Travel Markets Insider Newsletter Vol. 24 No. 1

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

Our first newsletter of the New Year has a decidedly international flavor, with updates from regions around the globe.


First and of foremost importance to the duty free/travel retail world is the easing of COVID bans in China and the further opening of key markets in Asia. Reaction has been cautiously positive, although there is a fear that the relaxation of curbs will result in a new rash of sickness. Some countries like the U.S. and Britain are re-introducing pre-flight virus testing for inbound Chinese travelers, others – like Japan and Italy — are requiring testing upon arrival and mandatory quarantine for those who test positive. More details are on page 1. 

In the Middle East, Dubai Duty Free continues to show strong recovery, announcing some US$1.74 billion in sales for 2022, up 78% over full year 2021. In a mind-boggling number, the Dubai operation is averaging nearly 47,000 transactions a day. Read more on page 1.

And in a small but notable news item, the European Commission approved the Dufry-Autogrill acquisition last month. In an update issued today, the parties say that they have obtained all the required regulatory approvals without conditions, and expect to close the transfer of Edizione’s entire stake of 50.3% in Autogrill to Dufry at the beginning of February 2023. Page 1. 



Back to local news from Miami, congratulations to Sean Gazitua, President and CEO of logistics/Free Zone company WTDC, who was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Adrienne Arsht Center Trust, the undisputed hub for arts in Miami-Dade County. See details on page 1.


In more news from Miami, leading B2B beauty event Cosmoprof North America is launching a Miami edition in 2024. The inaugural show will take place January 23-25, 2024 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Organizers expect the show to attract as many as 20,000 visitors over the three days, 40-50% of which will be international.

The contracts were officially signed Jan. 5, 2023, at the Convention Center attended by sponsors, city officials, and beauty executives from both local and duty free companies. 

While Cosmoprof’s West Coast show will remain at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the new East Coast edition will provide a renewed focus on the Latin market. The decision to expand this show to Miami represents a pivotal moment in bridging the gap between the U.S. and Latin America beauty industries. Maria Torres, a familiar figure in duty free as head of Beauty Management Group, is working with Cosmoprof North America as resident curator for multicultural-owned brands and beauty. See full story on page 3. 


m1nd-set: The latest research from industry research agency m1nd-set unveils significant room for growth in the online and mobile retail channel within global travel retail. The agency says that operators can increase overall travel retail sales by creating greater awareness of the availability of online and pre-order services and a more streamlined approach to e- and m-commerce. Page 2. 


Fine Wine

Duty Free Global has been appointed the Travel Retail partner by Albert Bichot for the Domaines Albert Bichot wines as of Jan. 1, 2023. Albert Bichot has a strong presence in Travel Retail and Duty Free Global will be in charge of developing new markets for the estate wines. Page 4.

Premium Gin expands

MONARQ Group has signed an agreement with The Shed Distillery to represent Super Premium Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin in the Caribbean as well as in select Latin America domestic and duty free markets. Page 4. 


Canadian-made Crystal Head Vodka celebrated the biggest launch of the year in Asia by hosting a huge Halloween party in Malaysia at W Kuala Lumpur at the end of 2022. The party for the multi-award-winning, ultra-premium Crystal Head Vodka, which was co-hosted by Crystal Head and JBrands, the sole importer and exclusive distributor of Crystal Head Vodka for Malaysia in both Travel Retail duty free markets and the domestic market, featured everything from high-profile models and influencers in dazzling costumes, to the appearance from Malaysia’s one-and-only Ghostbuster Ectomobile, in honor of the iconic Ghostbuster star Dan Aykroyd, who along with renowned artist John Alexander, created the vodka and its one-of-a-kind skull-shaped bottle. Page 4.