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A slew of international developments around the globe could impact the travel retail business in the Americas and worldwide.
Globally, the outbreak of the new respiratory virus that originated in Wuham, China has already caused the lockdown of that city of 11 million, and pushed airports around the world to screen passengers arriving from China, including five major airports in the U.S. The timing could not have been worse, with the Lunar New Year celebration beginning on Saturday.
Obviously, a slowdown in travel will impact duty free sales. Beverage industry data company IWSR today issued a comment on what that impact might be on the travel retail spirits sector. See page 4.
On a more positive note, the United States and China signed a “Phase 1” trade deal in Washington, D.C. last week, which will roll back some – but not all – of the U.S. tariffs on Chines products. More details on page 4.
In another major milestone, the U.S. Senate passed the new version of the US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement on Jan. 16. The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation on Dec. 19 after fighting for changes to ensure better enforcement of labor rights and tighter environmental rules. Now President Trump must sign it into law.
The agreement – which also affects travel and was passed after an often contentious fight in Congress – was strongly hailed by a number of trade groups. See comments on page 3.
Regionally, Top Brands International’s Luryx Duty Free won the new duty free concession at Asuncion’s Silvio Pettirossi International Airport. Top Brands president Danny Yohoris also reveals who has joined the company to head up the Neutral business that Top Brands’ acquired in July. Page 2.
Insolvency proceedings have begun at Melancia Shopping Mall as creditors look to recover outstanding debts, according to reports in local media. A court appointed liquidator is now managing the retail complex to assess the long-term viability of the US$60 million retail complex situated on the outskirts of the Uruguay border town of Rivera. See more details on page 2.
BY THE NUMBERS
UNWTO reports on international arrivals – strong but slower than the past two years. Page 1.
ForwardKeys analyzes the latest tourism numbers in the Caribbean, as revealed by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. Page 2.
Starboard Cruise Services partners with Sephora to expand onboard beauty offerings. Page 3.
SeatradeCruiseGlobal has announced its lineup of keynote speakers for its annual State of the Global Cruise Industry session, which kicks off the annual gathering in Miami on April 20-23. Page 3.
The Estée Lauder Companies has announced two key management changes in Travel Retail within its namesake Estée Lauder brand. Page 1.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
New Watch Distributors Directory invites the travel retail sector to share its data base to facilitate networking for the industry, and names well-known travel retail expert Mark Lewis-Jones as head of business development for the Caribbean & Latin America. See page 5.
Loch Lomond Group joins the Travel Retail Consortium. Page 4.
Tom Ford Beauty launches its newest fragrance for men. Page 5.
Paradies Lagardère announces that its customers donated more than two million items of need in 2019 to U.S. military service men and women around the globe through the Treat Our Troops program. See full story on page 6.