Dear friends and colleagues,


On behalf of the Board of Directors of ASUTIL we are very pleased to invite you to participate in our 21st Conference: 2017 “Back to the Future".


This year, the Conference will take place from June 6-9 (Tuesday to Friday) in Rio de Janeiro, at the Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro hotel. Twenty-one years ago, ASUTIL held its first conference in this same venue. Today, this city, just as the industry, has gone through a lot of qualitative and quantitative changes. It is no longer the same city, there are not the same customers, or the same DF reserved to a few categories and brands with reduced spaces in the airports. Today it is a global industry, much more massive, dynamic and appealing.


The conference’s title is not casual. If you could go back to the past, as in the movie, what would you like to change in order to reinforce our values and commitment with this industry in the future? Moreover, now that we face so many challenges, including the impact of the digital world, if we went back to the past, what should remain unchanged and what should have been attempted in an industry which success is based on the relations between the actors?


As usual, the format will have a mix of speakers, networking time, cocktails, luncheons and social activities that will allow attendees not only to generate business relations with peers, but to take back home a reasonable amount of information about the region and the industry. This year’s conference ends on Friday with the social activity. Please, note that half day of networking was taken off due to one of the major changes in the industry at all levels, i.e., mergers and acquisitions involving operators and suppliers.


The first class speakers are already confirmed, as well as specific industry studies to help us face the future. We also count on the active participation of operators, airport authorities and providers from around the world.


In addition, we are looking forward to the Summit of the Americas, which will take place next year. That is also a major challenge and change in the life of ASUTIL, IAADFS, and FRONTIER DUTY FREE ASSOCIATION, the three associations that are working together to unite their strengths and experience to deliver a much more interesting and comprehensive event at the same time and place.


Could we ever have imagined this current situation 21 years ago? Let’s get together in this unique event “ASUTIL 2017: Back to the Future” and discuss the new steps to follow!


José Luis Donagaray