April 13 2022  |  Associations

Day two comes to an end at 2022 Summit

By Jane Hobson, in West Palm Beach, Florida

The second day of the 2022 Summit of the Americas ended after a day of learning sessions and the exhibit open.

The day kicked off with the TR Consumer Forum – Americas Special Edition moderated by Luke Barras-Hill, Managing Editor, e-zine, TRBusiness. The panelists were Peter Mohn, CEO, m1nd-set; Enrique Urioste, General Manager, DufrySouth America Sub Cluster; Tamara Riley, Americas Travel Retail Senior Marketing Manager, Pernod Ricard; John McDonnell, Managing Director International, Tito’s Handmade Vodka; and Laura Swan, Chief Revenue Officer, LXR.

The 90-minute discussion looked at the latest air traffic forecast the Americas and the shift in importance of touch points during the purchase decision, as well as the “mega-trend” of sustainability.

Panelists on stage for the TR Consumer Forum – Americas Special Edition

Next was the LATAM Moves Forward learning session, with speakers Gustavo Fagundes, ASUTIL President, Enrique Urioste, ASUTIL Vice President and José Luis Donagaray, ASUTIL Secretary General – and content partners ASUTIL and Global Travel Retail Magazine. The speakers discussed how after more than two years of the pandemic, the Latin American market is moving forward in all areas of duty free and travel retail.

Panelists on stage for the LATAM Moves Forward learning session. From left to right: José Luis Donagaray, ASUTIL Secretary General, Enrique Urioste, ASUTIL Vice President and Gustavo Fagundes, ASUTIL President

They gave an overview of the situation and forecast for airports, borders, ferries, allowances, and passenger levels, and described that passenger flow is the biggest issue facing travel retail now. And discussed the biggest challenges they faced during the crisis.

“It’s clear the airlines and struggling and redeveloping. They are first trying to get the airplanes full and to make sure that it’s profitable, which is completely understandable,” said Fagundes. “Airlines are going to come back as profitable as they can, and I believe the main hubs are going to be key. These airports are relevant, and this is going to boost even more the PAX flow.”

Panelists for the LATAM Moves Forward learning session. From left to right: Gustavo Fagundes, ASUTIL President, Enrique Urioste, ASUTIL Vice President and José Luis Donagaray, ASUTIL Secretary General

The speakers also discussed some of the biggest challenges during the pandemic, agreeing that reducing staff and letting employees go was the hardest.

“Companies are made of the people who work there,” said Urioste. “The toughest thing to do is to let [someone] go, emotionally but also asset wise. These are your trained people, and this has an emotional impact. We tried to do it in the least harmful way possible.”

But, Fagundes added, keeping flexible employees is what contributes to success in a crisis.

“We learned that flexibility is key. If we had to choose between two people and we knew we couldn’t keep both, the one that was more capable for flexibility and ready to move out of their specialization, this would be the one we had to choose. We all had to do everything, and we needed a more flexible team to go through this. This was important to us,” he said.

In the final session of the day, Global Advocacy in the Post-COVID Era, John Hume, Founding Director, Hume Brophy; Ricardo Oliveira, Senior Counsel, Duty Free World Council; Rene Riedi, Central and Latin America Executive Advisor, Dufry; Greg Ford, Regional Director Americas Travel Retail and Global Business Development Director, Pernod Ricard; and Rafael Echevarne, Director General, ACI Latin America-Caribbean, discussed stakeholder engagement, lobbying and regulatory challenges affecting the business globally.

And see our day two coverage of some exhibitor booths below, with more to come as the event wraps up.

Some booths on day two of the 2022 Summit of the Americas

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