Summit of the Americas revisited: Knowledge Hub, Day One

AMERICAS. Welcome to this recap of highlights from the Summit of the Americas – A Virtual Experience, the pioneering regional event which took place from 5-9 April. The all-digital industry gathering was organised by the International Association of Airport and Duty Free Stores (IAADFS) and Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres (ASUTIL) in partnership with The Moodie Davitt Report, along with Stand & Experience Partner FILTR.QINGWA.

The event remains open for a 30-day encore period, and registered guests can still engage with content across the Exhibition Hub, Knowledge Hub and Engagement Lounge through this portal:

Today we bring you video coverage of the first three sessions, held on Day One of the event, 5 April.

The CEO Chair: Corporación América Airports’ Martín Eurnekian on reopening the industry
Corporación América Airports CEO Martín Eurnekian proved a memorable highlight of Day One at the Knowledge Hub. In a compelling one-on-one interview with The Moodie Davitt Report President and Editorial Director Dermot Davitt, Eurnekian discussed both the short-term and lasting consequences of COVID-19 on his business and the wider aviation industry. He also offered his insight on how recovery will take shape in 2021 and beyond.

Asked what travel retail can do to adapt to the new normal and restart the industry, Eurnekian stressed the importance of transparency and collaboration. He said, “We have to come to terms with the fact that this [health issue] is here to stay. We have to start developing systems that can leverage technology to enhance safety and restart travel.”

“We are in uncharted territory here,” he added. “We’re working with the information we have and putting a lot of hope into vaccines. In an asymmetric way, these programmes will eventually restart international travel.” Martín Eurnekian’s conversation with Dermot Davitt (preceded by a welcome to the event) can be found below.

“The rules of engagement must change”: Americas travel retailers speak out on airport concession contract issues
A compelling session involving a strong panel from Americas travel retail earlier on 5 April saw a united call for a change in contract relationships between airport and retailer in the face of COVID-19.
Participating in a live interview with Dermot Davitt, under the theme Road to Recovery: The Retailer Perspective, were 3Sixty Chief Operations Officer Alex Anson-Esparza, Motta Internacional Senior Vice President Aurelio Barria and Dufry General Manager Sub-Cluster South America Enrique Urioste.

The three panellists agreed that while temporary relief measures granted by airports on Minimum Annual Guarantees (MAG) have been welcome, a new model must quickly emerge and stay in place for the longer term, not just for the crisis. Further coverage of this session appears here, with highlights in the video below.

Driving a bright future for brands in the channel

The vital brand perspective was the subject of a heavyweight panel on day one, featuring:
• Hershey International Chief Commercial Officer William Pritchett
• Essence Corp Vice President Sales TR North & South America Antoine Bona/ Vice President Sales Caribbean Guillaume Bona
• Bacardi Global Travel Retail Global Head of Marketing Ignacio Vázquez

Each offered a view of the role of their respective categories in driving recovery, but also discussed how new dynamics would reshape the business, and importantly, underlined their commitment to the channel amid its most challenging period. More in the video below.

We will bring you further highlights from Summit of the Americas soon. Click here for our rolling day by day coverage from the week.

Summit of the Americas revisited: Knowledge Hub, Day One