It’s the latest casualty stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The travel-retail channel, which depends on travelers eager to purchase goods, virtually dried up as countries around the world set wide-sweeping travel restrictions.
TFWA’s management committee unanimously decided to cancel the event. It “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 said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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 and Conference could take place,” Alain Maingreaud, TFWA president, said in the statement.
“Since making those changes, we have monitored the situation daily, and been in constant contact with our members and partners,” he continued. “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.”
Maingreaud said: “The cancellation of TFWA World Exhibition and 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.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the world’s largest travel-retail operator, Dufry Group, reported that its sales plummeted 94.1 percent in April. The Basel, Switzerland-based company’s revenues in the first three months of 2020 declined 23.6 percent.