11:00 EST/17:00 CET/23:00 BEIJING

As ‘show week’ at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo draws to a close today, organisers The Moodie Davitt Report and FILTR.QINGWA (together with 2021 co-organisers Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development/Hainan IEDB) announced a pioneering Buyers’ Bonanza Month in November, part of the six-week ‘encore’ exhibition period.

As reported, Virtual Suites will remain open throughout the entire period from today until 30 November with the month of November seeing an unprecedented festival of celebration to maximise exhibitor/visitor engagement.

Each day of the month, different exhibitors will enjoy a complimentary high-profile promotion on The Moodie Davitt, while the digital festival will see a host of site visit incentives and prizes on offer to buyers. Additionally, all sessions from the highly successful Knowledge Hub and Experience Arena will be replayed constantly throughout the month to maximise engagement.

More details will be announced shortly.


10:00 EST/16:00 CET/22:00 BEIJING


“The virtual show was next level great, and that’s the consensus from all those I have spoken with.”  – Harry Kartasis, Founder & Managing Director, Global Drinks Limited

Duty Free Americas underscores its strength in the Americas

Duty Free Americas (DFA) is the largest duty free operator in the Western Hemisphere, with over 200 stores located in US airports, and along the borders with Canada and Mexico.

The retailer also operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, and, in 2007 extended its network into Asia, opening at The Venetian Hotel in Macau, China.

DFA is highlighting its broad product range and offers a photo gallery of its stores which are also featured in this video encouraging guests to learn more about the DFA network and its brand partners.

Travel the world with Lagardère

With over 160 years of experience in travel retail since the opening of its first bookstore in 1852 at Paris Gare de Lyon, Lagardère Travel Retail boasts the broadest and most diverse portfolio in the channel while underlining its status as a global leader in foodservice.

The retailer operates over 4,850 stores across multi categories in 39 countries and generated €5.5bn sales in 2019.

Click here to share the Lagardère journey.

Tasa Meng extends an invitation to discover a dazzling retail network

Taipei-based travel retailer Tasa Meng was established in 1982 and has developed a network of stores and counters in major department stores, shopping centres and in the Taoyuan International, Kaohsiung International and Matsu Nangan airports.

Tasa Meng is highlighting its airport duty free app which offers users details on airport shopping, dining and services.

Click here for an overview of the Tasa Meng stores.

Win a premium bottle from Bacardi 

Visitors to the Bacardi Experience Room are welcomed with a special message from Bacardi Limited CEO Mahesh Madhavan. Expo attendees who visit all areas of the bar can also participate in a quiz that tests their Bacardi knowledge for a chance to win a premium bottle from the Bacardi portfolio.

Bacardi is highlighting its Good Spirits sustainability programme and shining the light on its product innovations with a special focus on Grey Goose Essences, Bacardi Rum Punch Twistails and Bombay Sapphire Bramble. Grey Goose Essences (30% ABV) offers three flavours – Strawberry and Lemongrass, White Peach and Rosemary, and Watermelon and Basil – which contain no artificial ingredients and are sugar, gluten and carbohydrate-free.

Bacardi Global Travel Retail (GTR) has launched an innovative Twistails rum-based pod line, aimed at offering “bar-perfect” cocktails.

According to Bacardi GTR, the Twistails process is simple. Users just add water and ice to the branded shaker, attach the strainer, the cocktail pod of choice and twist. A good shake ensures a bar-perfect cocktail is ready in seconds.

Go on a 360-degree multi-sensory virtual tour with Beam Suntory

Visitors to the Beam Suntory Experience Room will be taken on an incredible multi-sensory virtual experience that shines the light on the core USPs of each brand in its powerful spirits portfolio. Beam Suntory is highlighting The House of Suntory, Laphroaig, Jim Beam, Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Courvoisier, Maker’s Mark and Sipsmith brands in sumptuous 360-degree virtual spaces. It is a pleasure to explore and discover.

Lift off with Whyte & Mackay

In a travel retail first, Whyte & Mackay takes Expo visitors to space with its futuristic Experience Room. The Whyte & Mackay space station is playful, immersive, and absolutely experiential. It also puts Whyte & Mackay’s The Dalmore, Jura, Tamnavulin and Fettercairn brands on the spotlight.

Once on board, Expo visitors can also discover Whyte & Mackay’s exciting plans to make their malt business lift off and  experience how its brands are inspiring consumers in-store and online.

09:00 EST/15:00 CET/21:00 BEIJING

We were proud today to name the inaugural winners of the FAB Superstars Awards, a programme that recognises the efforts and achievements of staff in the travel food & beverage sector around the world.

The announcement was made as the Knowledge Hub programme at the event drew to a close. Along with sister awards programme Travel Retail Superstars (announced earlier), FAB Superstars was created to shine a light on the frontline and behind the scenes heroes and heroines who have helped keep the industry going throughout 2020 and into this year. More in our detailed story here and in the video below.

08:00 EST/14:00 CET/20:00 BEIJING

The Moodie Davitt Report today revealed the winners of The Moodies Travel Journey Digital Awards 2021. The eighth edition of the prestigious annual awards place the spotlight on digital, social media and marketing excellence across the airport and travel sectors. The winners were announced in an online ceremony at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. Click here for the full story.

05:15 EST/11:15 CET/17:15 BEIJING

Wines of Golf Legends by Peuch & Besse was today named as winner of The QDF Factor, an extraordinary industry competition to encourage innovation and differentiation among brand owners, organised by The Moodie Davitt Report and Qatar Duty Free.

The winning entry has captured a six-month high-profile promotion at Qatar Duty Free’s award-winning retail offer in Hamad International Airport, Doha, plus a free six-month US$50,000 multi-media advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report.

In second place was UFO 2 by Foreo, a new facemask device from the innovative beauty tech and wellness brand. In joint third were premium tea brand Ahmad Tea and luxury skincare brand Margaret Dabbs.

Click here for the full story, with video of the winning entries.

04:30 EST / 10:30 CET / 16:30 BEIJING

Travel Retail Superstars Winners revealed

The Moodie Davitt Report today named the inaugural winners of the TR Superstars Awards, which have placed an overdue spotlight on those frontline and behind the scenes heroes and heroines who have helped kept our industry going throughout the most profound and sustained crisis it has ever faced.

Categories included Star Team, Star Individual, Star Story (Team or Individual), Innovation (Team or Individual) and Humanity, Leadership & Inspiration. Nominations were invited by region and by department: Shop Floor — Customer Facing, Logistics Warehouse, Back Office (Marketing, IT, Commercial and Procurement) to cover as broad a spectrum of staff as possible.

The announcement was made at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo on the final day of the pioneering all-digital event.

The awards, hosted by Martin Moodie, were judged by Spark Group of Companies CEO & Founder Heidi Van Roon and Flash global Logistics Global Director of People & Culture Marcus Griffin.

Martin Moodie, Spark Group of Companies CEO & Founder Heidi Van Roon and Flash global Logistics Global Director of People & Culture Marcus Griffin announced the winners of the inaugural TR Superstars awards

Moodie said, “All the nominees and their stories are exceptional, moving, exemplary. The number of entries we received was humbling and inspiring, a true celebration of the human touch that sets this industry apart.”

“These awards are so timely and appropriate,” added Van Roon. “I’m a big supporter of adding the human element into everything we do and reading these submissions have really inspired me thanks to the amazing commitment, creativity and resourcefulness of these individuals who have gone above and beyond”

Griffin added, “Thank you for The Moodie Davitt Report for this fabulous initiative and a huge shoutout to all the nominees and the folks who nominated them. The travel retail industry is awake, it’s alive and it’s recovering and if you read these wonderful stories of colleagues giving back – it will certainly inspire you.”

Click here to view the full list of winners

20:15 EST/02:15 CET/08:15 BEIJING

The Virtual Travel Retail Expo enters its final day (though the exhibition remains open for six weeks). Today is ‘Grand Finals’ day with the culmination of The QDF Factor, The Moodies Travel Journey Digital Awards, The Travel Retail Superstars Awards and The FAB Superstars Awards.

Note: With The FAB Superstars Awards being moved back to today, the new timings are as follows:

  • Travel Retail Superstars Awards: 04: EST 10:30 CET 16:30 BEIJING
  • The QDF Factor: 05:15 EST 11:15 CET 17:15 BEIJING
  • The Moodies Travel Journey Digital Awards: 08:00 EST 14:00 CET 20:00 BEIJING
  • FAB Superstars: 09:00 EST 15:00 CET 21:00 BEIJING



“It is great to have this Virtual Expo platform to come together, to connect and to reimagine the future of travel retail” – KrisShop CEO Chris Pok

13:00 EST/19:00 CET/01:00 BEIJING

Dallas Fort Worth Airport’s Zenola Campbell on the appeal of grab & go food options

A compelling discussion took place during the final FAB conference session of the day, when Dermot Davitt talked to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport Vice President of Concessions Zenola Campbell about the outlook for dining at the Texas airport and across the wider industry.

“I would say that food is the hero right now [at DFW],” asserted Campbell. “Our food sales have really come back very strongly. And in some cases, those locations that have been open throughout the pandemic are well ahead of what their 2019 levels were, which is kind of surprising.”

She added: “Retail is a little more sluggish, but people want food. And I think one of the things that is driving that is the fact that our airline partners aren’t providing any kind of food options. Passengers are much more willing to engage and there is lot of focus in regards to being able to take food with them.”

With this in mind, Campbell said grab & go food in the airport “has always been kind of a sleeping giant, but now it is just a must”.

Zenola Campbell says the grab & go food option for passengers is increasing in importance in the pandemic era

She continued: “It has to be presented in such a way that customers can easily get that opportunity and have it more prominent, instead of stuck in the corner.

“So we are looking at ways in regards to how we enhance our grab & go selection and there is lot of focus around pre-ordering. We understand that we have such a large percentage of our customers that are connecting that have very little time.

“We really need to make sure that they can engage quickly [with grab & go F&B] as they move from terminal to terminal and know what is open for them.”

In this regard, Campbell said the airport is looking at using sensors at F&B locations so it can be indicated where they are and that they are open to passengers, as some F&B outlets are currently operating on reduced hours.

For people short on time, grab & go is the obvious answer and Zenola Campbell suggests we may see more of this in airports (Pictured: Shake Shack at DFW Airport)

“We realise that customers don’t have a lot of time, and they need accurate information,” she said. “So we’re looking at ways that we can really enhance that process so that they know what’s available in their particular section and/or terminal. Also, if they choose to have something from another terminal [as a connecting passenger], they have the option to order ahead, as well as to perhaps have it delivered in that terminal.”

Asked if we might see some openings at DFW that tap into modern food trends, Campbell emphasised that right now, the basics of F&B are the important thing.

She said: “We’re always looking at ways that we can meet the customer’s needs and relate to whatever the food trends are out there. But we also have to keep in mind that our customers still want the basics.

“You can also sprinkle in some of those craft areas, whether it be craft cocktails, or beers or coffees as well as fresh products, so that they feel that they have a wide selection of goods to meet their needs.”

Campbell offered some advice to the wider airport F&B industry. She concluded: “Gone are the days that you can do everything, you may need to really focus now on what are those key proteins? What’s your key source that you want to provide to the customer as opposed to trying to sell everything, with limited staff, and the kind of pressures that are out there today.

“You need to come up with the best food selection, stick with it, and couple that with the fast service that you can get through a grab & go. How do you make that grab & go more like the drive-through experience on the street? So it’s efficient, you have great tasting food, and you’re able to get in and out with no issues.”

SSP on Rebuilding the Travel Food sector Sustainably and Profitably

Senior executives from leading global travel food specialist SSP Group tackled some vital challenges facing the sector, in this highly-informative FAB Session. These include: the broken MAG model; a capital investment model that makes a fair ROI unachievable; unsustainable labour costs and lack of operational flexibility at a time when passenger numbers remain unpredictable.

“The industry overall needs to examine its own economic viability and health because the underlying components have fundamentally changed.” — Pat Murray

Commenting on the viability of MAG, SSP America Executive VP Pat Murray said: “Pre-pandemic MAG wasn’t a significant issue, but the pandemic exposed that challenge. MAG presented two challenges, how disproportional rent crushes the P&L, and whether this model is sustainable in the future? We need to ask what is a better system? I don’t think the industry has a solution yet, but I’d like to see us work together to find one. The industry overall needs to examine its own economic viability and health because the underlying components have fundamentally changed.”

Offering his insights into the Asia Pacific market and the importance of balancing CAPEX with return on investment, SSP Asia Pacific CEO Mark Angela said: “APAC has seen significant disruption of business, compounded by slow vaccination rates.

“CAPEX and return on investment is a big issue in the post-covid world” — Mark Angela

“CAPEX and return on investment is a big issue in the post-covid world,” he added. “The main challenge is that’s its incredibly difficult to predict when business will recover, so it’s difficult to predict when it’s the right time to start spending. Also, an increase in material cost across a number of markets. How can we change this? The first would be to have longer leases to allow the right CAPEX investment and offer competitive rates. We need to move away from commitments to fixed amounts of CAPEX like fixed rates per sqm, and find ways to be more efficient.

“Another issue is working with clients on opening dates that are linked to passenger recovery, which is a moving target, and so having flexibility is so important.:

“The key issue we’re facing is Brexit more than COVID” — Neil Campbell

SSP UK COO Neil Campbell offered his insights onto the impact of Brexit in SSP’s UK business. “Our outlook is cautiously optimistic, but more cautious than optimistic. We have better clarity and are more confident about vaccination rates, but the key issue we’re facing is Brexit more than COVID. First on supply chain and the reduction of manufacturing and second is recruitment and retention. We have high demand for short contract workers, but are struggling to find them. We’re recruiting and encouraging more movement within our organisation and also offering plenty of incentives to recruit talented workers into our organisation.”

Leading, inspiring, transforming: FAB Women is back

11:00 EST/17:00 CET/23:00 BEIJING

FAB Women – the initiative to recognise, encourage and develop the participation of women in the airport F&B sector – staged its comeback today in this powerful Knowledge Hub FAB Special Session.

The FAB Women session, which was first hosted at the Airport Food & Beverage Conference (organised by The Moodie Davitt Report) in Dallas in 2019, featured four leading female executives in the F&B channel.

Michelin-starred chef Cristina Bowerman joined Yung Kee Restaurant Group CFO Yvonne Kam and Safran Turney Hospitality Group Chef Marcie Blaine Turney and Co-Owner Valerie Safran to provide insights into their leadership style, what inspires them and how they continually strive to transform the workplace and world around them.

The speakers were led by SSP America Vice President Corporate Marketing & Communications Lana Cramer.

Bowerman, a multi-talented chef, with a passion for travel and innovative cooking, shared her rather unconventional path to becoming a Michelin-starred chef and her passion for food and the dining and restaurant industry.

She said her out-of-the-box approach has shaped her career in both the USA and Italy, following a motto to “always change to be myself”.

Restaurateur Yvonne Kam is well-known in Hong Kong, where she is regarded as a trailblazer, having taken the helm of the award-winning and world-famous Yung Kee restaurant. She is recognised for her hard work and tenacity, and her ability to break barriers as the first female to take over a family business that, is by tradition and trade, a male-dominated industry.

Kam said she is a “firm believer in teamwork” and being true to oneself and life’s purpose.

Marcie Blaine Turney and Valeria Safran are regarded as two of Philadelphia’s most prominent and ambitious businesswomen, owning and operating several restaurants in the city’s Midtown Village neighbourhood.

They offer quite different opinions on the operation and development of their business but share a belief in looking after their staff members and making secure investments. Safran’s “tomorrow is a new day” outlook is matched by her partner’s motto that not taking risks could just be the biggest risk of all.

The full session will be available on demand.

New F&B offer in Manchester Airport’s upgraded Terminal 2 delivers early results

10:30 EST 16:30 CET 22:30 BEIJING

We saw a great presentation from MAG (Manchester Airports Group) about the development of its upgraded Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport as part of the FAB conference programme today.

It was delivered by Retail Head Ben Green and Senior Category Manager Food & Beverage Jane Nicholls, who gave insights into the early performance of the recently reopened ‘super terminal’ – part of a £1 billion transformation project at the airport – and the food & beverage and retail units within it.

