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TFWA 2013 highlights

TFWA 2013 highlights

TFWA TAX FREE is one of Cannes' major industry jamborees:


  • Over 6000 travel-retail pros (4% up on 2012), from almost 3000 companies
  • More than 3000 products and 470 stands from all the big-name suppliers covering the entire luxury range from cosmetics and alcohol to fashion, jewellery, food and electronics
  • No industry player can afford to miss it.


As Nice-Matin Newspaper put it: "Everyone comes to do business not tourism".


It's the 'nec plus ultra' for networking, with a social program to make the 'jet-set' envious


  • A private concert from James Blunt during a premium gala evening at Port Canto for 880 guests, with a meal prepared by three Michelin-star chefs
  • Black tie cocktails every evening and an after-hours club nightly to 2 am
  • And a rugby tournament with ex-French international Olivier Magne!


"Air traffic is down in Europe, but we see an increase in Asia, not just from the "BRICS", but also from the "CIVETS" (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and S. Africa)", observed Thom Rankin, a TFWA Vice President. The 'I' and the 'T'  from the group were given particular prominence this year, with a Market Watch get-up-early breakfast workshop attracting more than 90 delegates.



Worldwide, in flight and on-ground travel retail continues to post growth of some 5% p.A.

Chairman Erik Juul-Mortensen’s opening remarks revealed that TFWA’s research partner Generation Research has revised its methodology for calculating the financial value of the travel retail business – which it now estimates at US$ 55.8 billion.

Airline Retail News Magazine reported him as explaining that a further consequence of the analysis was to " effectively downgrade the size of the in-flight retail market, from the traditional 7%, to a mere 5.4% (compared to the on-ground share of 60%), of the total duty-free and  travel retail ‘pie’".
"The Asia-Pacific region continues to go from strength to strength, outpacing Europe by a factor of ten (19.4% v 1.9% for Europe)", he said.

Lord 'Seb' Coe, in a keynote session with top billing, drew lessons and inspiration from his work as Chairman of the organizing Committee for the incredibly successful London Olympics.

He outlined how "the event relied heavily on the airline industry", with a special mention for BA, "who played an inseparable partnership  role in creating  the ambience at the airport  for incoming  athletes and visitors ".

Among the lessons applicable to the travel-retail industry was that  " competitive tendering ( by which London won the Olympic rights for 2012) must be an important part of the travel-retail industry process to secure concessions."

A key to London’s successful bid, according to Lord Coe, was “the vision we created in London, using the power of the Games to connect young people to sport and to challenge some orthodoxies”.

Airline Retail News Magazine summed up: "someone who has left such a phenomenal footprint on human culture ... and his engaging speech certainly didn’t disappoint."

Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group, didn't disappoint either !
Not known for pulling his punches, he was provocative and straightforward:


  •  " ... the big areas for IAG growth? Latin America is crucial; developing Asia to Europe inbound traffic is also key ... Africa offered European airlines a fantastic opportunity for the future."
  •  " ... Dubai International’s meteoric rise from 99th on the list of the world’s busiest airports in 2000, to 2nd last 2014, it will overtake LHR."
  •  " ... future of Heathrow Airport: there was 'no chance' of another runway being built... a disaster for UK plc... We will see Heathrow decline. In five years, it will drop out of the top five airports, in ten years, it won’t be in the top twenty.”
  •  " ... higher fuel prices have actually helped the airline industry by giving carriers a new sense of discipline in terms of capacity management”.



Just the sort of keynote every conference needs!



Peter Harbison, chairman of CAPA – Centre for Aviation, the world's leading B2B aviation publishing house, commenting recently in Cannes on the subject of China, observed:
"800 million people wanting to travel internationally, 600 new airliners on order and 20 airports each with 10 million passengers a year or more - everything is multiplied by 10 in China”.
At TFWA 2012, he took a penetrating look at "Brazil-China-Russia: A Fruity Cocktail", a detailed, fact-filled and accessible analysis, highly-recommended reading for anyone involved in Airlines, Travel, Tourism .... ‎ Get the resume


ALL THIS and so much more besides in 5 stimulating days ...


A major annual event, without the sexiness of the digital, multi-platform MIP's, with their enormous general-public appeal, headline-grabbing celebrities...,
but the lifeblood of a multi-billion dollar, truly-international industry featuring exhilarating growth and challenge.



WHen you are staying in a TFWA TAX free apartment rental it's never too early or too late to be where it is all happening

AND why not, in 2014, a touch of digital innovation and glamour?
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