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TFWA names new managing director

Franck Waechter has been appointed managing director of the Tax Free World Association (TFWA).

Franck Waechter TFWA
Franck Waechter, managing director of TFWA

Waechter officially stepped into the role on 2 November. His past experience includes working with brands in the duty free and travel retail channel, such as L’Oréal, Givenchy, Guerlain, Champagne Laurent-Perrier and Valmont.

Erik Juul-Mortensen, TFWA president, said: “With an impressive track record in strategic development, financial analysis and leadership gained in a wide variety of roles across a broad spectrum of organisations, Franck brings with him solid commercial skills, which will stand the association in good stead as we focus on providing a vital business platform for the industry as it returns to growth.

“With the board and management committee, I am delighted to welcome Franck to lead the team on the next stage of TFWA’s journey.”

Waechter is a French national and has lived and worked around the world, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, China and Taiwan.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the ESSEC Business School in Cergy, France.

Waechter has also completed a programme for executive development leadership at the IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The TFWA held its annual World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes, France, from 1-5 October 2023. A record number of buyers and landlords were in attendance (2,761). This marks a 15% increase on 2019.

Overall, the total visitor number for 2023 was just behind the 2019 attendance figure, with 7,385 visitors in 2023 compared with 7,531 in 2019 (the highest attendance on record). The 2023 visitor number marks a 23% increase from 2022, which received 6,017 guests.

However, during the opening conference, TFWA president Juul-Mortensen noted that while people are “hungry to travel again”, global passenger numbers are 10% behind pre-Covid levels.

Furthermore, he highlighted that recovery was ‘patchy’. Airports in Europe are close to pre-Covid passenger numbers, but traffic in Asia is lagging behind.

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