Local flavour: The F&B offer in the upgraded Terminal 2 is headlined by brands with Manchester connections, such as pub and dining venue The Bridgewater Exchange

Nicholls said this about the development of the new F&B offer in the terminal: “The ambition was to find a very different, iconic F&B line-up catering for all our passengers. To realise this ambition took over two years of researching the market, meeting people and visiting places across the world and finally resting on the strategy for each unit.

“We essentially decided what we wanted where and who we were going to approach. The main objective was to segmentalise the market – providing a space for each passenger to ensure that they enjoyed the start of their journey with us by providing a solution for their food or coffee with a local twist.”

Jane Nicholls says the new F&B line-up in T2 caters for all types of passenger

The F&B openings include a venue from the Italian restaurant chain San Carlo, which operates multiple restaurants, including six in the Manchester area.

Other F&B outlets with a local flavour in Terminal 2 include café Pot Kettle Black, burger and shake chain Archie’s and offerings from local brewers Joseph Holt and Seven Bro7hers, which operate the Bridgewater Exchange and Amber Alehouse respectively. All of these brands have a strong connection to Manchester.

Manchester coffee shop brand Pot Kettle Black opened in T2 this month

Green revealed that some of the airport’s commercial partners are reporting that spend per passengers in F&B and retail in the new terminal are up by between 20% and 50% on like for like flights. “This demonstrates the power of world class retail experiences, great stores and great restaurants,” he said.

However, he warned that these trends can’t be considered reliable in predicting future revenues: “Our first normal summer is likely to be 2023 as Summer 2022 will be distorted by the recovery and everybody embracing air travel once again. This means it will be Summer 2024 before we can properly look back and see like for like year-on year-comparisons.”

Ben Green reported some encouraging early statistics which show the popularity of the upgraded retail and F&B offer in T2

Offering some final thoughts he said: “We have to pick ourselves up from the pit of despair and hold ourselves back from overly-optimistic positions. If we are to seize the opportunity as traffic volumes recover, we have to recognise the different needs of passengers travelling through our airports.

“We need to understand and establish new baseline datasets and create a value exchange and deeper relationship with both our passengers and our partners.”

From Crisis to a New World of Travel Dining

09:30 EST / 15:30 CET / 21:30 BEIJING

In a superb FAB session, Autogrill Group Chief Marketing Officer Ezio Balarini, HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson and HMSHost International CEO Walter Seib, business leaders from one of the world’s leading travel restaurateurs talk about developing and inspiring change in the business model.

They explore practices and attitudes, discuss resilience and flexibility and examine how the company has helped and inspired employees through the crisis. They also look at the lessons that will guide, motivate and encourage management, staff and customers in a new era of travel dining.

“We are still navigating troubled waters – this is a very complex scenario, so we need a lot of capability to react and bring the ship to the safe harbour.” — Ezio Balarini

In Chinese the word for ‘crisis’ combines the characters for ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’ – an apt symbolism of these tumultuous times

Giving an overview of Autogrill Group’s journey in the last 18 months, Balarini said: “I’m a passionate sailor and I can’t find a better word to describe this than ‘navigation’. We are still navigating troubled waters – this is a very complex scenario, so we need a lot of capability to react and bring the ship to the safe harbour.”

“In Chinese the word for crisis is a combination of danger and opportunity. In this serious situation we can see opportunities for our business to return to sustainable and long-term growth.”

Johnson says the pandemic allows HMSHost to create a better model for everyone

Johnson continued the nautical analogy and took audiences on the difficult and inspiring journey over the last 18 months. He said: “How do you rebuild a boat when it’s underwater? We knew we needed to make improvements and the pandemic allowed us to pull the ship, make changes, and launch a better, faster and sleeker boat that’s a better model for everyone.”

Seib highlighted the value of partnership and innovation in tumultuous times. He said: “The crisis was deeper and longer than any other crisis in our industry. Long-term partnerships create value and new memorable experiences. Hamad International Airport moved to different partnership model – and we recently signed a joint venture to recreate the F&B business there.

“We had to think global but act local”  — Walter Seib

“We had to think global but act local. We built pop-up kiosks, introduced flight meal packages, brought in QR Code menus and digital contactless payments. The key with coping with these challenging times is not just focusing on cost-cutting but preserving a future for great service and growth,” Seib added.

Offering a final message to the industry, Balarini said: “While the situation for our business was the perfect storm, we have made incredible efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID. In the medium to long-term, things will be better. Our message is that reshaping the future is only possible if we do it together. New world, some of the same problems, but a totally new reality and we need to work together to navigate it.

Food & Beverage trends for the post-pandemic consumer

09:00 EST/15:00CET/21:00 BEIJING

Brain & Poulter Founding Director and Co-owner Suzee Brain shared insights into what we are likely to see in travel F&B in the near future in this fascinating live Knowledge Hub FAB Special Session with The Moodie Davitt President Dermot Davit.

Regarded as a thought leader in the world of dining, Brain outlined trends and the dynamics which will influence the food landscape, with a focus on design, consumer trends and new cuisines.

She highlighted the development of more intimate spaces and the return of booth dining which could include “zoom booths” to cater for business travellers and diners.

Poulter expects a feeling of health and well-being to feature in refreshed F&B outlet design and considered the future of food courts.

“The role of a food court in offering a wide variety of food at great value price points in a very quick service style, is definitely never going to die,” she said. However, Brain did add that the design will change to include more screening to accommodate the different mindsets of travellers.

She also noted an opportunity to take the rapid hi-tech and digital advancements that the pandemic has prompted to the “next level”, with the introduction of robotic-based food deliveries to capture ‘gate huggers’ and drive F&B revenue growth.

Brain expects contactless dining options to fade and predicted “a big squeeze on hospitality staff”.

She pointed out that sustainability and recycling is an area F&B operators will have to reconsider to meet the increasing focus on reuse and not recycling and she offered some innovative examples of edible and sustainable packaging options.

Brain is adamant that Sense of Place will continue to play a key role in airport F&B and noted that the growing trend towards veganism and functional foods will lead to more standalone units. She also believes that the development of non-alcoholic bars offers great opportunities to increase revenue in selected parts of the world.

Areas CEO Óscar Vela on Assessing the Future of Airport Food & Beverage’

08:00 EST / 14:00 CET / 20:00 BEIJING

FAB 2021 opened with an inspiring session by Lead Sponsor Areas CEO Óscar Vela

Vela, in his first interview since assuming the role of Areas CEO in 2018l, talked about the future of the travel dining sector post-crisis, the shape of recovery and how Areas aims to strengthen its position as a leading player in the industry.

Today, Areas is standalone company present in 12 countries, with more than 1800 points of sale and with more than 23,000 employees, serving more than 350 million customers each year.

“One of our strengths is that we have a highly diversified portfolio of activities and that is helping us to recover faster,” Vela said. “Airports, which contribute to half of our business has been severely affected, but the other half ‘land markets’ are displaying a much better recovery. Motorways are the best-performing market during this pandemic and in some places we’re so close to 2019 levels.”

With the F&B sector one of the toughest to manage during the pandemic, how did Vela manage the crisis? He said: “It hasn’t been easy, especially when the activity dropped to zero in a matter of hours. I want to commend the commitment of the team because without them we wouldn’t have been able to manage this difficult situation.

“At the beginning we focused all our efforts to readjust the company, cost and cash control. We also launched job protection measures to protect employees and negotiated with our landlords who have been extremely collaborative.

Vela also gave an overview of recovery. He said: “To execute the progressive reopening of our points of sale isn’t easy because of ongoing uncertainty and continued restrictions, but we are very focused on this. We have also launched a new range of products that are easier and safer to manage. We have also created friendly places for customers, like our ‘oasis’ terraces in the Mediterranean which has had a great response. We pushed plenty of digital solutions, smart kiosks, click-and-collect and that’s been very helpful.”

Commenting on the channel’s recovery, Vela said: “Traffic will return for sure. We must not forget that airports have been very resilient in the last yea, we just need to be patient. In terms of land market, it’s clear that the recovery is much faster.”

Welcome to FAB 2021

The annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards has been a highlight of the industry calendar since 2011 but had to be suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year FAB makes a welcome, albeit virtual return, with a focus on how the sector has been reshaped by the pandemic and how it needs to respond in a changed world through the themes of LEAD. INSPIRE. TRANSFORM. A FAB Women presentation will also feature.

The Pernod Ricard Panel: From Insight to Action, Shaping the Future of Retail

06:15 EST / 12:15 CET / 18:15 BEIJING

Insights Director Anuj Roy outlined Pernod Ricard’s new retail strategy which focuses on clean retail, digitalisation, retail theatre and sustainability

Martin Moodie hosted a fascinating panel discussion on how Pernod Ricard is leading the way with consumer insights and providing shoppers with interactive, innovative and sustainable shopping experiences featuring: Insights Director Anuj Roy, Chief Sustainability Officer Vanessa Wright, Head of Retail Design Daniel Worboys, Travel Retail Asia Pacific General Manager Simon van Moppe and PIE Factory Sustainability Director Simon Evans.

Commenting on the emerging trends that will define Pernod Ricard Travel Retail’s recovery strategy, Insights Director Anuj Roy said: “The trends we said last year, about localised travel, the importance of cleanliness measures, the evolution of sampling, are all still very much valid. We are getting a clear direction on emerging trends as we begin our recovery journey.

Pernod Ricard Travel Retail also underwent an incredible sustainable transformation of late. Commenting on the biggest milestones, Chief Sustainability Officer Vanessa Wright said: “We see it as our duty to preserve these ecosystems that we live and work in. Having long-term relationships with sustainable partners is vital for the longevity of our business. In 2019 we launched our 2030 sustainability roadmap ‘Good Times from a Good Place’. This is built on four pillars: nurturing terroir, valuing people, circular making and responsible hosting.

Chief Sustainability Officer Vanessa Wright said that Pernod Ricard has successfully eliminated the use of all single-use plastics across 70 million products annually

Key elements of the Good Times From a Good Place Sustainability & Responsibility strategy at Pernod Ricard. The objective is to reduce carbon footprint and minimise waste.

“All the work we’re doing is key in helping us to reach our carbon emission target,” Wright added. “We talked about a -50% reduction by scope 3 and net zero by 2050. One of our goals is to reduce point of sale plastic and eliminate this by 2025, but we have accelerated this to 2021. Today, we have eliminated single use plastic for 70 million items. Another key project is the LifeCycle Analysis tool for merchandising which our travel retail department has introduced across all retail projects.”

Head of Retail Design Daniel Worboys expounded on how the innovative tool works and the implications this has for Pernod Ricard Travel Retail’s activities in the future. “The LifeCycle Tool is the first analysis tool for retail design” he explained. “It enables our design team to develop designs across our full estate that meet our sustainable targets. It manages carbon footprint from inception to end of life and has a traffic light system to ensure designs are compliant with our environmental goals. It’s a game changer.”

Daniel Worboys described the LifeCycle Assessment Tool as a ‘game changer’ in Pernod Ricards’ retail design

The stunning Martell boutique in Sanya, opened in partnership with China Duty Free Group in January, was a key trial location for the tool in retail environments

Commenting on the Hainan opportunity, Travel Retail Asia Pacific General Manager Simon van Moppes added: “I’m so excited for shoppers and travellers to experience the new locations we’re developing. Building all these retail experiences and creating opportunities to delight travellers is deeply intertwined with our care for the planet and everyone who lives in it. ‘Good times in good place’ is at the core of everything were doing. We see the sunny days coming back – and we’re ready and waiting.”

“We’re ready and waiting” — Simon Van Moppes

Click here to read our full story 

F&B partners announced for new T2 at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru

08:30 EST/14:30 CET/20:30 BEIJING

You heard it here first. We’ve just found out in the Knowledge Hub that Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru operator Bangalore International Airport Limited has concluded its first tender process for F&B concepts at the airport’s new Terminal 2.

The airport company has onboarded HMS Host International and a partnership between SSP and Travel Food Services (TFS) as master concessionaires for the project. Each will operate nine concepts.

How the new Terminal 2 will look (above) and a summary of how the commercial space in the terminal will be split (below)

SSP owns 49% of TFS, a leading Indian player in the travel food market. TFS operates approximately 300 food & beverage outlets in India, including at seven major airports in both domestic and international terminals.

These new partners will no doubt have been partly attracted to the airport’s new terminal by Bangalore International Airport Limited’s new approach to commercial contracts in the pandemic era. Much of this Knowledge Session focused on the nature of these contracts, which have shared risk and reward principles at their core.

During the session, we heard the detail about this from three senior commercial specialists of Bangalore International Airport Limited – Kenneth R. Guldbjerg (Chief Commercial Officer), Pravat Paikray (Assistant Vice President Commercial Development), and Saurabh Singhal (Assistant General Manager Commercial Development).

You can see the COVID-induced shift in the dynamics of these contracts and relationships between landlord and commercial tenant in the graphic below.

07:15 EST/13:15 CET/19:15 BEIJING

Aer Rianta International CEO Ray Hernan on recovery

We have just found out in the Knowledge Hub that it’s time to put the focus back on long term growth for Aer Rianta International. It was a highlight session in which Dermot Davitt discussed key issues surrounding recovery with the erudite Ray Hernan, CEO of the Irish travel retailer.

Hernan, who paid tribute to his staff for “putting their best foot forward” in the past year and a half, gave this perspective about his company’s relationship with airports and their contracts with ARI in the pandemic era. “I think without the support of the airports [at which ARI operates] certainly ARI would be in a far more challenging position now.

Ray Hernan said Aer Rianta International is emerging in a good financial position from the pandemic period and will be aiming to extend its footprint in airports

“Did airports hold us to contractual legal obligations over the last 18 months? No, they haven’t, and that was universal. That has to be acknowledged, and very much appreciated from our perspective.”

He continued: “We have worked with our airports to identify different ways to deal with the crucial issue with MAGs [Minimum Annual Guarantees], and I think the debate will continue for a period of time around that.

“I think what we will all be ensuring within the industry is that there is a lot more focus on force majeure clauses and material adverse variance clauses going forward.

“I think there’s an acceptability by the vast majority of airports that the current MAG structure is not sustainable. That has been proved to be a failure over the last 18 months – that has not been good for anybody.

“So I think reverting maybe to a MAG per passenger [is the way forward] and ultimately our goal is to enter into joint venture partnerships, which is has been our modus operandi for many years now.

“I think it is the best way to maximise the alignment of the airports and what they need to do for the customer with us as retailers that we understand each other’s objectives.

“That can evolve a lot more from a commercial perspective. I think this whole collaborative approach in terms of dealing with the airports has a lot more to deliver.”

05:00 EST/ 11:00 EST/ 17:00 BEIJING

New formulas, new thinking, new platforms: Insights into transforming travel retail

Three travel retail specialists provided insights into how to transform travel retail in this interesting and thought-provoking Knowledge Hub session.

It was led by The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie and featured Zürich Airport Head Commercial Centers Heidi Köpple, Highsnobiety Chief Commercial Officer Max Berger, Retail Cities CEO and Co-founder Ray Gaul and KrisShop Chief Executive Officer Chris Pok.

As reported, Highsnobiety – a brand dedicated to the new generation of “cultural pioneers” – and Zürich Airport announced the launch of Highsnobiety GATEZERO earlier this year.

Köpple and Berger discussed the collaboration, which has the experiential concept store set to open on 15 November and operating until 15 May 2022. The 120sq m space is located in the airport’s highest footfall area.

Köpple offered an overview of the airport’s approach to travel retail to ensure passengers a positive experience, noting a rethink to meet the demands of changing and developing consumer demands.

Berger emphasised the power of high-spending young luxury consumers which drive the Highsnobiety brand and “will drive markets in the future”. He also highlighted pre-pandemic research which indicated the low interest in travel retail offerings in this younger consumer segment.

Both Berger and Köpple believe the new Highsnobiety GATEZERO targets, and will attract, those shoppers.

Retail Cities CEO and Co-founder Ray Gaul considered the paradoxes facing travel retail, detailing cashierless and contactless payment options and their effects on in-store, on-shelf and on consumers.

