TFWA releases details of speakers as industry eyes return to Cannes

By Luke Barras-hill |

TFWA WE 2023 takes place in Cannes on 1 – 5 October. Source: TFWA/Nathalie Oundjian.

Award-winning US journalist and author Bob Woodward will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Tax Free World Association (TFWA) World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes as further information on the event programme emerges.

The industry’s global summit, curated under the theme ‘Open World’, returns to the Palais des Festivals on 1-5 October.

Double Pulitzer Prize recipient Woodward, recognised for his coverage of the Watergate Scandal in the 1970s and September 11 2003 terrorist attacks, will offer attendees to the Opening Conference (09:00 – 11:45) on 2 October held in the Grand Auditorium his take on the state of US and global politics.

Erin Meyer, author of ‘The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business’ and co-author of the New York Times best-seller ‘No Rules Rules’ will tackle topics including leadership, business trends, diversity and the future of work.

Workshops back on the agenda

Erik Juul-Mortensen, President, TFWA: “If our planning is anything to go by I think we will be back flying high and at pre-Covid  levels by the end of this year.”

Meanwhile, economist, entrepreneur and author Dr. Pippa Malmgren, who served as a special assistant to former US President George W. Bush and as a non-executive board member of the Department of International Trade in the UK, will share her expertise on areas such as geopolitical risks and trends, economic policy, Brexit, and tech innovation.

Respected journalist and broadcaster Stephen Sackur will return as conference moderator, with TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen opening proceedings with his customary state of the industry speech.

Last year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference attracted just under 6,000 visitors – up 77% on 2021, but below 2019’s haul, when the event attracted in excess of 7,200 attendees.

While acknowledging there are still challenges facing the industry, Juul-Mortensen relayed to TRBusiness in a recent interview his confidence at the pace of the industry’s recovery.

“If our planning is anything to go by I think we will be back flying high and, in overall terms, at pre-Covid levels by the end of this year.

“If you look at all aspects of the industry – airlines, airports, cruise lines and borders – it is all doing well and people are travelling in ever-increasing numbers. It is true that in some cases the increasing numbers of travellers haven’t led to more people in the stores, but those who do visit, as far as I understand, tend to buy more than in the past.”

Delegates to this year’s World Exhibition & Conference will have the chance to attend several workshops in addition to the main conference programme.

The TFWA Airport Forum workshop will return to the Hotel Barrière Le Majestic on Tuesday 3 October (08:00), where attendees can learn about findings from ACI’s ANARA working group on the future of non-aeronautical revenues.

The session will also explore conclusions within an exclusive report commissioned by TFWA from global management consulting firm Kearney on how DF&TR can attract investment from brands and retailers.

A second workshop on the ‘Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent, Secure’ anti-illicit trade campaign, which this month launched a declaration spearheaded by Duty Free World Council and TFWA, will be held at the same venue on Wednesday 4 October (08:00).

Elsewhere, TFWA i.lab – the popular ideas hub and thought leadership incubator aimed at improving travellers’ experiences – will be housed in a new location in Golden Village inside the Palais.

Juul-Mortensen added: “As ever, our aim at the TFWA World Conference is to engage delegates with speakers who can help us better understand the times in which we live and do business. This year’s conference will feature a diverse spectrum of speakers who are experts in their fields, and will provide attendees with thought-provoking perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“The two workshops in this year’s programme will delve further into key issues impacting the industry. All of us at TFWA are looking forward to welcoming the global industry to Cannes once again.”

For more on the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference as plans shape up, watch out for the TRBusiness August/September e-zine, available soon.

Those wishing to register for the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference can do so by clicking here.

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