QATAR. Two of the most senior executives from Chinese ecommerce and retail giant Alibaba, Angel Zhao and Roman Zhu, have joined a star-studded speaker line-up for The Trinity Forum, which takes place in Doha on 30 and 31 October.

Angel Zhao is a key figure at Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba. She was appointed President of Alibaba Global Business Group in July 2017.

Zhao is President of Alibaba’s Global Business Group while Zhu is General Manager of Fliggy Buy – Alibaba’s new platform that allows Chinese travellers to make purchases online at duty free and tax free shops before they leave home.

KrisShop CEO Chris Pok is another newly-confirmed speaker. As featured in the latest issue of The Moodie Davitt eZine, KrisShop recently unveiled a new look for its omnichannel platform, which joint venture partners Singapore Airlines, 3Sixty and ground services provider SATS said would “help redefine travel retail in years to come”.

Roman Zhu is General Manager of Alibaba platform Fliggy Buy

This year’s Trinity Forum will also feature a powerful Airports CEO panel featuring Kansai International’s Emmanuel Menanteau, Queen Alia International’s Kjeld Binger and Pittsburgh International’s Christina Cassotis.

The full speaker line-up has nearly been finalised. Woods Bagot Global|North America Retail Sector Leader Kevin Roche (see panel below), OurShop (AirAsia) CEO Lalitha Sivanaser, SSP America Executive Vice President Pat Murray, Groupe ADP Chief Retail Officer Aude Ferrand, Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer Badr Al-Meer and Heathrow Airport Retail Director Fraser Brown are among those speakers previously confirmed.

They will join His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, who is CEO of Qatar Airways Group, Secretary General of the Qatar National Tourism Council and CEO of several divisions of Qatar’s national airline, including Qatar Executive, Hamad International Airport, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Aircraft Catering Company, Qatar Distribution Company, Qatar Duty Free and Internal Media Services for the event.

Delegates will have outstanding networking opportunities during the event. There will be a golf event on the afternoon before the conference begins (29 October), a city tour on the morning of 30 October and the Opening Cocktail event, sponsored by Diageo, on the evening of 30 October.

The Forum will conclude on the evening of 31 October with a Gala Dinner hosted by Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free, with spirits and wines kindly provided by Pernod Ricard. The full itinerary can be viewed here.

This year’s Trinity Forum, organised by The Moodie Davitt Report, ACI World and ACI Asia-Pacific, is being co-hosted by Qatar Duty Free, Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways.

The Trinity Forum, which has grown to become the world’s most influential airport commercial revenues conference, will be taking place at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha.

Qatar Airways is offering a 15% discount on fares to and from Doha for delegates (  – Promotional Code: DOHTTF19).

The conference will be taking place at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha

Platinum partners for the event include Diageo Global Travel; Dufry; L’Oréal Travel Retail; Mars Wrigley International Travel Retail; Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail; and Mondelēz International, which is also Innovation Partner and champion of the Trinity Challenge.

Silver partners include Rituals and Victorinox and App Partners Smart Alliance.

Additional partners include Cabin Zero, CAPI, Godiva, Happy Socks, Lacoste, Leonidas, Loacker, Long Haul Spa, Mercedes-Benz Parfums, Nestlé International Travel Retail, Tous and Travel Food Services.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact Irene Revilla at or Sarah Genest at

Kevin Roche offers a preview of some of the insights he will share in his talk at the Trinity Forum. 
Travel retailers can no longer compete on price or convenience: to draw the consumer in and convert even the captive airport consumer they must generate excitement and a reason to buy beyond duty free. Design innovation must be woven into everything they do. For that to happen, design needs a seat at the boardroom table. It must be woven into everything the retailer does. It should be a part of their go-to-market strategies.

We have CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, and even CHOs (Chief Happiness Officers) – but where is the Chief Design Officer?

Investing in a vision, in a belief, in an extraordinary experience, requires patience and long-term investing. The PricewaterhouseCoopers report, Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019, states it’s time to introduce metrics with a focus on consumer experience. “Because consumers today are so discerning and powerful, it’s their perspective that most organizations need to invest far more in customer experience. Measuring return on experience will help understand earnings on investments in the parts of your company directly related to how people interact with your brand,” it says.

Major airports, with annual flows of 50-80 million passengers, are becoming cities within cities. Look at Changi, Heathrow, Schiphol, Zürich, Doha and Munich. Terminals are taking cues from across the spectrum of design typologies to remain competitive: these include lifestyle centres, mixed-use urban destinations, entertainment attractions and hospitality venues.

Amenities and activities are becoming richer. Yoga rooms, meditation lounges, and outdoor observation decks are increasingly indispensable.  Restrooms and amenities are getting bigger and more luxurious. VIP lounges are overflowing and can’t be built fast enough. Gate areas are taking on the comfort and style of hotel lounges with a choice of activity spaces. Presented with a choice of departure and stopover terminals, passengers are booking flights based on their favourite airports.

How does the travel retail sector adapt to this paradigm shift, to the desire to rediscover the romance of travel? Beyond the transaction, how can the airport management teams partner more effectively with the retailer and F&B operator?

Delivering a strong Sense of Place is no longer optional. It is expected. Gone are the bland, anywhere departure halls; instead, airports are letting passengers know they have arrived somewhere special as soon as they step off the plane. Woods Bagot’s newly opened Harvey Milk Terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has leased its retail to a tempting array of local businesses. For retail, SFO has paired the name recognition of national brands with local companies, in an effort to provide a locally-driven passenger experience while still gaining the benefits these large names bring. Another option is the nimbly designed pop-up shop, meant to be a short-term, rotating lease for local retailers.

Design galvanises places, communications and content towards a greater value for the consumer. It adds economic relevance, emotional, social and aesthetic value. Today’s successful retail design, whether of malls, boutiques, or travel stores, leverages and seamlessly integrates all the business disciplines to innovate and differentiate a meaningful consumer experience.