There’s something that’s goin’ round, that’s shutting our borders down
It’s a bad time for our sick and our old
CNN’s nightly lullaby, tells of hundreds more that’ve died
I shut off the TV and think all alone, how long can this go on? – Jeff Orson, Pray

CANADA. Welcome to In Crisis – Travel Retail Voices, our Podcast series in which we speak to travel retail executives around the world about how COVID-19 is affecting their lives and businesses.

In this episode we hear from Scott Collier, Vice President Customer & Terminal Services at Toronto Pearson International, about maintaining services at Canada’s largest airport, where traffic and business is down by over 90%.

He says: “Our job since mid-March has been to ensure everybody can get home safe and sound. Now we are right-sizing our operations while keeping the airport open. We’ll start to pivot and consider how we restart this industry again. It won‘t snap back straight away but we are working on strategies that help us bounce back.”

These are unprecedented times, notes Scott, and it would be wrong to assume that things will not change as a result – but change in how our industry works has been needed for some time, he says.

The airport’s big strategic projects will continue but will probably be deferred and take longer to complete. Importantly from an industry perspective, the view that consumers should come first in the world of airports has been accelerated amid COVID-19, adds Scott.

Overall, he remains upbeat and optimistic – people will want to travel again, will want to shop, eat and drink at the airport, even if they travel in different ways in future.

Click on the icon to hear Scott Collier speaking with Dermot Davitt.

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Previously on In Crisis – Travel Retail Voices

April 21: Lal Arakulath, Kreol Group

April 20: Lisa Bauer, Starboard Cruise Services

April 17: Dan Cappell, Ontario International Airport

April 13: Gautom Menon, Wild Tiger Beverages

April 13: Sarah Branquinho, Duty Free World Council

April 10: Sinead el Sibai, Dubai Duty Free

April 7: Jonathan Holland of Jonathan Holland & Associates, Singapore.

April 7: Rob Wigington, Executive Director at the Airport Restaurant & Retail Association, US.

April 7: José Luis Donagaray and Inés Sisto Patron, ASUTIL

April 5:  Stewart Dryburgh, Nestlé International Travel Retail,

April 4: Pier Giuseppe Torresani, Masi; and Steve Corrigan, long-time duty free drinks executive

April 2: Founder of Duty Free Global, Barry Geoghegan

April 1: Vice President of Miami-based Essence Corp, Patricia Bona.

29 March: William Grant & Sons President Asia Pacific Doug Bagley

29 March: PMA Canada National Director – Duty Free Jeff Orson

27 March: Paul & Shark Global Travel Retail Director Catherine Bonelli

26 March: King Power Traveler President Rakhita Jayawardena

25 March: Public health expert Dr. David Heymann

24 March: King Power Group (Hong Kong) Group Chief Executive Officer Sunil Tuli

22 March: The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie

21 March: China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen

20 March: Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin