The much-vaunted resilience of the duty free industry has arguably been tested in Latin America more often than anywhere else. And the region has not escaped the worst of the covid-19 pandemic and the economic problems resulting from it. But Latin America is rising to the challenge. Airports and borders are busy once again, and the potential for tourism across the continent is as strong as ever. Delivering the opening keynote address of the ASUTIL Conference, Dufry CEO Xavier Rossinyol gave his vision for the future of duty free in Latin America, as the industry modernizes and adapts to the post-pandemic consumer. This session was moderated by The Moodie Davitt Report President Dermot Davitt.
In the post-pandemic world, where shopper preferences and behaviours have undergone significant changes worldwide, understanding shopper motivations is more important than ever. Delegates at the ASUTIL Conference 2023 heard the findings of a new study conducted exclusively for ASUTIL by travel retail research specialist m1nd-set, whose Owner & CEO Dr Peter Mohn revealed new insights into Latin American shopper behaviour today.
Border stores represent an important and growing share of the Latin American duty free market, and with Brazilians, Argentinians and others beginning to travel abroad more frequently, the sector is enjoying fresh investment from retailers and brands alike. Moderated by Carlos Loaiza of CEFSU, this panel discussion heard from industry leaders Marcelo Montico (CEO, Neutral) and Paulo Pavin (CEO, BAH Free Shop), along with Juan Alfonso Labraga Brea (Director of Trade Policy at the Uruguayan Ministry of Economy and Finance) and Altemir Linhares de Melo (Superintendente Receita Federal Rio Grande do Sul), providing essential insights into the development of a sector that is vital to the future of Latin American duty free.
Economic turbulence is nothing new in Latin America, but the Covid-19 pandemic posed a challenge like no other. All global economies are now facing the consequences, but how is the challenge for South Cone economies different? Delegates at the ASUTIL Conference heard from one of the region’s leading economists, Carlos Melconian, on the context for businesses in Latin America, on political changes in Brazil, Argentina and elsewhere, and the obstacles on the road to recovery.
What do current traffic patterns tell us about the future of travel in Latin America? How do airports and airlines view its current and future health? Are they ready for the return of pre-Covid traffic numbers? And what role for travel retail in Latin America’s travel ecosystem? These questions and more were explored in a high-level panel discussion featuring Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 Director of Marketing, Client relations and Sustainability Manuel Aubone , the Latin American airlines association ALTA CEO Jose Ricardo Botelho and Sao Paolo Guarulhos Airport Chief Commercial and Cargo Officer João Pita.
2023 is a crucial year for the Latin American duty free and travel retail industry, with the Third Meeting of the Parties to the Illicit Trade Protocol due to take place in November 2023 in Panama. In this session Duty Free World Council President Sarah Branquinho updated delegates on the campaign to champion the industry’s transparent and secure supply chain credentials, and on its efforts to work with customs authorities and enforcement agencies to fight against illicit trade in all its forms.
Using technology more effectively, and thus making duty free relevant to digital natives, is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry. Post-pandemic, the issue is more important than ever. In this session delegates heard from Stefano De Carolis, Meta Latam Account Manager for Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru (Spanish speaking south America), on the steps travel retailers and their brand partners can take to more effectively engage travelling consumers using digital, mobile and online tools. From a brand perspective, the session also examined emerging digital trends with Pernod Ricard General Manager Travel Retail Americas Gregory Ford.
from Dufry Latin America CEO and ASUTIL Vice President Enrique Urioste.