Travel Markets Insider Newsletter Vol. 21 No. 43

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


Jorge Ramos, RIP

We are very sad to report the terrible news that Jorge Ramos has died of COVID-19 related complications in Panama. Many of our readers may know Jorge from his years at Coty in Miami and prior to that he was with Don Q Rum before opening his own company Latinluxe International in Panama nearly 16 years ago. We do not have any additional information at the moment, but log on to TR Meeting Point on Facebook for updates.

TMI will also post more information as it becomes available. We send our deepest condolences to Jorge’s family. May he Rest in Peace.


Today’s very special Holiday issue of TMI hears at length from some of the keenest minds in the travel retail industry.




Continuing our coverage of the IAADFS webinar from earlier this month, TMI presents the view from North America. Jackie McDonagh, who heads up Aer Rianta International’s North America business based in Canada, presents an update on the situation on the land border and in the airports there. She speaks about the importance of service, and observes that communication is more critical than ever as retailers engage the shoppers coming through the stores and assure then of the safety of their retail environment. Coverage begins on page 1.


Matt Greenbaum, vice president at New York-based International Shoppes, shared his thoughts on a wide range of topics, ranging from staff and service, to cooperation and designing contracts that will help stakeholders be better prepared for the next “act of God” event like we are going through now. He said that the damage to our industry “cannot be overstated” but nevertheless ended his talk on a note of confidence, where he spelled out his reasons for a return to optimism. See pages 1-2.




Incoming Tax Free World Association (TFWA) President Jaya Singh met with global media during a digital press conference last Thursday in a candid discussion that he called a “dialogue session” which touched on a wide range of topics critical to the industry.


Singh was joined by the new TFWA Board—  Vice-President Finance Frédéric Garcia-Pelayo of Interparfums; Vice-President Commercial Donatienne de Fontaines-Guillaume of Moët Hennessy; Vice-President Conferences & Research Gemma Bateson of JTI; Vice-President Corporate Sam Gerber of WorldConnect; and Vice-President Marketing Aude Bourdier of Brown Forman – who actively participated in the discussions and lively question-and-answer session. TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer was also on-hand to answer questions.


The insightful wide-ranging discussion revealed new details about the Hainan Special Edition that is taking place in Hainan, China on May 10-13 instead of the traditional TFWA Asia Pacific event normally held in Singapore.


Singh also discussed his vision for TFWA in the new environment in which we exist, including the challenges of economic and regulatory threats, the opportunities from working together as one, and the prospects he sees for recovery, among others. Full coverage begins on page 3.




The Fragrance Foundation gave thousands of people around the world an early holiday gift last week with a wonderful Masterclass by the inimitable Leonard Lauder speaking with Linda G. Levy, president of the organization, in a webinar open to the industry.


At age 87, Lauder is Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies and he used the hallmark event as a platform to share the business and life lessons he learned as well as the adventures he had while helping transform the mom-and-pop business his mother founded in 1946 in the family kitchen into the iconic global prestige beauty company it is today.


TMI is delighted to present highlights from Mr. Lauder’s class. He is an iconic figure who has had an profound impact on the industry. Page 4.




Congratulations to everyone at Dubai Duty Free. In a sign of normalcy to come, Dubai Duty Free marked its 37th Anniversary with a special sales event that generated more than US$19 million in a three-day period from Dec. 18-20. To put the event in perspective, however, and illustrate the impact the pandemic is still having in travel retail, in 2019 DDF’s three-day anniversary sale topped US$57 million. See details on page 5.




Miami-based Alchemy Americas announces that it is representing Japanese high-end beauty roller brand ReFa for Latin America, the Caribbean and Duty Free, as well as the luxury spa channel in the U.S. Page 5.


The Macallan has unveiled The Red Collection, a new range of rare single malt Scotch whiskies that includes a 40 year-old, 50 year-old and 60 year-old varieties – the oldest ongoing ever offered by The Macallan. The Red Collection will also feature occasional high-aged “guest” releases, says the company.


Luxury wine and spirits retailer Le Clos, which runs The Macallan boutique in Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport—one of three locations where the Red Collection is being sold in global travel retail — sold more than $2 million in product within a day, eclipsing all other launch campaigns in Le Clos’ history. See Page 6.