He pointed out that touchpoints are not new in the retail experience, but the goal is to stop consumers shopping online.

“We need to use data to personalise the experience and to retarget consumers… to ensure the seller is re-educated and has a role to play in the transaction,” Gaul said.

“It is more important than ever to create experiences in the space that used to be behind the counter.”

Chris Pok underlined the KrisShop omnichannel retailer’s journey throughout the pandemic, and how it successfully pivoted to appeal to, and attract, local consumers.

“When we first started our vision was quite clear and that was to be a premium omnichannel retailer through service excellence which is what our mothership Singapore Airlines is all about,” he said. “We wanted to transform the traditional online travel retail model which is predominately reliant on the sales cart and the catalogue.”

He detailed upgrades to the KrisShop operation, based on a rethinking of its original business model, and noted a change in mindset.

“When we referred to our customers in the past we called them passengers. Today we no longer call them passengers, we call them customers. That is a subtle but significant change.”

The full Knowledge Hub session will be available on demand.

2.0 & Partners showcases travel retail’s connected future

Luxury retail specialists, 2.0 & Partners is highlighting its channel-specific services that seek to help partners reconnect and rebuild in the post-pandemic landscape.

The company is putting a special focus on its new e.Alert service which keeps brands and operators informed whenever there are new opportunities in key airport and travel retail locations globally.

Commenting on the e.Alert service, 2.0 & Partners CEO Fabio Bernardini said: “The centrepiece for us at the Expo will be our new e.Alert service. Keeping the industry connected and informed is vital as we look to rebuild. Our new service will help our clients, brands and operators who want to work with us stay informed about the opportunities and locations which could benefit them. It will be a chance for us to share our experience, knowledge and understanding with the wider industry on a regular basis.

2.0 & Partners is also showcasing its Strategic Mystery Shopping Service, brand configuration and tender management, CRM, and Retail Academy services at its Experience Room.

Blue puts Intelligent Track Systems on the spotlight

Travel retail specialists Blue is showcasing its BioMiracle, Cloudz, Day ET, Dollbaby, Humble Group, GreyLine, Intelligtent Track System, LeMasque, Simply Chocolate, SkimSafe, Tactika, True Gum and Zikko Clients at its Experience Room.

Blue is putting special focus on IntelligentTrack Systems which has launched a digital personal assistant of the same name for use by air travellers as an information gateway between check-in and departure gates. A major part of the system’s aim is to increase in-airport retail spend.

Using the ITS, users can access routes, departure times, departure gates, product promotions, tax-free shopping guidelines and other relevant airport information in their preferred language.

iClick highlights tools to help global brands tap into China’s purchasing power

NASDAQ-listed iClick Interactive Asia Group is presenting a groundbreaking cross-border smart retail solutions at its Experience Room.

iClick is a leading enterprise and marketing cloud platform in China that empowers worldwide brands with full-stack consumer lifecycle solutions.

iClick launched SaaS (software as a service) based Standard Solution, iSmartGo, earlier this year. Tagged as a “one-stop cross border smart retail solution”, it aims to help international brands access the power of private domain traffic in China.

The smart retail solution gives international brands access to the enormous purchasing power in China through efficiently building and operating their own private domain traffic marketplaces in the WeChat ecosystem.

iSmartGo expands iClick’s standard product offerings and potential client base to brands which have not yet established a presence in China. The ongoing rollout of standard products, iClick said, is a reflection of the company’s determination to further ramp up its Enterprise Solutions business in 2021.


“Enjoy the last 2 days of such an amazing programme you and your team and all participants have put together! We will strive to bring the Travel Retail Expo offline and online next year in Vietnam. Leaders of airports and airlines should meet with leaders of travel retail and services in one ecosystem as we are all working to bring back travel globally.” – Phillip Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer, IPP Travel Retail

Mondelez highlights snacking made right ethos

In Mondelez WTR’s playful and immersive Experience Room, the confectionery giant outlined its 2022 recovery strategy to lead confectionery recovery and drive engagement through relevant product promotions and offers, exciting experiences and a leading sustainability agenda.

It also highlighted its powerful confectionery brands, Toblerone, Cadbury, Milka, Biscuit Bakery, in vivid 360-degree virtual environments. Each brand room offered plenty of interactive elements that highlight each brand’s core USP’s and special projects. The Snacking Area also highlighted Mondelez WTR’s Snacking catalogue and display stands, while the sustainability area outlined Mondelez WTR’s sustainability commitments.

NITR goes beyond sustainability at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo

NITR is presenting its recovery strategy and major sustainability mission at its Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

NITR is doubling down on trusted confectionery brands, leading with regeneration, leveraging opportunities in the non-confectionery category and engaging with consumers offline and online.

It is also showcasing new product innovations from KitKat from non-confectionery brands Nescafé.

KitKat is launching the travel retail exclusive KitKat Senses Roasted Almond flavour in May 2022. The new expression, which offers ten fingers of classic crispy wafers coated in smooth milk chocolate and crunchy roasted almonds, builds on the success of the Senses range.

The brand is also launching two new KitKat Pops flavours: Hazelnut & Cocoa Nibs and Peanut Corn. The two new expressions are available in border stores from 1 March 2022 and builds on the success of the KitKat Pop Chocs. KitKat Pops is also undergoing a line redesign

NITR General Manager Stewart Dryburgh presented the confectionery company’s bold regeneration mission at the Knowledge Hub yesterday, which will have incredible implications for the wider industry.

Nescafé is launching the Gold Roastery Collection. The new line offers two distinct flavour profiles, Rich & Intense and Smooth & Delicate.

Both flavours were developed to appeal to shopper taste preferences and will launch in April 2022 with a limited global distribution. Rich & Intense offers powerful notes blended with smooth milk chocolate and roasted almond, while Smooth & Delicate offers rich caramel and toasted biscuit notes. Both expressions come in 100% plastic-free 95g packaging.


Lindt & Sprüngli is enchanting the world with chocolate

Visitors to the Lindt & Sprüngli are greeted with a special message from a Lindt Maître Chocolatier, who invites Expo attendees to be ‘enchanted’ with Lindt’s chocolate innovations and best-sellers.

Lindt is highlighting its 12 travel retail best-sellers from Lindor, Assorted Napolitaine, 300g bars, assorted pralines. It is also showcasing new releases from the Lindt Nuxor, Lindor and Swiss Premium Chocolate lines.

Lindt & Sprüngli also hosted an incredible Experience Arena session on Day 2 of the Virtual travel Retail Expo, which gave audiences an inside investigate a day in the life of a Lindt Maître Chocolatiers and how he creates Lindt’s beloved chocolate creations.

Ahmad Tea celebrates tea-making heritage

Family-owned company Ahmad Tea’s is showcasing its collaboration with UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kew Gardens for its premium Beyond the Leaf range. The range comprises high-quality botanical teas inspired by the vast flora of Kew Gardens.

The collaboration, a finalist for The QDF Factor, brings together four-generations of Ahmad Tea’s tea-heritage and know-how with the botanical beauty of Kew Gardens. The collection will feature premium Kew Gardens’ branding in reusable tins, which highlights both partners’ English heritage and sustainable ethos.

Under Ahmad Tea’s ‘Inspired Kindness’ programme, a percentage of proceeds from the Beyond the Leaf collection will go towards helping the people and communities in Ahmad Tea’s supply chain.

Ahmad Tea Head of Global Marketing Tracey Wakelin, Ahmad Tea Senior Tea Taster Dominic Marriott and Cambridge Tea Consultant Joyce Maina will be sharing the company’s love of extraordinary tea with an immersive and interactive virtual Tea Discovery Experience this afternoon at the Experience Arena.

(Left to right) Ahmad Tea Head of Global Marketing Tracey Wakelin, Ahmad Tea Senior Tea Taster Dominic Marriott and Cambridge Tea Consultant Joyce Maina will host an immersive virtual tea tasting

Loacker highlights brand relaunch at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo

In a milestone move, Loacker has relaunched the brand through a series of improvements from recipe and packaging, designed to meet the needs of this constantly moving world.

The relaunch seeks to explain Loacker benefits, differentiate from competitors and increase its leadership. Through the relaunch, Loacker aims to unify its brand to tell a streamlined story globally. The Loacker philosophy means using only the best ingredients for the best products, but that has been expanded to offer more taste, less sugar and only use non-GMO materials.

Loacker is also shining the spotlight on its travel retail pouches including the Classic Minis, Gardenia Fingers, Gran Pasticceria, Land ‘The Best of ‘ pouch bags.

The Dufry Global Exchange: Live Q&A between the travel retailer and the supplier community

03:00 EST/09:00 CET/15:00 BEIJING

A special, and very compelling, session with top level executives from Dufry has just been completed in the Knowledge Hub

A detailed presentation on Dufry’s recovery from the pandemic, digitalisation and other future plans for travel retail was followed by a pioneering Q&A session between the retailer and the supplier community.

Martin Moodie puts the questions to the Dufry Global Executive Committee. Top row, left to right, Moodie, Andrea Belardini (Chief Commercial Officer), Sarah Branquinho (Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer). Middle Row, left to right, Luis Marin (Global Chief Corporate Officer), Julián Diaz (CEO), Eugenio Andrades (Chief Executive Officer Operations). Bottom of image, Yves Gerster (Chief Financial Officer)

With Martin Moodie asking questions taken directly from representatives of brands and suppliers in the audience in real time, Dufry CEO Julián Diaz and Chief Commercial Officer Andrea Belardini – supported by members of the travel retailer’s Global Executive Committee – provided candid answers on a range of subjects.

Subjects covered included brand relationships, product categories, the removal of VAT benefits in UK airports, diversity, airport contracts, logistics costs, supply chain issues, digitalisation and lessons of the pandemic.

Coming up later…

03:00 EST 09:00 CET 15:00 BEIJING

The Dufry Global Exchange: A pioneering 90-minute open Q&A session between Dufry and the supplier community led by Dufry CEO Julián Diaz and Chief Commercial Officer Andrea Belardini in conversation with Martin Moodie, supported by members of Dufry’s Global Executive Committee who will take questions as appropriate.


“Had a few meetings today at your very busy and state of the art Virtual Travel Retail Expo! Great experience! The experience and being able to interact with the brands is second to none, really well done.” – Dov Falic, Duty Free Americas   


Pernod Ricard Global Travel brings the beach to the Virtual Travel Retail Expo

Pernod Ricard Global Travel is bringing the beach to the Virtual Travel Retail Expo with its immersive 360-degree Island Bar Experience Room.

Visitors to their Experience Room are greeted with a special message from Pernod Ricard Managing Director Mohit Lal, who offers a virtual toast to Expo attendees.

The future of retail zones showcases innovative new marketing initiatives from Jameson, Chivas and Martell

The space highlights the sustainability and biodiversity initiatives of key Pernod Ricard brands such as Beefeater London Dry Gin, Absolut Vodka, Aberlour & Spey and Redbreast.

It also features the Sustainability & Responsible Sanctuary Room which highlights Pernod Ricard’s ‘Good Times From a Good Place S&R’ pledge.

In addition, visitors can explore the ‘Future of Retail’ zone which highlights Pernod Ricard’s insight-driven marketing initiatives and in-store experiences from brands such as Jameson, Chivas and Martell.

Ferrero showcases new tablet innovation

A delicious chocolate journey: The new tablet offers the same Ferrero Rocher taste but with a new multi-sensory chocolate experience

Ferrero is showcasing a new 90g tablet innovation at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo,  marking its entrance into the premium chocolate tablet category.

Ferrero has partnered exclusively with Lagardère Travel Retail to pre-launch the new tablet range in selected stores from September 2021, with a global travel retail rollout planned for January 2022.

The Ferrero Rocher Tablet is available in milk, dark 55% cocoa and white chocolate flavours, with each expression made with only the highest-quality ingredients. All three flavours are available in a travel retail exclusive multi-pack that offers three 90g tablets.

The 90g tablet offers the same distinctive taste of the brand’s hero chocolate and hazelnut Ferrero Rocher speciality. Each square of the new tablet is crafted to take consumers on a delicious, multi-sensory chocolate journey. It features a gentle dome over the square that pays homage to the original Ferrero Rocher treat, while a chocolate base supports a cream filling covered with a chocolate top layer and sprinkled with crunchy hazelnut.

Ferrero Travel Market’s Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo guides customers through various brand islands, offering the latest updates from its powerful portfolio of confectionery brands. These include Kinder, Nutella, Tic Tac and its Premium Chocolate portfolio.

Visit Qatar Duty Free’s Virtual Expo experience for a chance to win two business class flight tickets

Expo visitors can go on a virtual tour of Hamad International Airport at the Qatar Duty Free Experience Room

Qatar Airways, Hamad International Airport and Qatar Duty Free are offering visitors to its stunning Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo the chance to win a wonderful prize this week.

From 12 October, Qatar Duty Free – Diamond Partner of the Expo – is running a daily quiz for guests attending the industry’s largest all-digital event. Answer all questions correctly each day and you could win two return business class tickets to Qatar from your departure airport to anywhere in the world, through the Qatar Airways network.

The winner will be announced on Friday. For registered guests, Qatar Duty Free can be accessed here. Registration at the main event website is available here.

Visitors to the Qatar Duty Free Experience Room are greeted with a special video message from Qatar Duty Free Vice President of Operations Thabet Musleh.

Watch the video below to see a snippet


Putting Sustainability, Diversity and Inclusion at the Top of the Corporate Agenda

10:00 EST/16:00 CET/22:00 BEIJING

Today’s final Knowledge Hub session featured two business leaders from one of the world’s leading drinks companies, Beam Suntory, as it steps up its commitment to what it sees as key environmental, social, and corporate governance principles.

Beam Suntory Vice President Global Environmental Sustainability Kim Marotta and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Victoria Russell met with The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie in this live session.

Marotta is responsible for developing and implementing long-term commitments to environmental sustainability across every facet of the Beam Suntory value chain, “from seed to sip”.

She outlined the company’s commitment and collaboration to become climate positive at a time when the world is “at an inflection point”, using a poignant quote from naturalist David Attenborough to highlight problems associated with climate change.

In presenting Beam Suntory’s Proof Positive strategy, and its environmental, social and economic impacts, Marotta echoed the words of Beam Suntory President and CEO Albert Baladi. He said: “Making a positive impact on the planet, consumers and communities isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s a must do for the sustainability of our business and humanity.”

Marotta noted Beam Suntory’s plans to invest US$1 billion over the next ten years to support new capabilities and partnerships across its supply chain. Pilot schemes include sustainable bourbon production, water quality and supply protection and carbon footprint reduction.

Beam Suntory brands, Marotta said, have sustainability at the fore of their sourcing, production facilities and packaging.

“We want to add more value, not more waste,” she said, pointing out that Beam Suntory believes that travel retail can play a vital role in getting its message across to consumers.

Russell is a member of the Beam Suntory Senior Leadership Team, tasked with leading diversity and inclusion across talent acquisition, career development and employee retention, marketing and community relations. Her responsibilities also include improving organisational capability to better recognise bias and further drive inclusive mindset.

She introduced a number of Beam Suntory’s programmes which focus on their employees and communities, including a commitment to securing 1 million hours of volunteered efforts by 2030. Beam Suntory employees are paid for three days of voluntary work every year.

“We are on a journey and if it is truly going to be efficient it will take efforts from all of us,” Russell said.

Resilience and Renewal as the Cruise Business Returns

09:00 EST/15:00 CET/21:00 BEIJING

A wide-ranging discussion on cruise retail took place in the Knowledge Hub today, where four leading lights from the sector underlined the opportunity for brands to enter the space as the industry’s restart gathers momentum.

Joining The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman Dermot Davitt in the discussion were MSC Cruises Head of Retail Adrian Pittaway; Starboard Cruise Services President & CEO Lisa Bauer; Azamara President Carol Cabezas; and Harding Chief Commercial Officer Matthew Hodges

The session began with a presentation from each of the participants, giving insights to the return of cruising and the refreshed retail offers that have been developed onboard.

