TFWA WE: 7,385 visitors but total falls short of 2019

By Luke Barras-hill |

TFWA released attendance figures today (6 October) that confirmed a record number of buyers and landlords to this year’s global summit on the Côte d’Azur.

The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference (1-5 October) hosted a total of 7,385 visitors, up 23% on the 6,017 attendees recorded in 2022.

While the turnout didn’t quite reach or surpass the global summit’s 2019 record haul of 7,531 delegates, buyer and landlord numbers were up 15% on 2019 to reach a record 2,761.

For context, more than 2,095 duty free operators and landlords attended the event in 2022 – more than double the number recorded in 2021, but down 12% compared with 2019.

This year, a total of 450 companies exhibited, 92 of which were new to Cannes, over a record 25,212sq m – up from 20,751sq m in 2022 and 23,443sq m in 2019.

Those first-time exhibitors were from eight sectors and as far afield as Uruguay, Peru and Jordan.

More than 2,000 TFWA arranged meetings 

Curated under the theme ‘Open World’, the World Conference on Monday 2 October attracted 1,762 delegates, with 177 at the Airport Forum workshop on Tuesday 3 October and 125 attendees to the Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent, Secure workshop on Wednesday 4 October.

TFWA’s One2One meeting service facilitated 2,066 on-site meetings throughout the week, while TFWA i.lab at its new location in the Golden Village of the Palais des Festivals featured 15 participating companies.

TFWA World Exhibition & Conference attracted 2,761 delegates from the sector of buyers and landlords, up 15% on 2019.

Making a welcome return to the agenda was the event’s social programme, albeit scaled down in comparison with previous years.

A total of 1,588 guests attended TFWA’s ‘Opening Cocktail’ on Carlton Beach, while the TFWA Lounge after-work sessions recorded a peak attendance of 686 guests.

‘Full return to a global event’

The night-time gatherings at the TFWA Lounge culminated on Wednesday evening, with 2,238 guests enjoying the hospitality of main partner Qatar Duty Free and a wide range of refreshments courtesy of TFWA’s sponsors.

Commenting on the numbers, TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen said: “We thought that the mood was great at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2022, but the atmosphere this year has reached another level.

The night-time attendance at TFWA Lounge reached a peak on Wednesday night, with 2,238 guests.

“Beyond just the large number of attendees, it is the spirit that we have seen that has been remarkable – the quality of the exhibition and those attending it has been outstanding.

“It is particularly gratifying to be able to welcome delegates from all parts of the world once again, and there is no doubt that TFWA World Exhibition & Conference has fully returned to being a truly global event.”

To read more about this year’s showpiece event and the actors responsible for it, click here to access a dedicated ‘Behind the Scenes’ feature carried in the TRBusiness October e-zine.

To discover a combined 232 pages of editorial, read the TRBusiness October and Top 10 International Operators e-zines by clicking the respective links below.

TRBusiness October 2023

TRBusinessTop 10 International Operators

All images credit to Nathalie Oundjian/TFWA.

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