Given the devastating impact of the covid-19 pandemic on its members, exhibitors and the duty free & travel retail industry as a whole, Tax Free World Association has today decided to cancel the 2020 edition of the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, scheduled for September 27 to October 2.
The TFWA Board and Management Committee took into account the continuing uncertainty surrounding the travel and health situation, as well as the worldwide fall in industry activity, in taking its decision.
TFWA President Alain Maingreaud said: “By agreeing significant reductions to space rental fees, making changes to the format and working with our partners in Cannes to reduce the cost of taking part in the event, we did what we could to attempt to ensure the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference could take place. Since making those changes, we have monitored the situation daily, and been in constant contact with our members and partners. The way in which the situation has developed, with the economic impact of the crisis becoming increasingly serious amid continuing uncertainty over restrictions on travel, has forced us to review our plans.
“The Management Committee was unanimous in its decision to cancel the 2020 edition, and in its desire for the Association’s events to play a central role in the industry’s recovery from 2021.
“The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference is an essential event for the duty free & travel retail industry; not just a time and place where business is done, but where friends are made and good times are shared. It is a moment that I think we all look forward to. And thanks to the event, TFWA is able to support the work done on our industry’s behalf, work which has never been more important than today. That work includes advocacy and the coordination of our industry’s response to specific challenges, such as product packaging, the provision of consumer information, and many others.
“The cancellation of TFWA World Exhibition & Conference will have a significant impact on the Association’s finances, but thanks to the sound management of our resources up to now, we have been able to build reserves to help us cope with difficult periods such as this. We remain determined to do all we can to help our industry emerge from its most difficult period, keep our members and partners informed and help coordinate our industry’s response to the current crisis.
“We would like to thank all those associated with our event in Cannes, including the Mayor of Cannes and our many friends and partners in the city, for their understanding at this difficult time. We are also grateful for the support of our exhibitors, visitors, trade press and other partners. TFWA will continue to work with them to help rebuild our industry.”