Pittaway had this reassurance for brands thinking about entering the cruise retail channel: “There’s a lot of brands that are nervous about the cruise channel because it is so different, and it’s [perceived as] very insular. But brands should look at the amazing opportunity to have this intimate connection [with cruise goers]. It’s a really exciting place to showcase a brand over a period of time, be it for seven days, 14 days, even 150 days [for world cruises].

“And whilst you may not have the space and immediacy of an airport, it is a completely different way for a brand to connect to a potential customer. The channel is a unique one in being able to bring people to brands for the first time, but also to sell to a whole new type of consumer and a whole different type of market.”

Hodges asserted that “the cruise channel is a fantastic way to deepen a brand’s relationship with potential customers”. He said: “We have been able to work more closely together with brands, perhaps offering a wider product range, offering a more interesting experience, collaborating on presentation onboard, and with specialist staff also making a difference.

“So I would say to any brands who might be listening to this, there is a huge opportunity in the cruise channel, not only to experiment and find out what customers like but also to build relationships.”

Bauer spoke of the changing in nature of cruise retail: “I think the days of set it and forget it are gone. We need to use limited time experiences and bring white space to life. I think it is just so incredibly important to really partner with the brands to think about the experience.

“It’s important to understand that cruise is so different than airport. We work to generate engagement for brands, really think about the guest’s mindset and how the brand shows up maybe a little bit different [than in other retail environments].”

Cabezas also had a message for brands thinking about entering cruise retail: “We have a captive audience and you can inspire them to engage many times [with retail] as their journey continues.

“There’s a multitude of cruise lines to pick from to align different brands and I’m sure there’s a cruiser out there for every brand in your audience.”

Towards a new Experience in Cruise Retail and Hospitality

08:00 EST / 14:00 CET / 20:00 BEIJING

CNN International Global Commercial Distribution Director Rachelle Peterson assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the cruise traveller mindset in conversation with The Moodie Davitt Report President & Editorial Director Dermot Davitt. She said, “Cruise travellers are focusing on health & safety, hygiene and cleanliness, and want ease and flexibility and so operators must rebuild confidence in those areas.

“Connecting with travellers and offering personalised experiences is key. Travellers expect brands to deliver on new expectations and offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Customers want to travel with purpose and so brands need to offer more choice. The conscious traveller is also here to stay. That’s how I see things evolving post-COVID.

Commenting on what the cruise guests will expect from the new travel experience, Peterson said it’s all about combining physical with digital. She said: “One thing lockdown has taught us is how to use the internet for everything. What operators can do to stand out now is to provide value and make it easier for customers to choose them in the post-pandemic travel and shopping world.”

“When stability returns, the cruise sector will bounce back strongly” — Rachelle Peterson

Despite the challenges, Peterson offered a positive outlook on the future of the cruise channel. She said: “The value of the cruise market is still here, and I think cruises have an advantage because they can control their environments. So, when stability returns, the cruise sector will bounce back strongly. You can see this in the number of new ships being releases, with 19 new ocean ships debuting in 2021 alone.”

However, when the cruise industry returns, it needs to adapt to changing consumer behaviours. “Post covid travellers will lean towards experience type travel, they will travel less often but for longer and people will think long and hard about where they want to go,” she added.

So, how will the cruise industry evolve to meet these new demands? “COVID-19 has upended the travel industry and cruise was the hardest hit – despite a very loyal consumer base,” Peterson said. “Helping the local population and the environment has become a real talking point and we need multi-stakeholder collaboration to address this. The scale and global nature of the crisis has forced cooperation on national and international level. Coordination with non-government agencies like health agencies have become vital. People want to stay informed even on holiday.”

Offering the CNN point of view, Peterson highlighted the company’s CNN Tap programme which carves out new revenue streams for cruise operators. “At CNN, we have an important part to play in that, especially in the travel sector. We made CNN available onboard all MSC cruises to keep everyone onboard informed during COVID.

“We launched the CNN Travel Advertising Platform (CNN TAP) and embarked on several partnerships including one with Carnival Cruise Lines. CNN TAP is our latest digital monetisation product that helps hospitality and travel markets generate new revenue streams. We partner with luxury brands, tourism boards and airlines to monetise the Wifi Landing page of cruise ships.”

Peterson strongly believes that a return to sailing is inevitable, but that operators and brands need to go above and beyond to inspire cruise travellers. “People have been waiting 18 months to travel again, and so you have to offer them the trip of a lifetime.”

Driving travel retail’s drinks category towards a better, more sustainable future

07:00 EST/12:00 CET/19:00 BEIJING

Diageo Greater China & Asia Pacific President Sam Fischer discussed key issues for travel retail in the ‘new norm’ in this Knowledge Hub session with The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie.

“Astounded” by the resilience shown within the channel and in Diageo teams around the world, Fischer offered an upbeat and optimistic view of the future.

“Travellers,” he said, “are going to be surprised and delighted by what they see in travel retail. This is a critical channel for us.

“We have had a long history in travel retail and we know that travellers are going to return, they are going to be energised… and we want to be there to ensure that our brands will enhance that experience of travel.

“The focus will be on investing in brands, supporting customers and supporting our teams, as we emerge stronger. We know that premiumisation and digitalisation will continue to be trends and we really want to build plans with our customers that ensure that together we unlock the enormous opportunity we see in this channel.”

A full report on Fischer’s view of the future is available here.

Heathrow bounces back: A T2 tour of the UK’s number one airport

06:00 EST/12:00 CET/18:00 BEIJING

We’ve just seen a terrific piece of video footage in the Knowledge Hub in which The Moodie Davitt Report President Dermot Davitt takes a walk round Terminal 2 of Heathrow with the airport’s ever-impressive Retail & Property Director Fraser Brown.

The upbeat conversation between the duo gave us a great flavour of the pace of recovery at the UK’s premier airport and how it is facing up to difficult pandemic challenges.

Dermot Davitt hears the story of Heathrow’s resurgence in the company of Fraser Brown

It gives a timely reminder as to why Heathrow is one of the world’s great airports for retail and F&B.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the many subjects covered by Brown during the highly-engaging tour:

On the return of traffic: “In 2019 the airport welcomed 81 million passengers, with T2 accounting for about 20 million of them. We’re predicting that the whole airport will do about 21.5 million this year, certainly a reduction of more than -70%. We think the business will at least double next year to about 43 million passengers.”

Behind Fraser Brown, we see hoardings for a new JD Sports store, which will open to the public in just two weeks. This is one of a number examples of Heathrow quickly replacing the tenants it has lost due to the pandemic and the loss of VAT benefits on certain products.

On the importance of US travellers returning: “There’s £220 billion worth of trade between the UK and the US. And about 25% of our 80 million passengers were going back and forward across the Atlantic, so it is incredibly important.”

On the removal of VAT benefits: “There are wider issues around the whole question of the removal of VAT-free pricing that are quite central to our thinking at the moment. We said to the government that this is effectively a tourist tax on passengers, and will result in closures and job losses.

An impressive activation to promote Paco Rabanne’s Phantom fragrance at Heathrow, a clear sign that brands still have the confidence to invest in their future at the airport 

“When you think of buying headphones for £20-30 they become £4-6 more expensive. But a luxury watch or handbag that costs £2000-3000 we are talking £400-600. As an airport operator it makes you think about the viability of some of these things.

“You could ask why should we be giving discounts to an Italian traveller? The sad reality is that the Italian traveller might still choose to buy the luxury item but will purchase it when they travel to France or back home in Italy. And as a result, the UK economy will lose in terms of the economic benefit that travel retail has provided.”

On pricing: “For passengers, we do need to communicate the value message harder because people are starting to question, if it’s VAT paid now, what’s the benefit over the High Street? We’ve worked with the likes of Dufry and the brands to maintain [pre-rule change] prices. It’s a margin painful decision that we’ve taken.”

Fraser Brown said his team is working with retailers and brands on attractive pricing for categories such as perfumes & cosmetics in the face of the changes in VAT rules

On F&B: “F&B was really important pre-COVID and it is now, in terms of that passenger experience. We know that from all our research. It’s important for passengers to have somewhere on a practical level to refuel, but equally somewhere where they have a lovely experience.”

On partnerships with retailers: “The partnerships that we have with our retailers, I would say are stronger now than they were before COVID. We’ve had a number of incredibly difficult conversations. I’d like to publicly pay testament to both my team but also to the retailers for the way that they’ve dealt with that.

Dermot Davitt visited several smart new food & beverage establishments on his tour around T2, a number of them replacing victims of the pandemic

“We’ve gone through it in a pragmatic way, and I think coming out of it we understand each other’s businesses better. When things are going well, you kind of let things run, when they’re going less well you tend to have more detailed discussions.

“We now know much more about some of our partners than we probably did pre-COVID. That’s not a bad thing. I think our partners also know more about us as an airport operator, and with that in mind, I think that puts us in a great position for the future.”

See an in-depth interview with Fraser Brown from the same visit in The Moodie Davitt Report here.

Markus Strobel on how SK-II is changing destinies

05:00 EST / 11:00 CET / 17:00 BEIJING

This powerful session explored how SK-II, one of the world’s most powerful skincare brands, has sought meaningful ways to connect with its consumers in a fast-changing world while staying true to the brand purpose #CHANGEDESTINY—Skin, Life and Planet.

P&G Global President Skin & Personal Care Markus Strobel argued that the pandemic has set the bar higher for storytelling and authenticity – both key to resonating with the contemporary consumer.

Looking back on the beginning of SK-II’s #CHANGEDESTINY story, Strobel said: “Change Destiny is all about inspiring women to overcome societal pressures and live to their full potential. Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. How this came together a couple of years ago is quite interesting.

Story-telling and authenticity are key to engaging with consumers in the post-pandemic landscape, Strobel says

“We had just finished a ten-year skin study in Japan. So, we followed women using our facial treatment essence and our SK-II regimen for ten years, 100 of them. The results were just that dramatic that brought us to the conclusion that this is, the condition of the skin is not so much in your genes. It’s what you can influence that is amazing. You can change your destiny.

“We made a discovery here in Asia that we call ‘the box’. Women in Asia feel often trapped in a box, in a box of expectations society puts on them, to get married at the right time, to get the right job, to be perfect, all these kinds of things that box them in and feel like they’re not in control of their own destiny. So, we brought these two things together into the #CHANGEDESTINY campaign.”

SK-II has taken leaps to turn inspiration into action by launching the SK-II Studio which has released a compelling series of films in the last year, starting with ‘The Centre Lane’ with Imee Rikako and the ‘VS’ animated anthology series starring Olympic athletes. It also launched the #CHANGEDESTINY Fund to help women-owned businesses in Japan.

“Through this campaign we’ve inspired a lot of women to talk about this and to have this conversation, but we said to ourselves where’s the action? How can we take inspiration into action? Through SK-II Studio and the #CHANGEDESTINY Fund and together with Shibuya City and Meetalk, we provided women with the funds and resources to make their business thrive even in the time of crisis. So, this was really going from inspiration to action, and this was how the campaign is going to evolve in the future to help more people and be a force for good in the world.”

Strobel argued that the pandemic has set the bar higher for storytelling and authenticity – both key to resonating with the contemporary consumer. Over the years, SK-II has launched numerous memorable storytelling led campaigns including its partnership with national Geographic and the ‘Bar Skin Challenge’, the ‘Pitera Masterclass’ and the ‘My Pitera Story’ documentary series.

(Left to right) The documentary series stars four leading actresses, Tang Wei from China; Ayase Haruka from Japan; Ni Ni from China; and Chloe Grace Moretz from the USA. Each shares their own transformative skin journeys with Pitera Essence and SK-II.

“When we wrote down our values ten years ago, authenticity was key. The Pitera Essence has been around for 40 years. We’ve never changed the product because it really works. With My Pitera Story, we asked our main brand ambassadors like Tang Wei in China or Ayase-san in Japan, who have been with the brand for more than ten years to reshoot their first commercial ten years later. This all comes together because they authentically believe in the product and our brand.”

The crisis has also prompted a tremendously rapid evolution of retail formats. How is that transformation playing out and what are its repercussions for travel retail? Strobel said: “The world has really shifted much more to online, omnichannel, gamification, metaverse and the meteoric rise of channels like Douyin, which is not only a brand building channel today, but sales channel. Livestreaming, which was already there, is now dominant in China and in many other geographies.

“Hainan has emerged as one of the most important travel retail destinations in the world,” Strobel added. “We collaborated with CDFG to launch the first social retail pop-up. We turned the queue into an experience which included mini programmes, metaverses, AR games which invited shoppers to interact with our Olympic ambassadors and fight online trolls. It was a great brand building experience.”

Centred around the concept of ‘The Line is the Ride’, the SK-II ‘Social Retail’ pop-up store immerses visitors in the cinematic universe of the animated anthology series

Strobel says that in the future, SK-II will be doubling down on its #CHANGEDESTINY mantra. “We want to change the destiny of women’s skin, life and the planet, and that’s where equality, inclusion and sustainability come in. It’s a very simple concept, but it’s extremely powerful because it provides the why of what we’re doing. #CHANGEDESTINY makes me get up every morning and go to work.”

According to Strobe, environmental, social, and corporate governance matter more than ever. “There’s still a huge mountain to climb and we’re willing to go the extra mile,” he said. “We’re launching a limited edition festive collection, developed together with the Andy Warhol Foundation which is fully recyclable from bottle to cap. We are launching this in our SK-II City metaverse at the Andy Warhol Arcade, where people can play games and learn to be a recycling master. Once they are a recycling master, they receive ‘Miracle Drops’, a new currency we invented for our CRM system that offers customer incentives. They can even donate them to recycling companies.

“In addition, All SK-II products come from our Shiga Plant in Japan, which is a zero waste to landfill plant and runs on 100% renewable energy. We also inaugurated a new zero-energy building. I think every step we take creates a positive impact.”

Leaving a final message for the industry, Strobel said: “We are fully committed to the travel retail industry. As one of the bigger players, we must scale up to make a big impact. With power comes great responsibility, and I think have great power as an industry, but we’ve got to use it. It’s up to us to make a difference in the world and be a force for good and beauty. I can only sum it up with my favourite line from our #CHANGEDESTINY campaign, ‘Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice and we can choose.’”

04:00 EST/10:00 CET/16:00 BEIJING

Pinpointing the new drivers of growth in travel retail

The theme of transformation took centre stage in a powerful Knowledge Hub session with Nestlé International Travel Retail General Manager Stewart Dryburgh today. He outlined the key growth drivers of a brighter and better travel retail industry future in a presentation and Q&A with The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie.

Dryburgh highlighted Nestlé’s aim to ‘reignite and delight’ in building food into the most purchased category in travel retail. He also underlined its mission to combine confectionery, global foods brands and local food into one holistic food category.

“As a driver for growth, food can play an unparalleled role in our industry in terms of driving footfall and in terms of driving sales,” he said. “We all know recovery is coming and it is coming as a new market and we need to adjust ourselves to the new opportunities that exist.”

He highlighted shifting consumer needs and expectations – “the necessity of giving shoppers what they want and need” – the demand for sustainable products and the emerging markets which present opportunities in the channel.

Dryburgh pointed out that food and confectionery account for 30% of purchases and is the top cross-category driver.

Nestlé, he said, has identified key opportunities in travel retail: growing retail revenues, changing consumer needs, a shifting passenger mix and the growing food category.

Dryburgh introduced Nestlé’s VERSE strategy, centred on Value, Sense of Place, Engagement, Regeneration and Execution and detailed just how the company is setting about ensuring that plays a major role in its future in travel retail.

“Price is not the only factor, never is and never will be. How people feel is going to be the critical factor… giving them value, giving them something that makes them feel good when they are walking out of the store.”

Regeneration, he said “is going beyond sustainability”, highlighting Nestle’s focus on protecting, renewing and restoring the planet. “Sustainability is not enough and I am really excited to be part of a group which is bringing this sort of thinking to the world because it is the right thing to do for the planet, and it’s the right thing to do for our children’s future.”

However, as Dryburgh pointed out, consumers do not buy strategy. “Consumers buy execution and execution across the four VALUE parts will be critical to unlocking the potential and really transforming the power of this category in driving our industry forward.”

