The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015, which was held from Oct. 18-23 in Cannes, France, concluded with high levels of exhibitor and visitor satisfaction, despite a 2 percent drop in visitors, according to the Tax Free World Association (TFWA).
“The slight reduction in the total number of visitors compared with last year’s record figure bears witness to the difficult economic and geopolitical climate in the world today,” said TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortenson. “However, I am delighted to report that our key visitor category – landlords, duty free & travel retail operators – was extremely well represented with a 2 percent increase in delegates and 4 percent rise in the number of companies over 2014. Agents and distributors also arrived in greater numbers than last year, which is very pleasing.”
A total of 6,558 visitors from 3,026 companies attended this year’s conference, compared with 6,701 visitors from 3,105 companies last year. Of the total, 2,183 people were key buyers—duty free and travel retail operators and landlords of airports, airlines, ferry, cruise, border and downtown concerns. Adding the 2,401 agents and distributors (1,145 companies) to this figure produces a total of 4,584 (1,788 companies) of the most influential trade executives in the industry who were present at this year’s event, according to the TFWA.
On the 21,500-square-meter trade floor were 482 exhibitors (up from 475 exhibitors in 2014), who showcased thousands of products, including fragrances and cosmetics, wines and spirits, fashion and accessories, jewelry and watches, confectionery and fine food, gifts and electronics, and tobacco categories.
The TFWA conference attracted 1,504 delegates, who received thought-provoking analysis of the current business environment from the three speakers: Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor; Peter Long, CEO of TUI Group; and Juul-Mortensen. Stephen Sackur, of BBC HARDtalk, served as moderator.
The six-day conference also included the first-ever TFWA Research Workshop as well as a charity run, golf tournament, welcoming cocktail party at the Carlton Hotel, a Cucina Pop dinner prepared by award-winning chef Davide Oldani and an acrobatic display by the Cirque Eloize from Montreal.
At the closing press conference, Juul-Mortensen, on behalf of TFWA Care, presented to M. Christophe Visentin, founding director, and M. Bernard Brochand, deputy and honorary president of SAMU SOCIAL, funds which will be used to purchase a service vehicle. The van will replace one originally purchased by TFWA 10 years ago which was destroyed in the recent flooding.
Juul-Mortensen concluded, “TFWA is pleased to report that the 31st TFWA World Exhibition & Conference has been completed successfully. Initial feedback from visitors and exhibitors has been very positive, and we will endeavor to rectify any issues which have come to light in time for next year. We look forward to meeting colleagues at our next industry event, the MEADFA Conference in Jordan, on 23 and 24 November.”