The COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate the news in our industry – although last week’s horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol Building has led to its own travel developments from several airlines.
With new cases and deaths surging to ever higher records, the pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of the Duty Free World Council’s Academy (page 1) and induced the government of Canada to announce stringent new testing protocols for travelers on top of its exiting two-week quarantine measure, a regime that the International Air Transport Association terms “draconian.” Page 3
In addition, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association has now added its plea that Canada reconsider, as the new regulations have resulted in a rash of cancellations by Canadians to the Caribbean, which the CHTA says is stressing Caribbean public health systems and causing further damage to the region’s economy. Page 3.
On the other hand, we are beginning to see more indications of recovery ahead. In TMI’s lead story in this issue, CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association – which represents 90% of the ocean-going cruise lines – has released the 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, which it says shows resiliency and optimism as the industry heads into the new year. Page 1
In more positive developments, Miami International Airport reports a new post-pandemic daily traveler record during the winter holiday period; Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport have opened on-location COVID-19 testing sites; and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has awarded a $56 million contract for construction of five new gates. Page 4
Miami-Dade Commissioners also extended rent relief for MIA’s tenants – including duty free—through April 21, along with waiving berth and harbor fees for its cruise line partners at PortMiami through January. Page 4
Carnival Corp, meanwhile, has extended the sailing pause for its Princess, Holland America and P&O Cruises Australia brands. Page 5
PEOPLE & COMPANY NEWS
In Memoriam: Gordon “Butch” StewartOne of the Caribbean’s most legendary and iconic hoteliers – Sandals founder Gordon “Butch” Stewart – has died and condolences and recognition are pouring in from the industry throughout the region. Page 5
LVMH has completed the acquisition of Tiffany & Co. and announced a number of new leaderships appointments to oversee the brand. Page 2
Congratulations to Jose Castellvi, who has joined WEBB Banks in the newly created role of Vice President, Travel Retail and Spirits, reporting to company founder and CEO Andy Consuegra. See full story on page 2
China continues to offer new opportunities to travel retail, and this past week Dufry signed an agreement with Hainan Development Holdings to develop duty free opportunities in Hainan, China. Page 6
Giving BackDuty Free Dynamics, Oris watches and famed Chef Andres Morataya partner to support local production in Panama over the holidays. Read more on page 6