International passengers departing the Middle East and Africa will reach 94% of their 2019 level this year, according to market analyst m1nd-set. The Middle East has already exceeded pre-pandemic traffic numbers, with Africa closing the gap fast. Such buoyant traffic is helping to drive sales for retailers throughout the region. But where is the growth strongest and how is traveller behaviour changing? These and other questions will be addressed at the 2023 MEADFA Conference, managed by TFWA, which makes its sub-Saharan debut at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra’s Gold Coast City from 19-21 November.
A two-day programme preceded by an opening cocktail on Sunday 19 November covers a range of regionally relevant topics with input from senior industry figures, commentators and experts. African aviation comes under the spotlight first as three airport executives provide overviews of their operations. The focus then shifts to the airport-retail business model in post-pandemic times, followed by an update on the World Health Organisation’s Illicit Trade Protocol, which has serious implications for all DF&TR product categories. Day 1 closes with the findings from an exclusive MEA traveller study and a look at consumer trends across the region.
Traffic data and travel forecasts are analysed at the start of the second day, after which the attitudes and purchase motivations of African shoppers will be discussed by an expert panel. With sustainability top-of-mind for many consumers, travel retail’s response is coming under greater scrutiny. The day’s third session reports on progress in the region and hears about local sustainability initiatives. Delegates will then learn about innovation in action within DF&TR, with case studies illustrating how new ideas are being trialled in the Middle East and Africa. In addition to the opening cocktail, networking opportunities include Monday night’s gala dinner plus extended coffee breaks and lunches on both days. Many of the region’s leading retailers, including Dubai Duty Free, Dufry, Gebr. Heinemann, Aer Rianta International and Lagardère Travel Retail, have confirmed their participation, so be sure to book your place via the link below.