Fifty travel retailers have confirmed their intention to visit the exhibition halls at this year’s Tax Free World Association (TFWA) Exhibition and Conference, which is due to run from 24-28 October, depending the health situation amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Exhibition space spanning 8,000sq m has been secured to host the event, which was initially schedules to take place from Sunday 26 to Friday 30 September but was delayed following extensive consultation with members and local partners in Cannes.
Those attending this year’s event will be able to benefit from the new Hosted Buyer Programme. TFWA will provide financial assistance and additional support to industry partners, enabling brands and retailers to reconnect and make the most of their visit.
Companies registered under the Hosted Buyer Programme include DFS Group, Inflight Sales Group, Lagardère Travel Retail, Shilla Duty Free, NAA Retailing, Qatar Duty Free and 3Sixty Duty Free.
Renowned brands and retailers joining the growing list planning to attend include Gebr. Heinemann, Dubai Duty Free, Bacardi Global Retail, Quintessential Brands and Rituals Cosmetics.
‘FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY’ TO RESTART DIALOGUE
Speaking at this week’s Gebr. Heinemann annual press conference which took place virtually, Raul Spanger, Chief Operating Officer, Gebr. Heinemann revealed the company will among those participating at this year’s TFWA Cannes event. He said: “We have had discussions with TFWA, spoken to our suppliers and fielded questions from our customers. Heinemann has made its position clear to TFWA and we will be down there in Cannes.
“The team will be smaller than previous years and adapted to the event, but we very much believe in personal dialogue and believe it is high time this restarts with respect to Covid-19 safety measures of course.
“Cannes is a fantastic opportunity to restart the dialogue in our industry and to look forward to 2022.”
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Dubai Duty Free says the company is looking forward to this year’s TFWA World Exhibition more so than usual because it has been a long time since the industry has been able to gather.
He said: “The event is an opportunity for all of us to plan the recovery together. Our company is determined to play our role in that recovery. We look forward to sharing our plans with our suppliers in Cannes.”
Vinay Golikeri, Managing Director, Bacardi Global Travel Retail commented: “Bacardi is in the business of bringing people together and celebrating moments that matter.
“Nothing beats meeting our retail partners at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes and we believe the TFWA is taking all the right steps in 2021 to ensure the health and safety of visitors to the event in October.”
He added: “The Bacardi GTR leadership team looks forward to being there at this pivotal moment for travel retail and to discuss growth strategies, especially the omnichannel opportunity for travel retail to reinvent itself, welcoming travellers back as they return, with new levels of engagement and exciting experiences.”
Rituals, which has been participating at the TFWA World Exhibition for the past eight years is looking forward to meeting new and existing partners face-to-face at this year’s exhibition. The company is also relishing the opportunity to network with stakeholders to exchange ideals and rebuild the industry together.
“Online meetings have changed the way people do business and travel, however, some things cannot be replaced by meeting in front of a computer screen,” said Neil Ebbutt, Director Global Travel Retail, Ritual’s Cosmetics.
“That’s particularly true for Rituals. Our customers need to try our products and experience our philosophy first-hand. Recovery may take time, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS VITAL
Oliver Storrie, Global Travel Retail Manager, Quintessential Brands remarked: “Meeting face-to-face and engaging with our clients is the most important thing for us this year and the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference is the perfect way to network and discuss business with the whole travel industry under one roof.
“We feel it is not only imperative to support TFWA, but also to embrace this opportunity to speak to our buyers and plan for the new travel landscape that will emerge once the pandemic passes.”
Jaya Singh, President, TFWA concluded: “Exhibitor and travel retailer numbers for the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference continue to grow at a rapid pace and we welcome the support from Dubai Duty Free, Bacardi Global Travel Retail, Quintessential Brands, Rituals Cosmetics and the many other companies intending to join us at the event.
“We are conscious of the constraints still in place for our industry partners in Asia wishing to travel to Cannes. We are also fully aware that restrictions will mean some companies may be attending TFWA World Exhibition & Conference with smaller teams than usual this year.
“Nevertheless, we have a mandate to do everything in our power to make this event happen and our teams are working around the clock to ensure we offer our industry partners every opportunity to attend.”