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The first tourism numbers of the year are in from UNWTO, showing just moderate growth in 2021 compared to 2020, which was the worst year on record for tourism.
Nevertheless, travel still remains far below pre-pandemic levels, and the disruption caused by the current Omicron variant is yet to be evaluated. See full story and regional numbers on pages 1-2.
As if the travel recovery does not have enough challenges, the national roll-out of the 5G phone technology in the U.S. was threatening a “catastrophic disruption” of air service, warned airports and airlines. A last minute agreement between the White House and communication giants AT&T and Verizon averted the calamity, but a long-term solution must still be worked out. This is a developing story. More details on page 2.
AIRPORT CONCESSIONS & CONCESSIONAIRES
Even as the coronavirus lingers, airports in the Americas are re-opening, expanding and unveiling some innovative new concessions.
3Sixty Duty Free has been approved for a 10-year concession contract at Ontario International Airport in Southern California. This is 3Sixty’s first airport retail operation on the U.S. West Coast. Page 3.
Dufry announces that it has extended its duty free concessions at La Romana airport and cruise port in the Dominican Republic for 10 years. The new contract runs through 2032. Page 3.
Apryl Stewart’s Skyview Concessions has opened a Vera Bradley store in LAX Terminal 1 in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports and master concessionaire URW. Although Stewart has been working in travel retail for more than 20 years, this is her first owned and operated airport store. Page 4.
In another exciting retail first, Marshall Retail Group has opened The Neon Museum Store in Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport. The fascinating Neon Museum Boneyard is where iconic Vegas signs end up and the new store celebrates some of the most famous and popular signs. Page 4.
SUPPLY SIDE & PEOPLE
Mars International Travel Retail has named Marcus Hudson to succeed Raghav Rekhi as ITR Sales Director, reporting to Jack Tabbers, General Manager. Page 5.
Bacardi GTR announces European Team changes. Page 5.
APTRA announces Board Changes. Page 1.
SHISEIDO kicks off its 150th anniversary with a pioneering light show with China Duty Free Group in Haitang Bay. Page 5.
In more news in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, L’Oréal Paris has unveiled a digital-first pop-up in Hainan with CDFG. Page 7.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT/AT THE POINT OF SALE
Puig debuts Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Pour Homme in Travel Retail Americas with a huge omni-channel boxing-themed launch across 69 doors in the region. The “heavyweight” campaign – which reached more than 2.7 million travels by the end of 2021–reports that initial results are exceeding forecasts. Full story on page 6.