Travel Markets Insider Newsletter Vol. 20 No. 31

The Travel Markets Insider newsletter is attached to this post as a PDF file. To open the PDF file, please click on this link.


Today’s issue of Travel Markets Insider ranges from the Mercosur to Canada, with several stops in between.
In news that broke last Friday, the European Union and the countries in Mercosur— Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – signed a “historic” trade agreement that could see many tariffs eliminated and boost trade in the coming years. This is the largest trade agreement the EU has ever concluded.
Now details need to be worked out and results ratified by all the parties – which could take a number of years. While it is far too premature to estimate what impact this could have on travel retail in the region, TMI is speaking with industry leaders for their thoughts on the development. See what they say in our next issue.
In a surprising and positive development, Discover Puerto Rico has reported that the island, which was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria less than two years ago, is tracking towards a record-breaking tourism year. Year-to-date revenue is at the highest level in the island’s history, says the destination marketing organization, with revenues of $445 million reported through May. See full story on page 1.
Tourism in the Dominican Republic is in crisis, on the other hand. Following the deaths over the past few months of 13 American tourists staying at high-end resorts in the popular destination, air ticket purchases from the U.S. have plummeted, while requests for refunds are surging. Ticket purchases to other Caribbean destinations are booming, however. See which islands are benefiting the most on page 2.
Remembering Gisèle Bachand, 1926-2019 – The founder and “essence” of Boutique Hors-taxes de Philipsburg passed away in March and her son Philippe shares some wonderful memories of her legacy. Page 3.
The IAADFS Board of Directors has elected Dufry‘s Rene Riedi as the new Chairman of the Association. Riedi succeeds Motta Internacional‘s Erasmo Orillac, who has very ably completed three years in the position. See page 1.

Starboard Cruise Services has named travel and cruise industry veteran Lisa Baueras President and Chief Executive Officer. She will be based out of Starboard’s Miami headquarters and report to Toni Belloni, Group Managing Director of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, who is based in the LVMH Paris head-quarters. Bauer will oversee all operations for Starboard and sister company Onboard Media, comprising 2,500 employees working both on land and on board the ships of the companies’ eight partner cruise lines. Read more on page 2.

Furla has opened a new shop in Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asunción, Paraguay in partnership with Top Brands International. Page 4.
International fashion brand Desigual enters a new era with a refreshed logo and brand identity, which was revealed last month. The company’s new brand identity is part of the transformation plan that Desigual began in 2015. Full story on page 4.
Diageo is releasing a new series of Johnnie Walker whiskies exclusively in global travel retail before rolling the range out in domestic markets in October. The limited edition Johnnie Walker Black Label Origin Series is a collection of four, 12-year-old blended Scotch whiskies, each of which honors a different whisky producing region in Scotland. Page 4.