September 8 2023  |  People

José Luis Donagaray announces retirement and Colombia as ASUTIL's next stop

By Laura Shirk

José Luis Donagaray, Secretary General, ASTUIL

The South American Duty Free Association (ASUTIL) announces with profound respect and gratitude the decision of José Luis Donagaray to retire from his position as Secretary General after more than two decades of unwavering service to the organization.

José Luis has played a fundamental role in the success and sustained growth of ASUTIL during his tenure. His visionary leadership, tireless dedication, and unwavering commitment to the organization's mission have been exemplary and have left a legacy that will guide us in future challenges and opportunities.

The ASUTIL Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Carlos Loaiza Keel as the new Executive Secretary, who will assume his new position in the month of October.

Carlos has played an active role in the development of Uruguyan border duty free association CEFSU (the Uruguayan Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Free Shops) since its establishment in 2010, and as General Secretary he has developed a productive relationship with authorities from Uruguay and Brazil, as well as with the different companies involved in the sector.

As shared in a press release, the Board sincerely thanks José Luis for his exemplary leadership and wishes him a well-deserved retirement. His legacy will endure in ASUTIL and continue to inspire us in our commitment to being the association that achieves the highest degree of excellence, influence, and international representation for all companies and institutions within the travel retail market.

During a press conference this week, the association revealed that ASUTIL 2024 will take place in Bogotá, Columbia, in mid-June. The venue is still be confirmed.

Feedback from participants at this year’s conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, reveals that while very satisfied with the overall event, they would prefer a change in the standard topic(s) of the conference, a clearer economic overview and future outlook of the region and improved English translation in terms of financial and economic analysis.

When asked about preferred topics of interest to cover, participants responded with Gen Z and Brazilian traveling consumers, the future of politics and the potential of war, and digital marketing practices and diversity and inclusion in travel retail.

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