Throughout her thirty years’ experience in duty free, Sarah Branquinho has been an active advocate for the industry and the key role it plays in enhancing transport infrastructure and the passenger experience.
Initially appointed the first commercial director of the industry’s trade association Tax Free World Association, successfully launching its extensive international exhibition and conference programme, the start of the duty-and tax-free industry’s campaign to fight the abolition of intra-EU duty- and tax-free sales saw her take up key advocacy roles. She served as secretary general of the European Travel Research Foundation in 1995, managing and co-ordinating the ambitious research projects which underpinned the lobby. In 1997 took on a further role as secretary general of Focus 1999, co-ordinating the ‘Save Duty-Free’ consumer mobilisation programme throughout the European Union.
Sarah subsequently joined BAA and its retail company World Duty Free, extending her remit for business relationships and external affairs to sister company Aldeasa following Autogrill’s acquisition of WDF. With the acquisition of World Duty Free Group by Dufry, she was appointed Director of External Affairs, a position she held until her retirement in July 2018. She continues to serve as External Affairs Advisor to Dufry.
Alongside her commercial roles, she has served as Chair of the UK Travel Retail Forum (2009 – 2018), President of the European Travel Retail Forum (2012 - 2018), and as a Board member, currently President, of the Duty Free World Council.
Sarah is also the World Business Partner observer on the ACI Europe Board and a founder member and Chair of Women in Travel Retail, which offers networking opportunities to women in the travel retail industry.