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In a broadly welcome development, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden today announced that it would be re-opening the country to air travel by fully vaccinated overseas visitors in early November. The news was applauded throughout the business, airline and travel industries.
Disappointingly, however, no change was announced regarding entry at the U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico, which as of today remain closed until October 21, 2021. See more details and initial reactions on page 3.
And in one of the biggest stories of the year for travel retail in the cruise sector, Princess Cruises is moving its entire current in-house retail operations to fast-growing Harding Travel Retail. The agreement covers 14 existing ships – with some 2 million cruisers — and three that are soon joining the fleet, and catapults Harding forward in the channel. Page 1.
The Harding news came just hours before the 2021 DFNI Cruise Conference began.
The virtual event presented two-days of excellent, up-to-the-minute news from the channel. A key take-away from the presentations across the board is that spend per guest is higher than it was before the pandemic, “revenge travel—and shopping” is real, story-telling is elemental to the sale and a cruise is one of the best places to tell a brand story, and price is currently not as important in the sale as the experience enjoyed. Digital is a trend that is here to stay, agreed all participants, but at the same time, so is the allure of one-to-one shopping appointments, especially for higher ticket, luxury items. Along the same lines, sales for self-indulgence have surpassed gifting onboard. Moreover, cruising is seen as the being the first travel channel that willfully recover – and all the presenters believe that it still offers great potential for future growth. TMI will present more in-depth coverage in future issues.
In another onboard retail innovation, Starboard Cruise Services has become the exclusive “at sea” distributor for Engrace Diamonds, the lab-grown diamonds by Little Switzerland, the leading luxury jeweler in the Caribbean. See page 3 for details.
Rafael (Ralph) Cutié has been named the new Director and CEO of Miami-Dade Aviation, which includes Miami International Airport. Cutié had been Interim Director since June. Page 1.
L’Oréal Travel Retail Americas and L’Oréal Travel Retail Asia Pacific have won three prestigious awards from the learning and development industry for their My Beauty Club Apps. See story on page 4.
Rituals Cosmetics has relaunched its Ritual of Ayurveda collection, inspired by Balanced Living. The relaunch is in line with the brand’s goal to become more sustainable, using natural ingredients, recycled packaging and zero waste production. Page 4.
M∙A∙C Cosmetics has named U.S. rapper, viral sensation Saweetie as its newest M∙A∙C Girl. Page 5.
Heineken has unveils its “Back to Sailing” support package for cruise lines. Page 5.