Some 5,983 delegates attended the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes this week, a 77% increase compared to last year’s 3,373 attendees. The figure compares to 7,215 visitors at the same point in 2019’s show, which the TFWA notes was a record attendance.
This year’s edition saw 2,095 representatives from duty-free operators and landlords, some 50% more than the 2021 total and 12% below 2019 levels.
TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen said: “In this, the 75th anniversary of the duty-free industry, we are very happy with the outcome here this week, in terms of exhibitors, square meters of stand space, delegates and buyers in attendance. A real mood of confidence has been confirmed by the conversations taking place around the event all week. We look forward to the future with confidence and by the time we are back here in Cannes next year I am convinced we will be flying at full height once again. We closed our books today, and thanks to our prudence in the past, our finances are in a strong position. We are well placed to continue supporting the industry going forward to next year and beyond.”
Some 387 companies exhibited, including 57 first-time exhibitors. These newcomers came from eight sectors from countries such as Ghana, Saudi Arabia and Korea. This year’s exhibition space totaled 20,751m2 (223,362ft2), up from 12,190m2 (131,212ft2) in 2021.
Another 1,179 delegates attended the event’s opening conference, which included presentations from TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen and Dutch brand Rituals CEO & Founder Raymond Cloosterman.
Additionally, TFWA’s One2One meeting service facilitated 1,226 on-site meetings throughout the week.
Meanwhile, TFWA’s innovation zone i.lab showcased digital solutions for the travel-retail industry. Some 15 exhibitors presented solutions in the areas of retail, digital and data analytics. BW Confidential was media sponsor of the i.lab.
The TFWA Lounge at the Carlton Beach also returned this year, offering delegates further networking and socializing opportunities. The TFWA Lounge hosted two sessions each evening, after-work, which ran from 6:30pm to 9pm, and night-time, which ran from 11pm to 2am.
Some 1,600 guests attended the “Get Together” event on the Sunday evening, while between 500 to 800 guests went to the lounge’s after-work sessions.