to exclusively distribute its portfolio in Latin American and Caribbean domestic and duty free plus USA Duty Free beginning this month. Page 5.