Travel Markets Insider Newsletter Vol. 18 No. 4

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Today’s issue of Travel Markets Insider features two very special TMI reports.
First, Brown-Forman’s long-time Director of Public Relations, Rick Bubenhofer, is stepping down from his post after more than 18 years with the company. In the next chapter of his life, Bubenhofer is launching his own public relations firm, capitalizing on his special expertise in spirits and travel retail. TMI’s Michael Pasternak traveled to Louisville to speak with Rick and his team, where the well-respected Bubenhofer shared dozens of wonderful anecdotes about his experiences with the company. This exclusive interview begins on page 1.
In our second special report, TMI’s Larry Luxner attended the Meridian International Center’s recent Cuba Cultural Diplomacy Forum in Washington DC, where a standing-room only crowd got to hear José Ramon Cabañas, Cuba’s ambassador to the United States, discuss the latest developments between the two countries. It is a fascinating piece of reporting, and the diplomat cautions US businesses to “have patience.” Our Cuba report begins on page 3.
In more news from Cuba, six US airlines have been cleared to fly to the island, and the first US branded hotel in 50 years has opened. See page 4.
The International Association of Airport Duty Free Stores – IAADFS – has namedMotta Internacional CEO Erasmo Orillac as Chairman of the IAADFS Board to fill the unexpired term of Alberto Motta Jr., who passed away in April. The Association also named Michael Payne as President & CEO. More details on page 1.
The Panama Canal opened the long-delayed US$5.4 billion expansion on Sunday, ushering in a new era in global trade. The expanded locks triples the size of ships that can travel the canal, and doubles the capacity of the waterway.  Story on page 4.
Airport News. San Francisco International Airport broke ground on Wednesday, Jun 29, for the $2.4 billion renovation of Terminal 1, SFO’s oldest passenger facility. The ceremony also marked the final public appearance of SFO Airport Director John L. Martin, who is retiring after 20 years. Page 5.
Supply Side. Diageo GTR launches a travel retail exclusive new blended malt, called Johnnie Walker Island Green. Page 4. Pernod Ricard sells Paddy Irish Whiskey toSazerac. Page 5.