DFWC battles industry apathy to create EI study

By Doug Newhouse |

Frank-O'Connell-leadDuty Free World Council President Frank O’Connell says that although there is solid, tangible and visible progress being made on several of DFWC’s key objectives, problems still remain.

O’Connell says that putting together the DFWC’s Economic Impact Study has been somewhat challenging to say the least and he makes no secret that he was initially very disappointed with the poor level of industry response to requests for information and input.

While O’Connell didn’t say it, such ‘seeming apathy’ in an industry worth billions is hard to grasp and TRBusiness likens it to the similar situation where some industry associations have struggled for primary purpose funding from time to time.

001 aa 2014 dfwc cannes

A shot taken at a 2014 DFWC board meeting.

Although O’Connell was less than impressed with the response for input to the first Economic Impact Study, he tells TRBusiness that determined work at the DFWC has now placed the project firmly on the start line.

“The study is now in the final draft, despite the very poor response from the industry,” he said. “The overall survey results were pretty dreadful and I think there is actually a real learning process for us in all this. I think we may have to ask ourselves whether we are asking for things they will never give us for the economic impact studies.”

In Cannes this week, Doug Newhouse caught up with Frank O’Connell, President of the World Duty Free Council. Eighteen months into his role, Frank reflects on the challenges that the council faces in protecting and promoting the global duty free and travel retail industry.



[An extensive interview with Frank O’Connell appears on p91 of the October issue of TRBusiness.]


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