He is adamant that food is underperforming in travel retail. “There is something outside our world which we are not replicating correctly and the star point is the focus we are giving to confectionery. We are overloading it.”

On the domestic market, he noted, confectionery accounts for 7% of packaged good sales while in duty free confectionery accounts for 77%. “Confectionery was, is and will be the beating heart of the food category within travel retail. However we are missing the other 93% and not doing it correctly within our channel.”

Dryburgh cited examples of how some retailers have chosen to feature products which are usually not favoured in the channel to boost sales (for example, Nido, which has prompted significant sales in the Middle East over the past decade), while other brands, such as  Nescafé Roasting and Illuma, will unlock new opportunities.

Dryburgh also underlined Nestlé’s belief in a holistic approach, combining digital and physical elements, in connecting with new customers.

Michael Schriver on Finding the Keys to Unlocking a Prosperous Travel Retail Future

03:00 EST / 09:00 CET / 15:00 BEIJING

“Retailers need to focus on where the market will return, not where it used to be” — Michael Schriver

Michael Schriver is one of the most knowledgeable and respected voices in Asia’s luxury retail sector and as a former President Worldwide Store Operations and Chief Operating Officer at DFS Group, an expert on travel retail.

In conversation with Martin Moodie, Schriver offered an overview of Asia Pacific travel retail’s transformation. “When I started in travel retail in 1998, the most important consumer was the Japanese consumer. After 9/11 that consumer evaporated, and slowly after SARs became replaced by the Chinese consumer. The most extraordinary part is the total transformation of the core travel retail consumer. That is probably the biggest learning for the travel retail industry.”

That focus on the Chinese consumer has caused a body flow for our industry with the crisis. Giving his predictions on the channel’s recovery, Schriver said. “History repeats itself. It wasn’t that long ago when 70% of luxury sales from Chinese travellers were done outside of China. Pre-COVID, Bain and Company forecast that by 2025 50% of luxury sales would be done inside of China. So, to me, what has occurred was inevitable but the speed was unpredictable. The crisis has forced something to occur that would have occurred in five to ten years, to happen in five to ten months.”

Amidst a global pandemic, what strengths and weaknesses of our industry have emerged? Schriver said, “We will never go back to how it was. When the market recovers it will be a changed market. A lot of off airport travel retail is built around these ideas of group tours conducted outside of China. So, the question remains will that particular type of travel recover? Locations in the popular must-see destinations is crucial and finding locations where the local shops,” Schriver added. “Retailers need to focus on where the market will return, not where it used to be.”

Schriver questions the longevity of the parallel market amidst China’s push to boost domestic spend

An example of a store who is excelling in this new world is DFS Group’s La Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf by DFS, which is a shop of experience and delight that seeks to capture the attention of both tourists and locals alike. “I think what DFS have done with Samaritaine is extraordinary, between the history and heritage of the building, the F&B, the localised offer, it is exceptional experiential retail.”

Schriver holds strong views on how the channel must develop in the future, including a rethink of many attitudes and practices. “The whole idea on the parallel market has become troublesome and offshore business in China has been a sensitivity for a long time,” Schriver explained. “The way the parallel marketers work is to subvert border controls – and that will never be allowed to exist for too long. At some point in time, there will be stronger enforcement. It’s not in anyone’s economic interest for this to continue and you have to question the longevity of it.”

Another key topic is China’s push for common prosperity and Schriver believes that it would only benefit the industry. “The goal in China is to bring more people to the middle class and that will surely benefit the industry. The method may not be perfect, but if China succeeds to bring 300 to 400 million people to the middle class, then everyone wins. The whole world should try and reduce the wealth gap and I believe that it would have great positive consequences if we all do our part.”

Leaving a final message of optimism for the industry’s future, Schriver said: “I think there’s no question that the future will be more positive than the present. The Chinese will travel again, but the question is what portion of that business will be international. I think the future is bright for companies that try to throw the ball to where the consumers are going to be.”

How Vietnam has controlled the COVID-19 virus as it gets set for a travel rebound

01:30 EST 07:30 CET 13:30 BEIJING

A fascinating session on how Vietnam is faring in the race to reopen for travel, led by its strong vaccine rollout and focus on health, unfolded in the first session of the Knowledge Hub today.

Everybody viewing this will have emerged with stronger confidence in the speed of return to travel, not just to Vietnam but across the wider world.

Phillip Nguyễn said he wanted the session to focus on health and the trust that he believes can be placed in Vietnam’s handling of the pandemic 

Talking to Martin Moodie were Phillip Nguyễn, Chief Executive Officer at IPP Travel Retail and Vice President Business Development Imex Pan Pacific Group, Vietnam; Nitin Kapoor Chairman and General Director, AstraZeneca Vietnam & Asia Area Frontier Markets; and Luke Treloar, Partner, Head of Strategy, National Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, KPMG.

The session started with three very interesting presentations, with Nguyễn presenting key facts about IPP and the airport and tourism eco-system into Vietnam. He was followed by two highly informative perspectives on the world’s and Vietnam’s rollout of vaccination and approaches to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic from Kapoor and Treloar.

A summary of IPP Travel Retail’s duty free interests in Vietnam (click to enlarge)

On Vietnam’s progress on vaccination rollout, Nguyễn said: “We only started receiving vaccines really this year, in terms of vaccination and the speed I hear some days we get a million vaccinated a day; I’m so surprised that that’s even feasible. But Vietnam really has this iron will to get things done.”

He added: “I am very hopeful because what we can, and need to, project right now is that the science behind vaccination works. I think today we are able to say that confidently that Vietnam will be ready to reopen quite soon.”

A fascinating snapshot of the major vaccines and where they are being rolled out (click to enlarge)

AstraZeneca has so far provided more than 1.5 billion vaccine doses to 170+ countries at no profit during the pandemic. Of the 57 million doses so far administered in Vietnam, AstraZeneca is responsible for 61% of those.

The pharmaceutical giant’s Kapoor discussed the challenges of the Vietnam vaccination programme and the spread of distribution: “One of the benefits when with this vaccine came out, and we were working with Oxford University on our vaccine, is the storage condition and the favourable conditions to transport [the vaccines] which requires just a normal temperature. That makes it quite easy to move around the country.

The progress towards herd immunity of the G20 countries and the key Vietnam tourism source markets are shown here (click to enlarge)

“Vietnam is one of those countries where they do have facilities to easily transport so we don’t see that much disparity between the city and rural areas. If this was a cold storage product where you need to freeze at minus 50, minus 60, minus 70 degrees we would be talking about something completely different here.

“The healthcare system here in Vietnam, the government’s focus, and the drive [to tackle COVID-19] is absolutely incredible. And they have done a very good job in making sure that the vaccines reach as far as possible.

Nitin Kapoor gave a superb commentary on the issues surrounding the tackling of COVID-19 and AstraZeneca’s role in the process

“I think we don’t see the disparity [between major cities and rural areas]. Of course, there will be some areas where it’s slightly slower. But then from scientific standpoint, if you’re in a remote province where it’s not crowded, and you don’t have too much urbanisation, you could also argue that the urgency is also technically a bit less because of the [lower] need for social distancing and so on.

“So I think the strategy has been right. You ringfenced the border, and then you pick up the pockets where it’s densely populated, and then you work your way out from there. And I think that’s been working really well for Vietnam.”

This graphic underlines Vietnam’s determination to combat the virus and its relatively strong performance on limiting case as measured against the SEA companies  (click to enlarge)

During his presentation, Luke Treloar presented some encouraging statistics towards herd immunity across the world, highlighting that the G20 countries (which contain many of Vietnam’s key tourism source markets) are just two months away from reaching the 75% population vaccinated to achieve that. Meanwhile, reaching the magic herd immunity number for the wider world is estimated to be about six months away.

Treloar said: “There is the hope that once we reach that 75% metric for the wealthier countries, all the efforts and the pipeline [of vaccine distribution] will snowball across the developing world. And we’ll all have a very quick back, return back to safety and to travel.”

Luke Treloar gave the audience a great understanding of the world’s progress towards COVID-19 herd immunity

Looking ahead to key source market tourists returning to Vietnam, Nguyễn said: “The Russian tourists are coming for a month already, the seven-day quarantine we currently have in place is not a problem to them!

“We might not win the Chinese pax today, maybe they might come after the Beijing Winter Olympics. We might not yet get the Korean pax, because there’s still strict protocol for inbound to Korea.

A summary of the new Vietnamese strategy on the reopening of its economy (click to enlarge)

“But we will take this step by step. I do believe in order for us to attract international tourists, we must start with domestic tourism through our domestic airports once again. There are so many beautiful mountains, seaside, countryside here – I do believe a lot of people are missing Mother Nature and Vietnam has a lot to offer here.”

Nyugen concluded: “Vietnam, our company and our partners here in Vietnam are looking forward to welcoming all of the viewers here today for a well-deserved vacation. So please keep us always in mind, and we will be ready to welcome everyone safely back in Vietnam in due time.”

Welcome back!

Welcome back everyone to Day 3 at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. Another outstanding programme is promised in the Experience Arena and Knowledge Hub. Martin Moodie will kick off the Knowledge Hub today with a great session at 13.30 Beijing/Hong Kong/Singapore time themed ‘Leading Vietnam Out of Crisis into a New Age of Opportunity’.

It will feature:

Phillip Nguyễn, Chief Executive Officer at IPP Travel Retail and Vice President Business Development Imex Pan Pacific Group, Vietnam
Nitin Kapoor, Chairman and General Director, AstraZeneca Vietnam & Asia Area Frontier Markets
Luke Treloar, Partner, Head of Strategy, National Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, KPMG<

That is followed by another live session, this time an audience with Louis Vuitton President North Asia Michael Schriver, speaking in a personal capacity. Michael is one of the most knowledgeable and respected voices in Asia’s luxury retail sector and as a former President Worldwide Store Operations and Chief Operating Officer at DFS Group, an expert on travel retail. He holds strong views on how the channel must develop in the future, including a rethink of many attitudes and practices. Expect a great conversation.

We bring the first section of today’s programme to a strong conclusion with a live presentation from Stewart Dryburgh, General Manager at Nestlé International Travel Retail, whose theme is ‘Pinpointing the New Drivers of Growth’.

Stewart will address what one of the world’s most powerful brand companies identifies as the key drivers to a brighter and better travel retail industry future.

Women in Travel Thrive is Redressing the Workplace Imbalance

In this inspiring Knowledge Hub Session, Women in Travel Thrive (WITT) Founder Expedia Group North American Market Management & Lodging Senior Director Silvia Camarota and Aer Rianta International Retail Analytics Manager Mary Wyse underscore the impact of COVID-19 on workplace inequality and how the travel industry can transform to become more equal and inclusive.

In conversation with fellow woman in travel, The Moodie Davitt Report Brands Editor & Digital Marketing Manager Hannah Tan-Gillies and The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie, Camarota and Wyse underline the value of networking, community and support in helping women thrive in the workplace.

In the pandemic world, Women in Travel Thrive plays a vital role in keeping women connected, offering a support system for women, faced with compounded financial and emotional stress. Camarota says “This community was founded at the peak of the pandemic when everyone felt isolated. Women were leaving the workforce at 4x the rate of men at that period.

“Across the industry, we wanted to reach out, connect with each other, offer words of support and encouragement, and find a way to create a special connection in these virtual times. What started as a support community grew into a bigger movement.”

Thrive was quick to gather support at a time when women in travel, and of course, travel retail, were not thriving at all. It recently held its International Day of Impact, with an EMEA Day of Impact planned soon. It also launched Empowering Bundles to help women’s career progression.

Women make up 54% of COVID-related job losses and the age gap between men and women in travel is set to increase to 2% by the end of the pandemic. According to Camarota this can be attributed to five root causes.

Women in Travel Thrive encourages newcomers to join its expanding network [Click on image to enlarge]

“There are five major causes for why women are more impacted by the pandemic,” Camarota explained. “These are uneven access to education, lack of employment equality, job segregation, lack of legal protection and lack of bodily autonomy. These five root causes were amplified and women found themselves out of work.”

Camarota added, “What we try to do with WITT is to find what we can tangibly do in terms of resources to bring the gender equality conversation to the table and take one step forward for change, so that the small things we do today can have a larger impact tomorrow. This community was founded on the premise that there shouldn’t be a barrier for women to enter and progress in the travel industry.”

Much more than an organisation, WITT has become a movement for women in the industry. It has launched several initiatives that can tangibly help women during these difficult times. These include the Virtual 3K Run, the Thrive Match Programme and the upcoming EMEA Day of Impact on 3 November.

Wyse commented “We really encourage everyone to join us on the EMEA Day of Impact, which is the first in our region. The topic is ‘Turning Surviving into Thriving’, which I feel is perfect for where we are at EMEA now.

Commenting on how the travel retail industry can transform to become more inclusive, Camarota said: “Travel is a force of good. We have an immense social responsibility and the more we speak about this, the more we can become a role model for other industries and lead the way. I love that we are having this conversation now and grateful for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo for giving us a platform to talk about this important topic.”

“It’s all about visibility,” Wyse added. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it. It’s also about empowering and helping others. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start somewhere to be great.”

Click here to view our full report

A tour around the Beauty & Wellbeing Hall 

The Exhibition Pavilion is a showcase for the most innovative brands, services and products in the channel.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of the Beauty & Wellbeing Hall which features some of the most innovative cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, haircare and wellbeing brands in the travel retail channel today.

Shiseido showcases powerful brand portfolio

Shiseido Travel Retail is once again bringing virtual innovation to the fore with its dynamic and engaging Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

Shiseido Travel Retail is reinforcing its commitment to the travel retail channel by showcasing its powerful brand portfolio with a special focus on prestige and beauty. The company is highlighting key launches, consumer-centric marketing strategies and market-specific plans for 2022, aligned under Shiseido Group’s WIN 2023 and Beyond medium-to-long-term strategy.

It is also showcase new product innovations from its Shiseido, Clé de Peau Beauté, Nars, Elixir and Anessa brands.

L’Occitane invites Expo attendees to discover a nature-positive world

French wellbeing company Groupe L’Occitane is inviting Expo attendees to learn all about its sustainability and biodiversity efforts, as part of its mission to create a nature-positive world. Across three sumptuous virtual environments, Groupe L’Occitane is highlighting its three core brands, L’Occitane en Provence, Elemis and Erborian. Each space highlights the distinctive visual identities of the brands, while also delivering Groupe L’Occitane’s core nature-positive message.

At the L’Occitane en Provence room, visitors will learn all about the brand’s biodiversity initiatives, how it is reducing waste on its travel retail exclusive sets, and introduces Cathy, the brand’s Immortelle producer.

At the Elemis room, which is fashioned to look like Knightsbridge in London, visitors can discover the new Pro-Collagen range; while the Erborian area features a ‘Scan & Play’ game and highlights the ‘Skin Hero’s BB and CC Creams and new Super Serums.

As reported, L’Occitane Group developed an updated biodiversity strategy, which calls for a move towards a ‘nature-positive’ world. It presented the strategy at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France. The roadmap foresees the development of an action programme that embraces the entire value chain.

L’Occitane Group’s ‘nature-positive’ ambition requires no net loss of nature from 2020, a net positive state of nature by 2030 and a full recovery by 2050.

The biodiversity strategy is being jointly implemented alongside the company’s climate and human development goals. L’Occitane Group is currently on its way to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030 and becoming B Corp certified by 2023.

Fekkai showcases clean, vegan, performance haircare

Fekkai, one of the world’s first sustainable, professional salon brands to deliver high-performance haircare, is showcasing its latest product innovations at its Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

Fekkai’s presence shines the light on the brand’s sustainability commitments and features an interactive hair analysis tool that offers haircare recommendations, courtesy of Frederic, in real time.

Fekkai is also putting a special focus on the new Apple Cider Detox and Shea Butter lines. The Apple Cider Detox line is a 3-step system that stimulates the scalp and purifies the hair; while the Shea Butter line is made from ethically-and sustainably-sourced monoi and rich shea butter that boosts wavy and curly hair.

Fekkai is ramping up the personalisation, offering bespoke haircare recommendations in real time

Commenting on his brand philosophy, Founder Frédéric Fekkai said: “My philosophy is to enhance my client’s beauty I want my products to reflect the beauty I see around me. Hair that feels effortless and healthy products that get you sound results, haircare that becomes a self-care ritual.

