Monday, March 23, 2009

Duty-Free Tobacco Ban


EUROPE. European Travel Retail Council (ETRC) Secretary General Keith Spinks will address the key issue of a potential ban on duty free tobacco sales and the future of the trade in Europe when he addresses next month's ACI Europe Airport Trading Conference in Porto.

Hosted by ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, this year's event (20-22 April) centres on the theme 'Driving trends and strategies to maintain competitive advantage in a challenging trading environment' and will be held at the Alfândega Congress Centre in Porto.

Spinks will discuss the World Health Organisation' s (WHO) proposals to ban duty free tobacco sales through an extension to its tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The next round of negotiations on the treaty will take place at the end of June. The ETRC anticipates a proposal for an outright ban on sales of duty free tobacco products.

The ETRC said: "A duty free tobacco ban would have a hugely negative impact upon the airports industry and decimate duty free sales. The industry needs to come together and take action to ensure that the travel retail industry is recognised as a safe and secure retail channel."

Spinks will also address the future for the trade in Europe. The ETRC has been exploring how to establish a new regulatory environment that would recognise the unique nature of the duty free and travel retail channel across the EU. This would see airside retailing recognised as a separate market to the domestic market, and help prevent some of the problems the trade is encountering with issues such as merchandising or product labelling, the ETRC said.

"Spinks will also look at the recent steps taken by low-cost carriers to strictly enforce their single item hand baggage policy, and ask whether travel retail purchases should count as an item of hand baggage when boarding?

The keynote speaker at the Conference is BJ Cunningham, creator of DEATH Cigarettes, and other confirmed speakers include Duncan Garrood, Commercial Director, BAA; Peter Pullem, Managing Director, Lufthansa WorldShop GmbH; Jean-François Ninu, General Manager Travel Retail EMEA, L'Oréal; Peter Poungias, Director Commercial & Property, Hochtief Airport GmbH; Doug Benham, Associate Director, Macquarie Airports; Tony Wijntuin, Manager Retail, Hospitality and Services, Schiphol Group; and Luís Rodolfo, Director of Retailing, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal. The Moodie Report Deputy Publisher Dermot Davitt is among the moderators at the two-day event.

Silver sponsors of the event are Aelia, Lagardère Services and HMSHost, while exhibitors include McArthurGlen Luxury Retail/Collezioni, The Nuance Group, Media Lounge, The Change Group, Chauntry and American Express.

The event also incorporates the annual ACI ASQ (Airport Service Quality) Awards Ceremony and a number of social and networking activities, such as a Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

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