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With tomorrow being one of my very favorite U.S. holidays, I would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are in the world. Everyone has something to be thankful for, and those in our industry often have more so than most.
Breaking News: As we go to press, Dufry has announced that it has today signed a concession contract to operate duty free retail at Tom Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro until 2020. The new agreement with RIOgaleão will allow Dufry to double its current commercial area from 4,000 square meters to 8,000 square meters. Dufry says that the new space will comprise the general travel retail shop format in arrivals and departures, in walk-through concept, carrying perfumes & cosmetics, wine and spirits, confectionery, fashion, accessories and watches. Tom Jobim International Airport, the second largest airport in the country, is the major getaway for Brazil and South America, and is undergoing substantial renovations in preparation of Brazil hosting the 2016 Olympic Games. In 2013, the airport welcomed 17 million passengers, 4 million of which were international passengers. The airport is operated by a consortium led by Changi, Odebrecht and Infraero since August 2014.
Meanwhile, our lead story of the week comes from the Frontier Duty Free Association Convention, where the FDFA reported it has proposed a Road TRIP (Travel Retail Incentive Program) rebate program to bolster sales and tourism on the border. New FDFA President Peter Brain tells TMI how he sees such a program helping the industry become more competitive versus its U.S. neighbor.
TMI also presents the winners of this year’s FDFA Gold Standard awards. See details on page 1.
In more Canadian news, budget carrier Air Canada rouge is launching three routes to Hawaii this winter, as the Hawaiian Tourism Authority reports it is aiming for a record 1.1 million air seats in 2015. Page 4.
One of the biggest stories of the month was the surprising merger of Dubai-based global duty free and travel retail operator Flemingo International and on-board cruise retailer Harding Retail. Read about the strategy behind this deal on page 1.
In a new development at the Point of Sale, Diageo Global Travel and Middle East (GTME), in partnership with Duty Free Americas, has opened its first exclusive Diageo store in the region at the International Arrivals concourse of El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia. Page 2.
In other airport news, Miami International wins new awards and top bond ratings. Moody’s cited MIA’s “continued growth in Latin American, Caribbean and European markets” as well as steady overall passenger growth, and a broad, diverse mix of travelers and international and domestic air carriers, as elements in their assessment. Page 3.
World Duty Free Group names a familiar company executive Eugenio Andrades as new CEO to replace José Maria Palencia who announced his departure from WDFG in September citing “differing opinions” over future strategy. Page 3.
Supply Side. Tito’s Vodka wins top award and expands internationally; Zippo opens third retail store in Las Vegas.