“Today, my clean, luxurious formulas are made of simple pure ingredients, sourced responsibly to enhance your hair shine, strength and volume. We make our bottles form 95% recycled plastics, crafting the most beautiful, powerful and personalised routines ever. Finally professional performance meets clean formulas.”

Fekkai also hosted an intimate Q&A at the Experience Arena

SK-II shines the light on hero Pitera Facial Treatment Essence

Global prestige skincare company SK-II is shining the light on its best-selling Pitera Essence. The hero serum started with authentic celebrity testimonials and evolved to feature disruptive, industry-first campaigns such as the ‘Face the Wild, Face the Camera’ project with National Geographic to its ‘Bare Skin Project’ partnership with Magnum Photos in 2018.

It is also highlighting the ‘My Pitera Story’ campaign. It was launched globally on 19 August, stars Chinese actresses Tang Wei and Ni Ni, Japanese actress Ayase Haruka and American actress Chloe Grace Moretz across a collection of short films.

All four women have previously featured in SK-II campaigns. Through intimate conversations and behind the scenes footage, the documentary series tells the how the Pitera Essence has transformed each celebrity’s skin over the years as they revisit and remake their previous campaigns with SK-II.

Filorga highlights NCEF Shot and Optim-Eyes innovations

At the Filorga Experience Room, visitors are greeted with a special message by Filorga Global Travel Retail Director Nicolas Rimeau, before they discover Filorga’s NCEF Shot and Optim-Eyes product innovations.

The NCEF Shot is a ten-day anti-ageing treatment that boosts the skin with new cells. The enhanced poly-revitalising concentrate combines the brand’s NCEF star technology with a powerful marine biotechnology complex. Each shot offers a daily dose of active skincare ingredients, which offer the equivalent of 1 meso-injection.

Filorga’s best-selling product the Optim-Eyes Intensive Revitalising Eye Contour Cream has been reformulated with Melaton-Eyes technology. The triple-action formula, made with Chrysine, powerful lymphatic circulation-boosting peptides and hyaluronic acids, erases dark circles, reduces puffiness and smooths fine lines. Melaton-eyes technology uses an energising peptide to boost cellular activity and prevent the appearance of tired eyes.

Augustinus Bader presents the ‘Greatest Skincare Brand of all time’ to the travel retail channel

Augustinus Bader, coined as the ‘Greatest Skincare Brand of all time’ by 300 beauty editors around the world, is highlighting its clean science, innovative solutions mantra at its Experience Room.

The brand is exhibiting its cult Cream and Rich Cream best-sellers and expanded skincare line, which all feature high-potency TFC8. TFC8 is a complex that uses the body’s own skincare to promote skin cell regeneration.

The brand is also shining the light on its CSR-arm, The Augustinus Bader Foundation, which will see Professor Bader’s breakthrough skin science innovation reach those who need it most.

Professor Augustinus Bader discusses his namesake brand’s CSR initiatives

Augustinus Bader recently expanded its skincare range with The Serum and The Eye Cream. Both innovations will launch in global travel retail this month. Coined as the ‘ultimate trouble-shooter’ The Serum with TFC8 is a powerful new concentrate that combats dehydration, ageing and environmental damage. The serum fuses the brand’s exclusive TFC8 technology with nature’s most effective problem solvers: Vitamin C, Rice Bran Oil, Pomegranate Seed Concentrate, Resveratrol and Edelweiss Extract

The Eye Cream with TFC8 has been described as ‘the ultimate wakeup call’ and combines TFC8 with French Seaweed, Pennywort, Arjun Tree Extract among other rejuvenating active ingredients. The Eye Serum reduces eye puffiness, eliminates dark circles, increases skin firmness, boosts radiance and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Bath and Body Works debuts ‘You’re The One’ fragrance line

Bath and Body Works, one of the world’s leading specialty retailers in hand home and body fragrance products, is debuting the ‘You’re the One’ fragrance line into travel retail at its Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

The brand, distributed in travel retail through E ssence Corp, is looking to extend its presence in the travel retail channel at the event, where it seeks to connect with travel retailers and outline its ambitions for the sector.

You’re The One is a festive fragrance designed for the holiday season. It offers soft rose, white birch and strawberry notes and comes in a variety of vibrant, sparkling fragrance bottles. The scent is available as an Eau de Parfum, Glowing Body Scrub, Sparkling Body Scrub, Glowing Body Butter, Aloe + Vitamin E Shower Gel, 24-Hour Moisture Body Lotion, Whipped Glowtion, 24-Hour Moisture Ultra Shea Body Cream, Fine Fragrance Mist, and Moisturising Body Wash.

It is available in travel-friendly, on-the-go formats such as the Mini Body Wash, Mini Body Cream and Mini Face & Body Mist.

Bath and Body Works is also exhibiting its popular 3-wick candles and hand soap ranges.

Margaret Dabbs is showcasing fabulous hands, feet and legs at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo

Margaret Dabbs London is making its travel retail debut at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. The brand is a well-known specialist in the care of feet, hands and legs and operates a chain of clinics in the UK, the Middle East and Spain. Margaret Dabbs London is represented in travel retail by GMAX Travel Retail, which was set up by Garry Maxwell last year.

Margaret Dabbs London is intent on expanding its network and brand Founder Margaret Dabbs sees travel retail as a key opportunity. She believes its products and clinic services, are ideal for the channel as care for these parts of the body is particularly critical when travelling.

At the Margaret Dabbs Experience Room, visitors can discover its foot, leg, hand and nail products and treatments, alongside its premium manicure and pedicure tools. The brand is also putting a special focus on best-sellers such as the Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion, Foot Hygiene Cream, Intensive Foot Oil, among others.

Taffix is looking beyond viruses at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo

Taffix nasal spray – introduced to travel retail by GMAX Travel Retail earlier this year – is upping its focus on airport and inflight sales at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

The brand, which is produced by Nasus Pharma and offers effective protection from inhaled viruses. Expo visitors can discover Taffix’s nasal-spray range which aims to lower the pH level in the nose – where most viruses enter the body – by creating a protective gel lining over the nasal cells to help prevent the viruses from entering. The spray creates a hostile microenvironment in the nose where many airborne viruses can’t survive.

One Red Kite is empowering people in travel retail

Global travel retail service provider One Red Kite is demonstrating how businesses in travel retail can build resilience through the staffing and recruitment.

The UK-based company – founded by husband-and-wife team Kevin and Jilly Brocklebank – is highlighting how it has supported clients to achieve success throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forged by years of cross-functional experience in travel retail, One Red Kite is the outsourced services partner for many category-leading brands. Its services include Data Management and Reporting, Recruitment and Retail Excellence through a bespoke Mystery Shopping programme.

Spark Group of Companies

Visitors to the Spark Group of Companies Experience Room will be greeted with a special message by Founder and President Heidi Van Roon, who highlights the value of its new brand partner programme.

Spark Group of Companies is demonstrating the power of well-trained consumer-facing staff in boosting travel retail recovery. The Experience Room shines the light on Spark Group of Companies flexible talent management services for travel retail, customer service excellence, and how good shop floor staff can create excellent retail experiences.

Visitors can also sign up for a free 30-minute consultation session to see how Spark Group of Companies’ airport-specific sales and promotion support can fit their business needs.

Heidi Van Roon welcomes guests to the Spark Group of Companies Experience Room

Congratulations on the event. The retailer emporium is a good idea, so operators can receive brands and suppliers” – ASUTIL Secretary-General José Luis Donagaray

ForwardKeys on Summer travel trends and the direction of recovery

10:00 EST/16:00 CET/22:00 BEIJING

An engaging presentation from ForwardKeys Insights Expert Juan Gomez filmed in Valencia has given Knowledge Hub viewers valuable information on travel recovery.

He shared which travel markets are recovering most quickly, the outlook for the Chinese travel market and a look at where opportunities may soon emerge for travel retailers.

Juan Gomez discussed what new markets and opportunities lie on the horizon as long-haul travel starts to reactivate

The travel analytics company that Gomez represents has comprehensive access to global ticketing data from online bookings, travel agencies and airlines to provide a valuable service to tourism organisations, hotels and travel retailers who are keen on understanding who is travelling where, when, and for how long.

Discussing key findings from the data presented, Gomez said: “What can you take away from our data confirms that markets such as the UK will become an important audience for travel retailers, now that the travel restrictions have eased and they can travel freely to places like the EU.

A comparison of the most resilient destinations from the Summer of 2021 with those of 2019. It shows a clear move to sun and sea destinations, while the number of visitors to major cities has tumbled. (click to enlarge)

“Businesses should keep a close eye on the travel restrictions and government announcements, as these will be the most important indicators for travel.

“Domestic Chinese travel has performed well this year, although it has had temporary hiccups because of COVID-19 outbreaks and travel restrictions.

On the left, ForwardKeys shows how the big European nations have fared for international arrivals this summer and on the right, planned Q4 airline international seat capacity in four key markets (click to enlarge)

“We do expect to see the Chinese to travel abroad again once they can, as we have seen some early signs from Chinese students travelling to universities abroad, and an increase in group travel. We also believe that Hainan will stay important for the travel retail landscape.

“At the moment, the best you can do is to stay informed. The travel recovery is on its way, though it will be unequal throughout the world. Businesses equipped with daily data will always be at the forefront of recovery.”

09:00 EST/15:00 CET/21:00 BEIJING

Faith in the future of travel retail

Powerhouse French drinks group Pernod Ricard retains its firm belief in travel retail as a “must win” channel. That was the positive message from the company’s Chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard in an enlightening and outstanding Knowledge Hub session at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo today.

Ricard shared his views about the path ahead for the company, and the industry, in a conversation with The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman and Founder Martin Moodie.

Asked about the Pernod Ricard commitment to travel retail, Ricard said: “Travel retail has demonstrated time after time its resilience. It is a strategic, brand-building channel which still has huge potential. For us the whole experience starts with the booking of a journey and goes all the way through to the traveller’s return. It’s a 360-degree journey where the traveller is absolutely captive and we can engage and communicate through many touchpoints.”

Click here for our stand-alone story.

The Trinity Initiative and the Digitalisation Dynamic

07:00 EST/13:00 CET/19:00 BEIJING

What a terrific presentation we’ve just seen in the Knowledge Hub delivered by Marc-André Kamel, Global Head of Retail Practice and leading member of Bain & Company’s Full Potential Transformation Practice.

Packed with fascinating data and insights into how the world’s most successful retailers such as Walmart, Alibaba, Amazon and Domino’s Pizza are effectively adopting an omnichannel approach, Kamel’s presentation drilled down deep into the key subject of digitalisation and what it really means for travel retailers.

Marc-André Kamel discussed in detail six major retail consumer trends emerging from the pandemic (click to enlarge)

The retail expert has succinctly given our audience a great overall understanding of a subject which is often dealt with in a very fragmented way.

The findings of this presentation on the major subjects surrounding retail in the pandemic world have been shared ahead of the publication of a White Paper from the Trinity Initiative in association with The Moodie Davitt Report. It will contain some much-anticipated recommendations for the future direction of travel retail, and will include many themes discussed by Kamel in today’s presentation.

These are the key subject areas that travel retailers need to consider as imperatives, according to Marc-André Kamel (click to enlarge)

The paper is being written and produced by Kamel’s fellow panellists in this session, Jack MacGowan (Director, Castlepole Consulting) and Mauro Anastasi (Partner, Bain & Company), following on from a series of Trinity Initiative webinars discussing the manifold issues surrounding airport retail.

A full report on this session with analysis and comment from Kamel, Anastasi and MacGowan will appear on The Moodie Davitt Report website soon.

Rob Robertson outlines the opportunities and challenges for brands in Hainan’s dynamic duty free space

06:00 EST / 12:00 CET / 18:00 BEIJING

In this engaging Knowledge Hub session, Star Brands Travel Retail’s Rob Robertson, one of the most-respected executives in China’s beauty and travel retail sectors, outlines the opportunities and challenges for established and emerging brands in Hainan duty free.

Earlier this year his company Star Brands Asia, together with partner Bluebell, formed a specialist enterprise (Star Brands Travel Retail) to service Hainan’s fast-evolving offshore duty free sector. Few executives know more about the reality of what’s happening on the ground than Rob Robertson, who discussed how to address the challenges and opportunities in Hainan.

Visibility and transparency is key to entering Hainan’s dynamic duty free space and that starts with the right staff, Robertson says

Hainan duty free has a unique structure with state-owned unitary operators such as CDFG and CNSC, versus new duty free license holders. Robertson says this unique landscape offers its own set of challenges. “The dynamics between the joint venture duty free holders is a challenge because the relationship between the international partner and local partner is still young. The challenge is for brands to be informed and connected, not just on the global side but also on the local Hainan side.

“Star Brands Asia Travel Retail has direct connections with all the high-level direct operators and has special insight into what’s happening, helping brands move into Hainan and fill in the gaps. There’s a communications ladder as brand message goes from international to local staff, so it is important to keep the message and actions on target along the way.”

Robertson also stressed the importance of visibility and transparency in Hainan travel retail. A lot of these have to do with visibility and transparency, which is all about staff. Who are the staff? Are they present? What are their learning needs? Do they have the right customer orientation for your brand? Are they able to transmit the brand DNA on a personal level? Are all key questions to ask that lead to executing with excellence. It is important to find solutions to make that happen.”

Hainan can serve as a platform for brands’ China digitalisation and marketing strategies

Digitalisation presents plenty of opportunities for brands in the region and according to Robertson. According to Robertson, digital can help Hainan be more than a sales channel but a showcase for brands looking to raise awareness in China. He said: “The focus for digital has shifted to using Hainan as a platform for brands’ national marketing plans in China. That has a lot of meaning. This means that brands can apply digital strategies in Hainan and use it to leverage and build their business across China.”

So, what advice does Robertson have for new brands looking to enter Hainan? He says: “Treat the Hainan opportunity as if it were Harrod’s in London. Entering a new market requires knowledge and the human side is the hardest to get right. Face-to-face training and on-counter are very important too, and Star Brands Travel Retail can help with that.”


“Doing the right thing for the long run” – Bacardi shines the spotlight on sustainability

Bacardi Global Travel Retail underlines its legacy of driving change in a short, thought-provoking on-stand presentation.

The company notes a “global thirst for change” and that 86% want the world to become more sustainable and equitable that it was pre-COVID.

It points out that “consumers want to do the right thing” and “34% listed to be more environmentally friendly as their top 2021 resolution and expect brands to do more”.

Visit the stand to learn more.

Au Coeur du Luxe targets ’next level’ e-learning

Au Coeur du Luxe, the Hong Kong-based global leader in education for luxury and premium brands, is welcoming visitors with an interactive video which opens the way to three pillars of the agency’s work.

There is a huge focus on helping partners to learn, engage and increase sales in travel retail.

ACDL offers a subscription-based e-learning platform, and a plug & play library dedicated to premium brands, in multi-languages and targeting the Chinese market.

Click here to visit the stand.

05:00(EST)/11:00 (CET)/17:00 (BEIJING)

In a hugely engaging Knowledge Hub session today, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin spoke with The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie to consider the airport retailing giant’s recovery and lessons learnt through the crisis. Crucially, he insisted that it’s “fast forward once more” for the leading travel retailer.

McLoughlin predicted that 2021 sales will exceed US$700 million this year. “Business is +16% up from last year, with more and more traffic being announced all the time. “This year we are certainly going to break US$700 million, so the outlook is positive.”

McLoughlin noted that 2020 passenger traffic totalled 27 million, and expects a small increase by the end of this year. “On the overall picture, of course, you cannot be extremely happy with a business that is down -60% from 2019 when our traffic through DXB was 89 million passengers.

“This year we are expecting our sales to be up on last year. In 2019 we had sales of US$2 billion. In 2020 we had US$680 million and this year we are going to have US$710 or US$715 million.”

On another positive note, McLoughlin said that passenger spending at Dubai Duty Free has increased and is “the highest it has ever been”, up from a 2019 figure of approximately US$40 per head to close to US$54.

