Summit of the Americas: Review

Assessing the dynamics that will propel the industry into a new future

We present highlights of further Knowledge Hub sessions at the Summit of the Americas, with the views of brand owners plus players across the border, cruise and airline channels.

The Summit of the Americas Knowledge Hub brought together a diverse range of industry perspectives, which added value to the global audience that tuned in during the week of 5-9 April. ALTA (Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association) Executive Director & CEO José Ricardo Botelho offered an important airline perspective on recovery, with a snapshot of performance over the past year, addressing the questions of health & safety, rebuilding consumer confidence and how aviation can be a catalyst for wider economic growth. Click on the video to view the full session.

Leaders from three prominent duty free border store businesses in the Americas gave a cautiously positive outlook for the sector in the face of the pandemic challenges during in a bright session, titled Rebuilding the Border Store Business from North to South. The trio – Neutral by Luryx Duty Free Shop CEO Marcelo Montico, Duty Free Americas CEO Jerome Falic and IGL Vice President Justin Guay – spoke with calm assurance about the continuing difficulties brought upon their operations by the COVID-19 pandemic, and what shape the recovery will take.

With the timing of border re-openings in the hands of Americas governments and the speed with which the authorities can organise and execute their vaccination programmes, the business leaders are focusing on servicing the relatively small amount of business that is currently available. But each spoke about investing in digital tools, encouraging pre-order and ensuring safe environments are in place for consumers as travel begins to return in the months ahead. Click on the video to view the full session.

The cruise and maritime channel was the focus of a special session that featured Starboard Cruise Services President & CEO Lisa Bauer, Harding Deputy Managing Director Mark Birnie, Heinemann Americas CEO Nadine Heubel and SMT Duty Free Executive Vice President Eddie Ferenczi. They covered the big issues relating to cruise industry development, safety, recovery and particularly the rebound of onboard retail, with an emphasis on the new consumer, the appetite to spend, a changing category mix and an evolution of relationships within the industry. Click on the video for highlights of an engaging session.

The critical brand viewpoint was central to a session involving some powerhouse names in the Americas travel retail business. Representing Hershey International was Chief Commercial Officer William Pritchett, alongside Bacardi Global Travel Retail Global Head of Marketing Ignacio Vázquez and, for the beauty sector, Essence Corp Vice President Sales TR North & South America Antoine Bona/ Vice President Sales Caribbean Guillaume Bona. Each addressed in different ways the evolving assortment, new consumer needs, the importance of delivering an engaging experience to travellers and the omnichannel opportunity. Click on the video to view the full session.

*Registered delegates can continue to visit the Summit of the Americas, download digital assets from exhibitors and view the Knowledge Hub and Engagement Lounge sessions in the post-event ‘encore’ period that continues until 9 May, through this link.

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 294 | 28 April 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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