February 3 2021  |  Associations

The Virtual Summit’s Knowledge Hub continues to take shape

By Laura Shirk

With the confirmation of more high-profile speakers and panelists, the all-digital event will represent travel retailers, airlines, brand owners and service companies

An impressive and diverse array of high-profile speakers at the Summit of the Americas – A Virtual Experience (April 5 – 9) has been boosted by more names scheduled to represent travel retailers, airlines, brand owners and service companies. The additional list of individuals will be joined by speakers who will analyze the short-and-medium-term outlook of travel retail and duty free in the Americas, offer consumer views of the channel and assess the economic situation of recovery in the region.

The all-digital Summit will be co-organized by the International Association of Airport and Duty Free Stores (IAADFS) and Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres (ASUTIL), in partnership with FILTR and The Moodie Davitt Report.

Alex Anson, Chief Operations Officer, 3Sixty Duty Free, will represent the Miami-based airport, airline and omni-channel retailer in a retailer panel on the opening day of the event.

Jerome Falic, CEO, Duty Free Americas, and Justin Guay, VP, IGL Duty Free, will the future of the border store channel in the Americas (in a session featuring Marcelo Montico, CEO, Neutral).

Eddie Ferenczi, EVP, Sales & Marketing, SMT Duty Free, will touch on the prospects of industry recovery in the Caribbean market. Separately, Roderick McOwan, Chief Development Officer, Marshall Retail Group (a WHSmith company) will participate in a session to talk about the opportunities to grow the travel essentials and speciality retail business in North America.

The theme of blending humanization and digitalization in the post-COVID world will be addressed by a range of speakers including Jeff Livney, CXO, Servy (formerly known as Grab), and Heidi van Roon, Founder & CEO, Spark Business Services Group.

On the brand side, Ignacio Vázquez, Global Head of Marketing, GTR, Bacardi, will present on ensuring a bright future for the channel.

Offering a view of take from the airline perspective will be José Ricardo Botelho, CEO & Executive Director, Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA).

The economic outlook for Latin America will be conducted by respected the respected Argentinian economist, Carlos Melconian, who will be well known to visitors who have attended previous IAADFS and ASUTIL events.

Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at leading travel analytics company ForwardKeys, will discuss the prospects of travel recovery across the regional market.

The event will also hear insights about the views of the consumer in the new world of travel. Influential US travel website and blog, The Points Guy, will be represented by Scott Mayerowitz, Executive Editorial Director, while J.D. Power Travel Practice Lead, Michael Taylor, will reveal the latest data from the company’s North America Airport Satisfaction Study.

Visitor registration to Summit of the Americas – a Virtual Experience is free of charge to all travel retailers, airport companies and exhibitors and is open at the official event website: virtualamericassummit.com.

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