McLoughlin underlined the importance of team work –“kicking with the same foot” – citing the success of Dubai Duty Free’s Home Delivery service which was introduced in July last year and has prompted US$10 million in additional sales.

McLoughlin also touched on Dubai Duty Free’s staffing strategy. Employee numbers dropped from 6,000 in 2019 to approximately 2,500. He said the retailer is recruiting again but remains determined to reemploy staff members who were furloughed, or lost their jobs, before taking on newcomers.

A more detailed report of this presentation, which will be available on demand, will appear on The Moodie Davitt Report website.

Watch the video above to view the full Day 2 Agenda of the Knowledge Hub 

APTRA Dialogue: The vital importance of research for the travel eco-system

03:00 EST / 09:00 CET / 15:00 BEIJING

The Knowledge Hub has just witnessed a fascinating discussion on the vital importance of research for the travel, and other, industries as part of the APAC Dialogue.

With Martin Moodie and APTRA President Sunil Tuli asking the questions, we heard the opinions of Neil Stollznow, Quantitative Director of StollzNow Research & Insights Advisory on what constitutes the good, the bad and the ugly of research.

They were joined in the conversation by Stollznow’s close associate Ivo Favotto, Founder & CEO of leading sector research and analysis company The Mercurius Group.

Bad research can lead to bad decisions, and nobody involved in the travel eco-system at the moment can afford to move in the wrong direction on the basis of what research is telling them. “If in doubt, throw it out,” said Stollznow.

The expert was asked for his view on what makes quality research, and what doesn’t. He said: “When I see some research, particularly some syndicated research projects, it always strikes me that they spend a lot more on the graphic design than they do on the actual research collection and analysis.

Neil Stollznow gave the Knowledge Hub audience expert views on what constitutes the good and bad of research

“When I’m trying to evaluate research, the thing that I always go straight for is the approach methodology. What do they [the research participants] do? Who does the researcher talk to, how would those research participants be selected? And then I look at base sizes, because I’ve seen some horrible projections based on small base sizes.

“And likewise, you can have a huge sample size, but if they’re poorly selected for sampling, and they’re not representative of travellers, or visitors, or whoever you’re talking to, it doesn’t matter what you do after – that is a bad sample.

“Having an organisation that’s involved in a research business that has certification and has a quality standard in place is also something to look for.

“Looking at the questionnaire is also really important. What do they ask, what did the question say?

“Because one thing that is important to remember in survey questions is that people answer the question that is asked [in the way they read it], and the question asked may not be necessarily the way you think of the question.”

Ivo Favotto is a great believer in the power of good research and has worked with Neil Stollznow on a number of occasions

Addressing travel and tourism research specifically, Stollznow said: “Travel and tourism is an interesting area, because you need to know a lot about it to actually work on it. But that doesn’t mean that you are necessarily an expert in every single area of travel and tourism.

“Stakeholders such as airports, airlines, retailers and brand owners are going to have different research needs and wants and outcomes that they’re seeking. So when you go into those, it’s important to have the background and that you work with stakeholders to really understand the business.”

Ivo Favotto, who has worked in the airport, travel retailer and brand environments, was asked for what he looks for in a research provider.

He said: “I’ve commissioned Neil [Stollznow] on a number of occasions, for example when I was at Sydney Airport, and also when working at Lagardere Travel Retail. When I used market research in each of those roles it was really around business planning certainty.

“I use research to help me when I’m doing a P&L for a tender, for example. The cost side of the P&L is the easy part, the hard part is the revenue side, the sales side, that kind of stuff.

“So research plays a key role in that decision-making process, how we structure the revenue side of the P&L, and helps you answer questions about penetration and price among other things.”

APTRA President Sunil Tuli opens The APAC Dialogue with a positive message

03:00 EST / 09:00 CET / 15:00 BEIJING

Day 2 of the Knowledge Hub opened with The APAC Dialogue, the latest edition in the acclaimed collaborative webinar programme run by The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) and The Moodie Davitt Report. Hosted by APTRA President Sunil Tuli, it featured top-name speakers drawn from across the industry spectrum.

Tuli opened the session by offering a message of hope amidst uncertain times. “The only thing certain is uncertainty and that has characterised travel retail since the start of the pandemic. However, we are seeing increasingly positive signs that opening our doors with optimism is a sound approach.

“We must stay focused on the bigger picture of our industry” — Sunil Tuli

“There is positive news from Singapore which has eased restrictions, followed by Malaysia lifting restrictions for fully-vaccinated residents. Our message as APTRA is that we must stay focused on the big picture for our industry and remind ourselves that travel retail will bounce back.

Commenting on the recovery of the channel, Tuli added. “I’m confident we’ll see a fast-paced recovery as vaccination rates and economies are recovering. In a region dominated by tourism, governments will find a path to opening. APTRA believes we will see a slow and steady recovery in 2022. In the meantime, we have work to do. Let’s get travel retail ready for recovery by adapting to new ways of working, recognising new consumer demands and understanding the post-covid traveller in the wider landscape of aviation and tourism.”

Lagardère’s Eudes Fabre on digitalisation and diversification in China travel retail

Tuli was followed by Lagardère Travel Retail North Asia CEO Eudes Fabre who, in a dialogue with The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie, outlined Lagardère Travel Retail’s digitalisation and diversification strategy in China travel retail.

The fascinating session was especially relevant following given Lagardère Travel Retail’s recent tie-up with Chinese ecommerce giant in China.

Lagardère Travel Retail took its first steps in China in 2007 with its travel essentials brand Relay. Since then, it now has over 400 stores in airports and railway stations all over the country, with more to come. Fabre said that entering smaller, high-potential airport and railway locations is a good strategy to recruit new luxury customers while leveraging Lagardère’s experience in the domestic market.

“We’re at 80%-90% of our business in 2019,” Fabre said. “Some big cities are closed for tourism, but Chinese travellers have a thirst to travel and that in itself is an encouraging message for the global industry.”

Digitalisation and diversification are key to winning China travel retail, Fabre said

Commenting on Lagardère’s big moves in China, particularly its partnership with Hainan Tourism Investment Co. (HTDF), and the new Hainan Tourism Duty Free Shopping Complex, Fabre said: “The challenge and opportunity in Hainan is that there is an impatience to get things done. We aim to contribute to the growth of Hainan by introducing new luxury brands for the first time in the island.

“Differentiation is key whenever you get a proliferation of retailers,” he added. “The real opportunity is to provide differentiation and more choice instead of having the same offer repeated. Each mall has its own characteristics and that will be important in the long-run to build Hainan’s credibility as a shopping destination and make the business last even when international travel returns. There is vast potential in Hainan. The duty free shopping policy covers much more than perfume & cosmetics and liquor, but also consumer goods, F&B and sportswear.”

Lagardère Travel Retail, in partnership with HTDF, introduced several new brands to Hainan including Christian Louboutin, Byredo and Gucci Beauty

When asked what makes a good omnichannel approach, Fabre said: “Quality of offer, convenience, seamlessness and an excellent shopping experience. All these concepts look simple on paper, but making things happen in reality is a big challenge. The most important is having high-performance logistics.”

“The JD partnership is a big accelerator of our digitalisation and omnichannel strategy,” Fabre added. “As a traditional brick and mortar retailer, we have so much to learn in the world of ecommerce. JD gives us the ability to do omnichannel and offer cross-border, same-day delivery and home delivery. Our large network in China in high-profile, high-traffic locations in very appealing for JD.”

Lagaredère aims to be the gateway between Hainan and luxury brands

Fabre added, “By the end of the year, we will have visible consumer facing initiatives in our travel essentials network. Relay customers will be able to make cross border duty free purchases in consumer goods, leveraging JD’s resources in FMCG electronics – with more initiatives to come. In Hainan, a big part of the business is online and JD is already a big part of the game providing the fulfilment and logistics – and so that is something we are exploring together too.”

So, how is Lagardère going beyond duty free? According to Fabre, it’s all about combining good hardware and software. “The key learning from duty paid that we are applying to duty free is the importance of investing in retail experience. The ‘hardware’ of having beautiful stores and designs is important, but the ‘software’ of having product expertise, good visual merchandising, CRM and customer service is equally important – especially in a market like Hainan where there is more competition.”

Fabre also highlighted the power of Lagardère’s rail network. “Now you can get highspeed rail to commute from one city to another. Railway stations used to have a shorter dwell time, lower spending power and smaller appetite to shop, but that’s all changing. Now, shopping at the airports is trendy and I believe we’ll see the same evolution in railway stations in the years to come.”

Railway stations offer plenty of potential in travel retail, Fabre said

01:30 EST / 07:30 CET / 01:30 BEIJING

Giving back to those in need and helping to sustain our planet are key components of this week’s Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

In line with that principle, The Moodie Davitt Report is set to make major contributions to cleft charity  Smile Train and the Trinity Forest Project and One Tree Planted sustainability projects. In addition, Ocean Bottle, named Sustainability Partner at the Expo, is pledging to rid the ocean of the equivalent of 500,000 plastic bottles as a direct result of the Expo presence.

It is wonderful to see the commitment of so many of our partners this week to these and other CSR projects. As the visual from Mondelez World Travel Retail (from its Experience Room) shows, the confectionery powerhouse is leveraging the strength of core brand Toblerone to support One Tree Planted via a travel retail campaign, with a donation made and a tree planted for every purchase at selected locations. It is another example of our industry showing its sustainability credentials, and its willingness to give back.

Previewing The APAC Dialogue

After a high-powered, compelling series of Knowledge Hub sessions on day one of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, the quality remains strong right from the outset of day two.

We begin (1500 Beijing/0900 CET) with the latest edition in the acclaimed collaborative webinar programme run by the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) and The Moodie Davitt Report. Hosted by APTRA President Sunil Tuli, it will feature top-name speakers drawn from across the industry spectrum.

The session will kick off with an overview of market prospects and key challenges by APTRA President Sunil Tuli. He will be followed by Lagardère Travel Retail North Asia CEO Eudes Fabre in a dialogue with The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie. This promises to be a fascinating session, especially given Lagardère Travel Retail’s recent tie-up with Chinese ecommerce giant in China.

A panel of speakers will then examine market prospects for travel retail in Australia and New Zealand – two countries hit hard by their respective governments’ hard-line stance on border closures. Heinemann Australia Managing Director Richard Goodman, who is also Chairman of the Board at the Australian Duty Free Association, will be joined by Lucy Thomas, Head of Retail at Auckland Airport; Susan Gray, Managing Director of Concession Planning International; and Ivo Favotto, Founder & CEO of leading sector research and analysis company The Mercurius Group.

Recovery in Australia and New Zealand travel retail is among the themes to be discussed in The APAC Dialogue session at the Virtual Travel Retail Knowledge Hub today (Heinemann Tax & Duty Free at Sydney Airport pictured)

Favotto will then lead off what promises to be a fascinating concluding session that will examine the methodology behind – and question marks over – much travel retail industry research, both consumer and B2B. He will be joined by one of Australia’s foremost research providers, Neil Stollznow, Quantitative Director of StollzNow Research & Insights Advisory.

The latest in our regular column series, The Analyst, about the slow recovery of travel retail in Australia and New Zealand, penned by Ivo Favotto, appears today on our home page.

Click here for the full Knowledge Hub agenda.


16:00 EST / 22:00 CET / 05:00 BEIJING

Important drinks news from two of our exhibitor partners this week: Stoli Group and Hong Kong-based Global Drinks Ltd (GDL) have announced a distribution partnership that will expand the reach of Stoli’s luxury brand portfolio in Asia Pacific. It combines the strengths of the now well diversified house of brands with the regional know-how and insights of Harry Kartasis-led, Hong Kong-based Global Drinks Ltd. More in our news story here.

13:00 EST / 19:00 CET / 02:00 BEIJING

Introducing the concept of ‘Travel Retail Future’: Among many extraordinary Virtual Expo experience zones, Ireland-based brand representative Duty Free Global’s space stands out for its creativity, fun and theatre. The fairground environment depicted here links to an array of wonderfully evocative brand stories that underline the company’s drive to attract a new, younger adult audience to travel retail with its range of on-trend assortments. Check out DFG’s After Show Social on Thursday or its Experience Arena session from today, available on demand.

11:00 EST / 17:00 CET / 00:00 BEIJING

Many of our exhibitor partners this week have brought their A-games with them in terms of creativity and commitment to the channel. Check out this floating virtual vessel housing the latest Harding innovations for the cruise channel.

Twelve of the best: The QDF Factor finalists are revealed

Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh and The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie today announced 12 finalists for The QDF Factor, a major initiative to encourage innovation and differentiation in the channel, first held at Virtual Expo 2020 and repeated this year.

The judges noted the exceptionally high standard of entries, with strong CSR credentials and a focus on sustainability common themes among many.

The 12 finalists are:

  • Ahmad Tea
  • BeachyFeet
  • Creag Dhu
  • Green Man Woodland Gin by Silent Pool Distillers
  • Margaret Dabbs
  • Natinsa by Arnano
  • Rosalie’s by Traveller’s Trove
  • Self
  • Theobroma Secret Cacao
  • Dram in a Can by two Stacks
  • UFO 2 by Foreo
  • Wines of Golf Legends by Peuch & Besse

A video with today’s announcement is featured in a more detailed article on The Moodie Davitt Report home page.

The winner will be announced on Friday (17:00 (SGT)/10:00 (BST)) as a fitting conclusion to the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. Top prize is a six-month listing in 2022 at Qatar Duty Free’s award-winning retail offer in Hamad International Airport, Doha, recently voted Best Airport in the World by Skytrax. The victor will also win a free six-month US$50,000 multi-media advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report.

Click here for a special eZine profiling the entries to The QDF Factor 2021.

Leading from the front

One of the most inspirational leadership figures in world aviation addressed the Virtual Expo in a big highlight of day one at the event. His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Airways Group – who also leads Hamad International Airport and Qatar Duty Free – shared his forthright and insightful views on the current world of travel and notably the strategy of Qatar Airways Group to continue flying through the pandemic.

On the wider picture, he said: “I’m glad that countries are opening up but there remains confusion on testing, on PCR certificates, and we need to ensure consistency on protocols as the changes by government mean people are unsure if they can go from A to B without quarantine. Things are not clear still. We hope that those things that create confusion are ironed out and people will travel again. They are fed up, they are waiting to travel.

“We are ready, and have shown that we put our passenger and staff safety first. We did everything during the pandemic to protect our people and our guests, and we became the biggest long-haul operator in the world as well as the largest cargo operator.”

H.E. Akbar Al Baker in conversation with Martin Moodie today at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. He underlined the faith of Qatar Airways Group in the long-term future of travel, with innovation, style and quality top of mind in the planning for expansion of Hamad International Airport and its retail areas.

Commenting on Qatar Duty Free’s expansion, he highlighted the opening of the extraordinary luxury avenue Viale di Lusso as one of the key projects of the year in retail, as QDF celebrates 21 years in business with 21 new openings. “We want to make the experience at Qatar Duty Free second to none, and have embarked on an extension that will be completed in time for the FIFA World Cup which takes place in my country.

“We don’t just want to add shops and restaurants, we want to do it in style and quality. We want to innovate ways to promote our duty free and our airport. Our airport is a place to spend time. People come three, four, five hours ahead of time to enjoy the airport.

“You need to raise the bar. There is no relaxing from continuously improving the standards we have set, which have made us the best airport in the world. That [Skytrax] award] is a huge accolade to the dedication of our people.”

Viale di Lusso: Reimagining the presentation of luxury at airports

09:00 EST / 15:00 CET / 21:00 BEIJING

Make sure to pay a visit to one of our Platinum Partners, Bacardi, at its visually striking experience room in the Expo. You can learn about its latest innovations (including the new Grey Goose Essences line) and even have the chance to win a fabulous prize by clicking on its series of digital touchpoints.

08:00 EST / 14:00 CET / 20:00 BEIJING

A great visual from The SEVA Group virtual experience room showcasing the company’s Rubis winery in Bosnia and Herzegovina

06:45 EST/12:45 CET/18:45 BEIJING

An excellent presentation focusing on airport experience – leveraged from consumer research especially commissioned for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo – has been seen in the Knowledge Hub earlier today. It was engagingly delivered by Stephen Hay, Global Strategy Director of Airport Dimensions, a global leader in delivering airport lounges and traveller experiences.

