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TRAVEL STOCKS SOAR
The news last week that Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s COVID -19 vaccine was 90% effective in interim tests was a “shot in the arm” for airline, cruise and other travel-related companies, whose shares soared at the prospect of possible recovery. Yesterday’s news of a second vaccine trial from Moderna with even better results is pushing the upwards trend higher—even in light of the cancellation of any more Caribbean cruises this year from the SeaDream, a small upscale cruise ship where a group of passengers suffered a COVID-19 outbreak on the ship’s first voyage back in the region. See more details on page 1.
Even with the promise of one or more vaccines now within view, the travel industry must endure for months yet. Research from the World Travel & Tourism Council warns that as many as 9.2 million travel-related jobs in the U.S. alone could be in jeopardy unless governments take immediate steps to alleviate the stringent restrictions now in place. The WTTC has identified four priorities of steps that can be taken. Page 2.
E-commerce platform Grab continues to make inroads with its contactless order and pay technology solutions in North American airports – the company reached a milestone of five million transactions on Nov. 4. Grab’s latest deal is with HMSHost, with whom it has expanded into eight new airports. This is one air travel service we expect is here to stay. Page 2.
New York’s LaGuardia Airport continues to wow as its transformation progresses. This week, LaGuardia Gateway Partners unveiled a stunning Water Feature in Terminal B– the only one of its kind in the Americas and the only one of its kind found globally in an airport. It features 4,000 gallons of recirculated water through a system that creates a water curtain in which NYC-themed light shows enhance the ambiance and entertain passengers. Page 4.
IN THE BOARDROOM
LVMH’s acquisition of U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co. is on again, as the two companies recently jointly announced that the deal is going forward after a $400 million price adjustment. Page 1.
DFS launches its 2020 “Give Love” Holiday Campaign. The luxury retailer is asking customers to also donate a Gift of Kindness to a charity of their choice. Page 3
In a massive step for sustainability, Bacardi has created the world’s first 100% biodegradable spirits bottle and pledges to use the plant-based material across its entire supply chain. This move will eliminate the 3,000 tons of plastic currently produced by Bacardi across its portfolio every year, says the company. Page 3.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka has released its 2020 Ugly Sweater. Page 4.
Coty launches Escada’s first “winter fragrance.” Page 4.