INTERNATIONAL. Industry support is growing for The Moodie Davitt Report’s Virtual Travel Retail Experience, currently set for 18-22 October. The all-digital event – which follows up on last year’s hugely successful Virtual Travel Retail Expo – has been rebranded from ‘Expo’ to ‘Experience’ to reflect the wider range of activities it will encompass.

These include The QDF Factor – repeating last year’s acclaimed competition to drive industry innovation – and the first-ever Travel Retail Superstars Awards & Knowledge Programme, championing frontline staff in our sector (more on both initiatives below).

The event will again include an array of interactive and immersive Engagement Lounge sessions and a high-profile thought leadership programme in the Knowledge Hub. The Moodie Davitt Report has once again partnered with Stand & Experience Partner FILTR.QINGWA to curate the environment and to provide end-to-end support and account management for all exhibitors.

In the latest show of support from a major travel retailer, Dubai Duty Free will take its place in a new Retailer Emporium, an exhibitor showcase with spaces dedicated to some of the world’s leading travel retailers. Dubai Duty Free has also committed to attending the Virtual Travel Retail Experience with its full management and buying teams.

The retailer will also once again be offering two prize draws each week in the run-up to the event, offering the chance to win US$1 million in the Millennium Millionaire draw or a luxury car in the Finest Surprise draw.

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin said: “We are delighted to once again support the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, now Experience, following its successful inaugural run last year. We are happy to hear about some of the new developments for this year and excited to showcase our brand in greater detail as we welcome participants and visitors to the new Retailer Emporium. The whole Dubai Duty Free executive team and our purchasing team are in full support and ready to meet the exhibitors at the Expo.”

Lotte Duty Free, the Korean number one travel retailer and world number two, is also exhibiting, as is leading cruiseline concessionaire Harding and event Diamond Partner Qatar Duty Free/Hamad International Airport.

Other exhibitors confirmed to date include Platinum Partners Diageo and Philip Morris International; plus Ahmad Tea, Harding, iClick Interactive, Lotte Duty Free and One Red Kite with others to be named in coming days.

One year on from curating this spectacular showcase at Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020, Diageo will again be playing a leadership role at the 2021 event

A dedicated zone for cruise retail will feature in the updated environment for 2021, with Harding among those to take virtual space

Other major travel retailers to have committed their teams to attending include Dufry, King Power Group (HK) and King Power International, Aer Rianta International and Duty Free Americas.

In what promises to be one of the big highlights, as noted above, Qatar Duty Free returns as an event Diamond Partner and will reprise The QDF Factor – a unique competition to incentivise innovation, offering a grand prize of a six-month listing with the acclaimed travel retailer in 2022 and a complimentary six-month US$50,000 advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report.

The Knowledge Hub programme will see the integration of The Moodies – travel retail and aviation’s only social and digital media awards and workshop – together with a dedicated digital, communications and advertising workshop. The Moodies this year will be extended to cover the whole travel ecosystem.

In addition, the first-ever Travel Retail Superstars Awards & Knowledge Programme will place the spotlight on the thousands of frontline and behind the scenes heroes and heroines who have helped keep a stricken sector going throughout the pandemic.

The event, combining an awards ceremony and a people-centric Knowledge Hub programme focused on the vital role of staff, will be a core element at the event.

The Virtual Travel Retail Experience will feature improvements in the critical areas of buyer-seller interaction and engagement, including integrated video chat, a streamlined conference programme plus other innovations.

For more information about becoming an exhibitor or sponsor of the Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2021, please contact Irene Revilla, Publisher, The Moodie Davitt Report ( or Sarah Genest, Vice President Sales & Events (

Other key elements include:

  • A unique Loyalty Scheme for returning exhibitors from 2020, who will receive a -10% discount on 2020 fees if they maintain the same stand tier as last year;
  • -10% Early Bird incentive for new and returning exhibitors and sponsors booking by 4 June;
  • A six-week ‘encore’ access for exhibitors and visitors at no additional cost;
  • A dedicated Retailer Pavilion for airport, downtown, cruise, airline, rail and omnichannel retailers;
  • An Experiential Arena, allowing companies which do not wish to exhibit, high-impact visibility opportunities;
  • An enhanced Knowledge Hub programme over five days, featuring many of the sector’s key decision makers, disruptors and innovators; and a dedicated Food & Beverage (FAB) component.

The Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020 was the major industry event of a troubled year; the 2021 Virtual Travel Retail Experience will build on that success with enhancements to increase engagement and interaction

The inaugural Virtual Travel Retail Expo was the key trade event of the 2020 travel retail calendar, attracting over 4,370 unique visitors, who paid over 20,000 visits to the platform. 124 exhibition stands received more than 183,600 impressions and generated 179,700 content clicks. The conference and workshop agenda was packed with 42 sessions and received over 30,000 session views. Elsewhere in the event, the Experience Hub hosted 41 sessions, hosted by exhibitors themselves, with 9,140 views.

The Moodie Davitt Report and FILTR.QINGWA delivered on their commitments to corporate social responsibility at the 2020 event. Proceeds funded 112 cleft operations through cleft charity The Smile Train; saw 4,250 trees planted via The Trinity Forest Project; and donated US$16,000 to ImpactHK, the 2020 designated charity year for Women in Travel Retail.