Hay appeared alongside Dubai Airports Executive Vice President Eugene Barry and VINCI Airports Director, Commercial Pierre Abignano to discuss the changing expectations of passengers on airport experience and how those demands will be met.

A few very informative slides from the presentation appear below.

Traveller responses to the question: Which of the following incentives would encourage you to arrive earlier and spend more time at the airport? (click to enlarge)

Respondents were asked how they feel about the airport that they depart from most often. The responses indicate that Singapore and China are way ahead in satisfying their customers, while airports in major European countries lag behind. (click to enlarge)

Respondents’ views on the amount of retail in airports suggests that some might prefer experience alternatives for part of the space (click to enlarge)

More follows on this session.

06:00 EST / 12:00 CET / 18:00 BEIJING

“Are we doing enough to transform our industry?” That was one of the key questions asked by DFS Group Chairman & CEO Benjamin Vuchot in a compelling presentation today at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. He spoke candidly about how our channel should aim to turn recent crisis into opportunity, by engaging with consumers in relevant ways, in embracing all channels – digital and physical – and the synergies between them.

“At DFS,” he said, “we celebrate all channels: airports, downtown and digital. They are all just that – different channels to engage the travelling customer. Our job is to make relevant options available to them. We see the relationship between digital and physical in the same way that we see the relationship between airports and downtown – they are synergistic and symbiotic – each balances and complements the other.”

Benjamin Vuchot: Reflected on 60+ years of DFS history and how the company has succeeded “because we followed our customers’ needs and expectations”

The company calls this online ecosystem ‘Travel eTail’, bringing customers and brands together “within our own world of luxury that connects the physical, digital, airport and downtown experiences in a seamless and enjoyable way. In essence, a continuous circle that keeps the customer traveling, at least in their hearts.”

Crucially, travellers now also want true, authentic experiences – and DS’ strategy of creating ‘destinations within destination’ is key to addressing this demand. “We have observed how the isolation of the pandemic has created a corresponding desire for more meaning and intimacy, we have taken advantage of the slowdown to really double down on this intention,” he said highlighting projects in Hainan, Brisbane, Queenstown and stunningly, at La Samaritaine in Paris.

DFS presented some stunning images of its retail environments around the world as it seeks “to create destinations within destinations”

Another key dynamic is the customer desire for ‘purpose’, added Vuchot. “We have an opportunity to reconnect with consumers through sharing their values and their preoccupations, whether those are tangible, such as around sustainability and environmental impact, or intangible, like optimism and inclusivity.

“There is a shift to more meaningful consumption globally. At DFS, where we are undisputedly a luxury retailer, we are seeing an “upgrade trend,” with customers choosing more quality investment pieces that last a lifetime. But we are also seeing a move toward more conscious consumerism, with customers who want to see their own values reflected in the brands they buy and the stores the visit.”

Benjamin Vuchot addressed the factors that will ensure we move forward as a robust and relevant industry

Rethinking of partnerships and use of space has also been accelerated by the past 19 months. “For our airport partners and key landlords, this is an opportunity to rethink spaces with us and to be even more daring and forward-thinking, to collaborate with us to find more ways to incorporate technology, entertainment, animation, and unexpected details to surprise and delight.

“We are constantly evolving our format because at heart we are a true retailer. We focus on innovation to an obsessive degree in our downtown stores, where we are known for taking historic buildings and marrying their cultural heritage with a suitably curated commercial modernity. But we are also invigorated at the prospect of innovating in airports. We believe that it is possible to achieve joy and inspiration in these environments as well, like we are doing for instance in San Francisco.”

*More on Benjamin Vuchot’s comments will feature in a detailed story to follow shortly.

06:00 EST / 12:00 CET / 18:00 BEIJING

A tour around the Fashion, Sunglasses & Accessories Hall 

Ermenegildo Zegna showcases (RESET) What Makes a Man line

Ermenegildo Zegna is showcasing its Autumn/Winter 2021 collection, labelled (RESET) What Makes a Man at its virtual Experience Room. The collection addresses men’s changing fashion needs because of the global health crisis.

The line is supported by the #WhatMakesaMan campaign which reflects on the changing lifestyles of modern men and how this has affected their fashion behaviours.

The collection represents a move away from formal clothing and instead embraces hybrid garments in the luxury leisurewear category. It features enhanced fabrics and innovative jersey knitting techniques.

Ermenegildo Zegna is highlighting its move away from formalwear to adapt to the changing fashion needs of men in the post-pandemic world

The collection introduces Zegna’s new wardrobe items including ‘The New Jacket’ and ‘Overshirt’ which serve as alternatives to the traditional blazer. It also features the Triple Stitch Sneaker, enhanced with upcycled wool from its sustainable #UseTheExisting range.

The #WhatMakesaMan campaign features a diverse line-up of five Zegna Global Brand Ambassadors. The roster includes French dancer Mickael Lafon, Japanese model Yura Nakano, fashion buyer Ingo Sliwinski, American model Maggie Maurer and American photographer Jon Bronxl, with each ambassador challenging traditional notions of masculinity.

Luggage Point: Your One Stop Travel Shop

EnviroPoint offers a sustainable solution to airports’ single-use plastic problem

Luggage Point is highlighting its digitalisation and sustainability efforts at its Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. The airport service provider is highlighting plans to extend the digital side of the business through the development of virtual stores.

The innovative online stores offer a 3-D tour of the company’s product line-up and its range of services. Customers can pre-book, for example, luggage wrapping, and products will be tagged for online shopping, with links to airport sites.

Physical stores will encourage digital interaction using QR codes to offer customers full product details. In-store digital catalogues are also in the pipeline.

It is also showcasing its EnviroPoint Oxo-Biodegradable solutions, which offer a sustainable solution to single-use plastics in airports. The bags are 100% biodegradable, recyclable and reusable – resulting in zero microplastics. It is now available in Aberdeen, Budapest, Glasgow and Southampton airports.

Rodenstock shines the spotlight on Porsche Design

Global eyewear company Rodenstock is highlighting its Porsche Design brand at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo.

Porsche Design is a brand that enjoys strong resonance with Chinese consumers. It recently ran a major promotion with CDFG at Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Haitang Bay, Sanya. The activation ran until the end of September and featured the brand’s Readers collection, as well as Porsche Design Vision Drive lenses and Collector’s Edition.

Rodenstock’s Experience Room shines the light on Porsche Design’s Autumn/Winter 2021 range, which includes the innovative Air Spring, Flexible Purism, Ultra-Light, and Ball Tec collections. The lines reflect Founder Prof. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche’s claim that “design is not simply art; it is elegance of the function”.

Rodenstock recently hosted a major promotion with CDFG, highlighting Porsche Design’s Vision Drive lens technology, limited-edition Collector’s Edition and Reader’s Range

The Air Spring series focuses on precision fit and lightness in two frames for prescription lenses (P‘8397, P‘8398) and two for sunglasses (P‘8939, P‘8931).

The collection’s Flexible Purism line offers minimalist designs. Stainless steel wire frames give a technical look while high-performance RXP plastics sidepieces guarantee flexibility, lightness and wearing comfort.

The Ultra-Light series underlines Professor Porsche’s passion for purist design; while Ball Tec draws inspiration from the ball, with the core element of its frames a titanium screwless hinge joint to offer flexibility and durability.

Bravo Fashion showcases ‘virtually-indestructible’ Leah S Sunglasses range

Bravo Fashion is highlighting its Leah S Sunglasses, made with bullet resistant polycarbonate, at its Experience Room at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. Leah S offers 18 styles in a selection of frame and lens colours. Embellishments include pearl-shaped diamonds, pearls, jade and bee motifs, with 15 styles featuring Swarovski crystals. Recommended retail prices range from US$45 to US$58.

The Leah S range is made with ‘virtually-indestructible’ bullet resistant polycarbonate. The frames and lens, come with a lifetime guarantee and offer ‘crystal clear vision lens’ protection against UVA and UVB light. Polycarbonate is used in aircraft windows and bullet-proof vests, said the brand owner.

Introducing Leah S – Bravo Fashion’s latest range of sunglasses with a big focus on sustainability

Bravo Fashion Founder Terry Smith said selected Bravo designs, including Silver Fleck and Diamond, will be listed with Air France, Lufthansa and Austrian Air Lines on post-COVID services. The brand is targeting further expansion in global travel retail, he added.

Fly Campari Group is back with a bang

“Welcome to Campari Group, fasten your seat belt and prepare for take off” – Campari wows yet again with a stand-out presentation that encourages interaction at the same time as detailing its major brands.

Visitors are greeted with a choice of drinks on ‘check-in’ and off they go… on a trip to Italy, for example, to learn about the brand’s popular Aperol Spritz before heading to another destination and another brand.

This is sure to attract a lot of attention!

The scale of ambition of our exhibiting partners this week is simply breathtaking. Take CDFG City: this is a world-first as travel retail’s number one player by sales opens its doors to a spectacular virtual world, showcasing the best of its current offer and a dazzling interpretation of what is to come. Make sure you pay a visit.

05:00 EST/11:00 CET/17:00 BEIJING

‘Standing Up for the Displaced’ – Ambassador Tegla Loroupe SS. OGW meets The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie in this inspiring Knowledge Hub session.

Loroupe is President and Founder of the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation & Chef de Mission for the Olympic Refugee Team in Tokyo. She is also one of the greats in the world of athletics.

A former Kenyan long-distance track and road runner, and long-time world record holder for the 25 and 30kms, Loroupe is a global spokeswoman for peace, women’s rights and education. In this interview – recorded during the Olympic Games in Tokyo in August – Loroupe shared her story, career highlights, ambitions and the driving force that inspires her to bring changes to the world.

“Never lose hope” is her motto, one which she uses constantly in her own life and in her mission to help refugees, many of whom have become top sportsmen and women. Loroupe encourages businesses to learn from displaced people, to acknowledge their skills and need for work, and to empower them.

Click here to listen to her comments. Prepare to be inspired.

“Congratulations on the Virtual Travel Retail Expo’s successful opening” – Hainan Province Bureau of International Economic Development (Hainan IEDB) Global Media Officer & Senior Supervisor Ruslan Tulenov

04:00 EST/10:00 CET/16:00 BEIJING

Shiseido CEO & Executive Officer Masahiko Uotani reinforces commitment to travel retail 

Shiseido President, CEO & Executive Officer Masahiko Uotani tells Martin Moodie that the Japanese beauty house’s commitment to travel retail remains unbowed by the pandemic

Shiseido CEO & Executive Officer Masahiko Uotani gave a fascinating overview on the state of the beauty industry and Shiseido’s place in the new beauty landscape post-COVID in this fascinating Knowledge Hub Session.

“While we can’t control the pandemic, we asked what we can do,” Uotani-san said. “We started producing sanitation products and our beauty consultants started giving virtual beauty advice. Even if we were in a difficult situation, there were ways and ideas to meet consumer needs and keep engaging with them.

“In this second stage, we see a light at the end of the tunnel. Beauty will play a big role once as consumers start going out again. Our business will add a lot of energy to that, and I see a great opportunity there. Travelling is going to become a symbol of people becoming free, a symbol of winning against the pandemic.

Commenting on the role of Hainan in driving Shiseido’s travel retail business, Uotani-san said: “We are organising our business in more seamless ways. Promoting our products in China doesn’t just highlight our products in China local, but also to Hainan and to wherever those Chinese travellers travel to. Hainan offered a new opportunity for us and so we quickly reacted to this by opening new counters and getting our resources there.”

Shiseido hasn’t shied away from expanding its presence in Hainan, launching blockbuster animations such as the striking ‘Living Red Art Show’ with CDFG. Shiseido also opened a new retail concept at Tokyo Haneda Airport, further reinforcing its commitment to the channel.

The Living Red Art Show, launched in partnership with CDFG at the CDF Mall, highlights Shiseido’s ambition in Hainan

So how does Shiseido Group deliver a product that delights and engages the travelling consumer? According to Uotani-san, digital transformation is crucial. “Creating engagement with consumers and understanding them individually is key. We are getting that dialogue with consumers and personalising our business to adapt to their changing needs, and I see this happening in travel retail as well.

“Increasing the capabilities of our company, with key focus on digitalisation is a key priority of our company,” he added.

The session concluded with Uotani-san offering a message of hope for Expo attendees on the future of the channel. “COVID will have an ending point and once we win this battle, that’s when we need to be ready to reconnect with consumers and get our business back. Don’t be pessimistic. I’m optimistically working on what we can do now for us to be in a good place and rebuild our business back better.”

Somrus Coffee Breaks are back and better than ever

Cream liqueur brand House of Somrus is back with another series of engaging coffee breaks hosted by the Sadekar sisters. The Sadekar Sisters, Nisha and Seema, are Global Ambassadors for the fast-growing cream liqueur brand, which is distributed in travel retail by Duty Free Global, a Platinum Partner of the all-digital event.

The House of Sōmrus Coffee Breaks were a big hit during last year’s hugely successful Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo, offering golf tips and style advice to Expo visitors in between Knowledge Hub sessions.

03:30 EST/09:30 CET/15:30 BEIJING

The Hainan Provincial Bureau’ of International Economic Development has exclusively revealed the dates for next year’s China International Consumer Products Expo to a Knowledge Hub audience at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo this morning.

Han Shengjian reveals the dates for next year’s China International Consumer Products Expo

During a presentation, the organisation’s Director General Han Shengjian has confirmed the dates for the event, which will be staged in the island capital Haikou at the Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center (pictured below) from 12-16 April 2022.

Staged against the exceptionally difficult backdrop of a global pandemic, the inaugural Expo held at the same venue in May this year was a huge success, with more than 1500 companies representing 2,600 brands from 70 countries and regions exhibiting. The event’s four days pulled in a remarkable 240,000+ visitors, including more than 30,000 buyers and other professional delegates.

You can more about this big breaking story on The Moodie Davitt Report website here.

“Good morning from all at Dubai Duty Free. Great story Charles.” – Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Dubai Duty Free (responding to CDFG President Charles Chen’s opening keynote)

02:45 EST/08:45 CET/14:45 BEIJING

China Duty Free Group (CDFG) President Charles Chen, whose company is Exclusive Strategic Cooperation Partner for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, delivered a memorable start to the Knowledge Hub sessions today.

He issued a compelling overview of the travel retailer’s ambitions and plans for 2022 and beyond, followed by a Q&A session with The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman and Founder Martin Moodie.

A full account of this key session will appear on the Moodie Davitt website later today.

CDFG President outlined the scale of business growth, led by Hainan, and the positive transformation that will come at Haikou International Duty Free City from 2022, depicted below

A stellar line-up of speakers from across the travel retail and aviation communities, along with influential figures from beyond the channel, will feature in a packed programme in the Knowledge Hub during the second Virtual Travel Retail Expo, which begins on Monday.

Here is the full Knowledge Hub agenda for Day 1 of  what promises to be a thrilling and memorable week-long programme.


Monday, 11 October, Day 1

Visitors are warmly welcomed by China Duty Free Group to the extraordinary CDFG City


Lim Guek Boon (Casey Lim), Vice President of Global Consumer Boutique (Hainan) Trading Co, which runs Haikou Global Premium Duty Free (GDF) Plaza, kicked off proceedings this morning in the Experience Arena with an entralling presentation about the company’s operations and plans.

We are all set for the Grand Opening of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2021, which kicks off today, Monday, at 11:00 Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore time, 03.00 CET.

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie will welcome visitors on day one. Throughout the week, The Moodie Davitt Report team will bring live coverage of the event from the Knowledge Hub, Experience Arena and Exhibition Pavilion. Stay tuned.

Martin Moodie and Dermot Davitt offer a warm welcome to The Moodie Davitt Report Virtual Experience Room in the Hainan Discovery zone

Not your typical trade show ‘booth’. Once inside the Virtual Experience Room, guests can discover more about The Moodie Davitt Report, its history, product range, events and CSR programme, and hear from Chinese Editor Penny Zhou about our WeChat platform.