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BREAKING NEWS In a huge dose of good news for the travel retail industry, the U.S. has agreed to suspend tariffs on UK goods including single malt whiskies, it was announced this morning. The tariffs were imposed in retaliation over subsidies to the aircraft maker Airbus. The duties will be suspended for four months while the two sides seek a long-term settlement, reported the BBC. Tariffs will also be lifted on UK cheese, cashmere and machinery. Commenting on the four-month suspension of U.S. tariffs on Scotch Whisky and other products relating to the ongoing Airbus-Boeing trade dispute, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Karen Betts said: “This is fabulous news, and our industry is delighted. The tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky exports to the U.S. has been doing real damage to Scotch Whisky in the sixteen months it has been in place, with exports to the US falling by 35%, costing companies over half a billion pounds. While todays’ action has no immediate impact on exports of Kentucky Bourbon and other American whiskies, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is encouraged that the United States and the United Kingdom have agreed to briefly suspend some tariffs involved in the long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute.
“This is a good first step and a hopeful signal that the administration is committed to resolving trade wars that have inflicted so much collateral damage on global markets, including Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry and our broader American Whiskey family,” KDA President Eric Gregory said.
The KDA announced last week that tariffs imposed on U.S. spirits slashed Kentucky Bourbon exports by 35% in 2020, with shipments to the European Union plummeting by nearly 50%. Sales to the U.K., formerly Kentucky’s largest market in the EU, also have been decimated by 50%. TMI will continue to cover this developing story.
Congratulations to Porthole Cruise Magazine, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. A premiere resource for cruisers and travelers, Porthole Cruise — which debuted in March 1996–celebrates its silver anniversary this year with a look back through the past quarter-century in cruising. The anniversary issue showcases covers through the years as well as fond memories from ship christenings and other making-of-the-magazine moments. TMI wishes founder and Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff and his staff clear sailing ahead as they embark on the next quarter century!
In our lead story today, TMI reports on the dismal travel numbers at the start of 2021 (passenger traffic went from bad to worse, says aviation trade group IATA). There are strong hints of recovery to come, however, as the 2021 Global Rescue Travel Survey conducted at the end of January indicates that the rollout of effective vaccines are playing a huge role in building consumer confidence to travel. See details beginning on page 1.
In more regional airport news Dufry wins a new retail contract at Jamaica’s Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay; Hudson officially opens the first Hudson Nonstop store using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technique at Dallas Love Field Airport; ACI names Service Quality Award winners; and Mexico’s Guadalajara International Airport is undergoing a US$300 million redevelopment of its commercial space, to be designed by The Design Solution. Pages 2, 3 & 6.
U.S lawmakers ask Canada to reconsider the one-year cruise ban extension. Page 6
Port Canaveral marks milestone in its development as North America’s first LNG cruise port. Page 4
Beam Suntory extends the Bowmore Timeless Series with a new GTR exclusive 31 Year Old Whisky. Page 4
Estee Lauder signs actress Ana de Armas as its new Global Brand Ambassador and unveils Beautiful Magnolia fragrance. Page 4
Swarovski launches a bold new vision in a transformative rebrand that includes a modernized Swan logo and the opening 29 incredible Instant Wonder temporary shops around the world. Page 5
Porsche Design holds an exclusive launch event in Grenada with Rouge Duty Free. Page 3
ASSOCIATION / INTERNATIONAL Asian duty free association APTRA, in association with The Moodie Davitt Report, will hold the first APAC Dialogue on March 17, where they will reveal a new Trinity White Paper and present a Keynote Address from EVP Commercial of Changi Airport Group, Ms. Lim Pack Hoon. Attendance is free of charge and open to anyone in the travel retail and aviation sectors. Go to page 3 for more information.