The Conference was opened by TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen, with his annual State of the Industry address. From humble beginnings the global duty free & travel retail business is now worth just under US$64 billion. But what might the next 70 years have in store? Can continuous growth be taken for granted?
Following the TFWA President on stage was former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; and Editor-at-Large of Wired UK magazine David Rowan.
Ban Ki-moon served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 to 2016, a period of rapid change and global turbulence. As former Foreign Minister of South Korea, he is acutely aware of East Asia’s importance to world stability, and of the obstacles on the road to lasting peace and prosperity. A renowned global thinker, he has taken a prominent role on issues including conflict resolution, poverty and climate change. In Cannes he addressed the new global landscape at a time when the need for calm leadership has never been greater.
Mary Robinson is acknowledged as one of Ireland’s most respected public figures, having served as the country’s first female President from 1990-97, and as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. Credited with transforming the Irish Presidency and elevating the country’s international status during her time in office, she played a vital role in building peace on the island of Ireland. Since her presidency she has worked tirelessly to promote human rights and to end poverty worldwide, earning numerous honours and awards including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
David Rowan is the Editor-at-Large of Wired UK, the award-winning technology and trends magazine covering innovation and the people and businesses that are building the future. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the title for almost eight years following its launch, and is an acknowledged expert on the disruptive influence of technology on business and everyday life. He looked at the duty free & travel retail industry from the viewpoint of a tech start-up, analysing how advances in digital and other technology will transform traveller behaviour.
The TFWA World Conference was moderated by Stephen Sackur, journalist and presenter of current affairs programme HARDTalk on BBC World.