‘The show will go on’ insists Tax Free World Association President

By Charlotte Turner |

During a press conference held today, TFWA President, Jaya Singh said that the trade association’s overarching message regarding the TFWA World Exhibition and Conference is that ‘the show will go on’ as he emphasised that the association had received ‘unanimous support from retailers large and small’ to attend the October event in person.


In response to a question posed by TRBusiness about the EU’s recent recommendation that its members stop nonessential travel from the US because of the surge in Covid-19 infections, TFWA Managing Director, John Rimmer said that the situation is ‘changeable and is being monitored closely’.


“As it stands, individual EU members are able to set their own guidelines. There has not yet been any changes made from French Government in terms of green amber and red lists.


“The US is still currently on the green list, according to the French Government.”


TFWA President, Jaya Singh

TFWA President, Jaya Singh


He also stressed that for those entering from green list countries with full EMA-approved vaccines, there are no restrictions at the moment.


Those coming from amber or red-list countries do however ‘need pressing grounds for travel’. If they are not vaccinated they will need to produce a negative result of a recent antigen test.


Singh insisted that while attendance will not match that of the 2019 event the show will be business focused and delegates will have more time to spend with industry partners for ‘better quality’ meetings.


Other board members concurred that there would be a strong EMEA contingent and few from Asia – at least at this point in time – would be able to travel to France.


TFWA Managing Director, John Rimmer

TFWA Managing Director, John Rimmer

“The aim is to create opportunities for business as the industry is in recovery mode and create more chances to network,” added Singh.



TFWA Vice-President Commercial, Donatienne de Fontaines-Guillaume (Moët Hennessy) reiterated that close to 250 exhibitors had confirmed their presence while stands were currently at 50% of those booked in 2019. This represents 11,000sq m.


Fontaines-Guillaume insisted the ‘will to come is extremely strong’ and if travel restrictions do not permit travel to France in October the TFWA is willing to remain agile and flexible to allow members of the industry to participate in some way.

'The show will go on' says TFWA President, Jaya Singh.

The show will go on’ says TFWA President, Jaya Singh.


Later on Managing Director, John Rimmer clarified that the entire TFWA Opening Conference would be live streamed for the benefit of those who could not travel to Cannes.


He also confirmed that the association has the technical capacity to host speakers virtually should they also not be permitted to travel.


Rimmer also reiterated the stringent health and safety measures which will be implemented during the show. In response to questions posed by TRBusiness about the specifics he said that all visitors and exhibitors would be required to wear masks for the duration of the exhibition.


He also said that the TFWA was finalising the costs attributed to Covid testing facilities onsite. He echoed his sentiments shared with TRBusiness last month about similar events taking place. “We’re taking onboard a lot of learnings from other events in Cannes and other trade shows in other parts of the world…it is all very encouraging.”


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