TFWA Celebrates Another Record Breaking Year in Cannes

TFWA celebrates another record-breaking year for its World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes as visitor numbers top 7,000 for the first time.

TFWA is celebrating another highly successful TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, as numbers reflect the buoyant mood across the conference and exhibition halls. A record 7,015 visitors attended the event, an increase of 3% from 2017. They represented 3,088 companies, up 2% from last year. The number of visiting landlords also grew by 15%. 

Strong statistics from the exhibition also bore witness to the healthy position of the duty free and travel retail industry. An extension of the Beach Village saw exhibition floor space increase to 22,759m2, up from 22,607m2 last year. The number of exhibitors also grew slightly from 514 in 2017 to 516, across 496 stands compared with 490 last year. Of these, 50 exhibitors were new or returning to the event, while 14 official boats were moored in Harbour Village.


The opening conference was attended by an impressive 1,676 delegates, up 2% on last year. On Tuesday morning, the Digital Focus Workshop attracted 310 attendees, surpassing the turnout of 237 attendees at last year’s event. The Inflight Focus Workshop, held on Wednesday morning, also had a standout showing, and was attended by 243 delegates compared with 195 last year. 

The return of the TFWA Digital Village was a highlight for many visiting Cannes this year, and 32 exhibitors attended. A total of 1,349 visitors passed through the doors, and while this was a similar number to last year (1,361), exhibitors commented that these were particularly high quality, with a genuine interest to purchase. Meanwhile, the TFWA Digital Village Pitch Corner – a new addition to the show – allowed delegates to hear more about the latest technological advances directly from exhibitors who took to the podium during four sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.

 The ONE2ONE meeting service remained a popular feature, helping to schedule 346 pre-arranged meetings for the main event, up 15%. A further 168 meetings were also held at the TFWA Digital Village, an increase of 3%.

The new TFWA app was downloaded by 3,276 delegates during the event. The app, which is designed to support and inform TFWA members and delegates both on site and throughout the year, is available for download now.

The Opening Cocktail at theCarlton Beach on Sunday saw a total of 1,664 guests celebrate the start of the conference and exhibition in style. As ever, Le Premium Evening was a dazzling finale to a packed social events programme, with 809 guests enjoying a magical performance from Broadway stars The Illusionists and world-class cuisine from renowned chef Romain Gandolphe. In addition, nightspot The Scene attracted a steady stream of visitors thanks to its popular Sixties-themed Lounge and new DJs playing every night.

Commenting on the figures for the last time in his role as , Erik Juul-Mortensen said; “These figures demonstrate the strength of our industry, and are definitely indicative of the sentiment here in Cannes this week. It’s very gratifying to have seen so many people over the past few days, and I look forward to seeing many of them again next month at the MEADFA Conference in Beirut.”


The TFWA Product Showcase, containing press information on brands exhibiting at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, will remain live for one month after the show, and can be accessed at


Christine Schott Ledes
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