A global view of duty free and travel retail at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference

02/10/2017 Opening the second half of this morning’s conference, David Rowan, editor-at-large at award-winning technology and trends magazine WIRED, spoke about how advances in technology will transform traveller behaviour.

He introduced a number of ideas which might be described as ‘crazy’ now, but in the future will just be another product, such as rockets that could get us anywhere in the world in under half an hour, or luggage that follows a traveller around an airport. The pace of change is speeding, and things will, he said, never move this slowly again.

Next on stage, Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland, spoke of her concerns about climate change. Now president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, she said the severity of many the natural disasters we have seen across the globe in recent years have been aggravated by climate change. The travel retail industry needs to ‘commit seriously’ to ban fossil fuels by 2050, she stated.

Former secretary general of the UN, Ban Ki-moon told a rapt audience that as we navigate turbulent times in politics, commerce and industry, we must not build walls between people, but bridges between them. We must not, he stated, let terrorism divide us, and we need to find out why terrorists resort to such violent tactics. Tourism benefits us all, and the TFWA motto of ‘by the trade for the trade’ is apt.