INTERNATIONAL. Exhibitor Registration for what is shaping as a highly successful Virtual Travel Retail Expo is set to close on Friday, 27 August.

The pioneering virtual event, set for 11-15 October,  has gained rapid momentum over the last few weeks in terms of exhibitors, registrants, sponsors and a power-packed Knowledge Hub programme.

The event is owned and managed by The Moodie Davitt Report and partner FILTR.QINGWA, together with Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development (IEDB) as co-organiser and Host of the Hainan Discovery zone.

The Virtual Travel Retail Expo offers an unrivalled opportunity to meet leading retailers from Hainan’s booming offshore duty free industry at the Hainan Discovery Zone, with almost all of the current players exhibiting and every one of them attending in force to visit brand exhibitors.

They will be joined by Wangfujing Duty Free, which is preparing to open on the island and on the Mainland in coming months. In advance of its duty free debut, the retail giant is seeking to meet brand partners at the Expo and showcase its highly ambitious plans. Another major partner will be revealed this week.

The Hainan Discovery zone will showcase all aspects of Hainan’s Free Trade Port programme. The dedicated area featurse a new level of digital engagement and offer sponsorship, advertising and promotional opportunities for exhibitors and non-exhibitors alike.

“This is an outstanding chance for brands all around the world to meet with the key players in the world’s hottest duty free location,” said The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie. “Each of our Hainan retailer exhibitors plans to present a dynamic digital showcase of their stores and plans. They are all keen to raise awareness of the Hainan offshore duty free market and to meet with established and potential brand partners.”

Lagardère Travel Retail China has also become a Platinum Partner and exhibitor within the Hainan Discovery zone.

China Duty Free Group (CDFG), China’s and the world’s number one travel retailer by sales in 2020, was recently announced as the Expo’s exclusive Strategic Cooperation Partner. In a major development, CDFG will have its own dedicated digital area in the Expo, called CDFG City, where it will showcase some of its most exciting current and planned projects. A gateway presence to CDFG City will feature in both the Hainan Discovery zone and the Retailer Emporium.

The Hainan Discovery zone promises to be a compelling showcase for the travel retail hotspot

The Expo also marks the return of The QDF Factor, an initiative to champion innovation at a time when travel retail needs that quality more than ever.

The QDF Factor, first hosted in 2020 at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, is a competition open to all brands, both within and outside the travel retail channel. It offers a top prize of a six-month listing (subject to standard commercial and payment terms) in 2022 at Qatar Duty Free’s award-winning retail offer in Hamad International Airport, Doha, recently voted Best Airport in the World by Skytrax.

The victor will also win a free six-month US$50,000 multi-media advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report.

Qatar Duty Free, a Diamond Partner of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, has pledged a spectacular digital showcasing of the much-anticipated Hamad International Airport (HIA) Expansion due to open in 2022.

Besides the expansion – one of the world’s most ambitious airport infrastructure projects – Qatar Duty Free (QDF) will be highlighting the extensive retail, food & beverage and services development within the South and North nodes of the existing terminal building.

A powerful and richly diverse speaker lineup is taking shape for the Knowledge Hub of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. It will feature a diverse range of high-quality speakers under the pillar themes of the event: Lead. Inspire. Transform.

As detailed in the video below, the speaker lineup spans multiple travel retail channels and regions as well as thought leaders and inspirational figures from beyond the industry. It will feature industry leaders such as China Duty Free Group Charles Chen; Pernod Ricard Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Alexandre Ricard; Shiseido Chairman, President, CEO & Executive Officer Masahiko Uotani; and Qatar Airways group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.

The line-up includes several inspirational social and business leaders. Under Inspire, the opening day of the Knowledge Hub (11 October) will feature a star turn in Tegla Loroupe, Founder & President of the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation & Chef de Mission for the Olympic Refugee Team in Tokyo. In addition, Expo visitors will hear from Woman in Travel Thrive Founder and Expedia Group North American Market Management and Lodging Senior Director Silvia Camarota and Beam Suntory Global Environmental Sustainability VP Kim Marotta and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Victoria Russell.

The Knowledge Hub programme will also embrace the Travel Retail Superstars Awards, The Moodies (social and digital media awards) and the FAB Superstars Awards. 

All registered airport and retailer visitors for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo will be automatically entered into two Dubai Duty Free prize draws each week from now until the start of the live event.

Participants have the chance to win tickets for the popular Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draws and could capture the grand prizes of US$1 million or a luxury car respectively. Click here to register for the event.

More exhibitors and partners will be announced in coming days. Attendance is free for all exhibitors and sponsors, airports authorities, airlines, cruise and ferry companies, retail and F&B operators, other airport service providers, trade associations and official media partners.

Registration for all other delegates is just US$250 for the live week and six-week encore period.