IAADFS cancels Summit of the Americas due to coronavirusBy Melita Kiely
The International Association of Airport and Duty Free Stores (IAADFS) has cancelled its Summit of the Americas show “after careful consideration” due to “mounting concern” regarding the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The Duty Free and Travel Retail Summit of the Americas was launched in 2018, the result of a merger of the flagship events hosted by the IAADFS and the Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres (Asutil).
This year’s Summit of the Americas had been due to take place from 30 March to 2 April in Orlando, Florida, US.
However, IAADFS and Asutil said both organisations have been monitoring developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both firms have also been in touch with numerous exhibitors, attendees and stakeholders.
As a result of this information, plus Florida’s declaration of a public health emergency on 1 March, the groups said “it has become clear that the most responsible path forward is to cancel the 2020 Summit of the Americas”.
Full refunds will be issued or all exhibition space rental fees and registration fees, and refunds are expected to be processed and completed by Friday 13 March, with refunds via cheques or electronic transfers expected to take up to two weeks longer.
A statement released by the Summit of the Americas today (3 March) also said: “IAADFS and Asutil regret that they have had to come to this decision, and they appreciate the understanding and the ongoing support that their members, exhibitors and attendees have shown for the 2020 Summit of the Americas.”
German trade show ProWein was also forced to postpone its 2020 show this week over coronavirus concerns. Last year’s event hosted more than 6,900 exhibitors and welcomed more than 61,500 guests from around the world.
Wine and spirits trade show Vinexpo Hong Kong also announced a later date for this year’s show due to coronavirus concerns, moving the dates from May to July.
In the March 2020 issue of The Spirits Business, we took an in-depth look at the impact Covid-19 could have on the spirits industry’s long-term prosperity.