Adopting a can do attitude in Cannes

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

The Moodie Davitt Report’s Interim Cannes Bureau is closed for another year. Like so many travel retail colleagues I’ve arrived home exhausted from a week of seemingly round the clock activities, days and nights spent trying to balance the needs of the day job with all the freneticism that the industry’s biggest show provides (and demands).

One has hundreds of conversations during such a week, meets scores of new people from all over the globe. It might get tiring but what a venue, what hospitality and what memories. Whenever we complain about this arduous week we should remember how blessed we are.

Here are some of my memories of the week.

The view from the balcony of The Moodie Davitt Report Interim Bureau right on Boulevard de la Croisette. It feels as though we are right on top of the show, which, in journalistic terms at least, we are.
And we’re open for business…


Cannes has many outstanding restaurants (more about one of them later) but like many delegates I continually seek out the simplicity and friendliness of Le Crillon, just a few metres from the Palais. Here Cannes’ most amazing waitress, Aurélie, welcomes me and colleagues back for another year.
Friday night is ‘Harry Diehl evening’ at the Majestic. The irrepressible Gebr Heinemann and industry legend was in his usual sparkling form but also took time out to remember one traditional attendee who tragically is no longer with us, Alberto ‘Pancho’ Motta Jr. Here Harry regales me and Joanna Kamarinopoulos of Karelia Tobacco Company with another anecdote.
Saturday is The Moodie International Superstars Honorary Invitation Tournament – better known as The MIS-HIT, a great gathering of our friends and supporters now in its 12th year.
Agatha’s Karan Tuli, son of India’s most infamous tee planter Sunil, prepares to play the honorary first drive at the MIS-HIT. But there may be a surprise in store for him…
Tuli, madly, deeply: Oh what a swing from Tuli the younger. His Dad could never do that.
Talk about an explosive drive. Literally. The trick ball, provided by the Premiere Portfolio boys, disintegrates on impact.
The unlucky trio who were unfortunate enough to be drawn in my foursome on a day when I brought the game of golf to a new subterranean low. From left, Catherine Bonelli of Paul & Shark (who dressed all the players in their stylish shirts), IAADFS’s Michael Payne and club professional golfer (and certainly no MIS-Hitter) Eric Coletta.
What a divot! In fact it’s our very own Dermot Divot.
It’s not often that a golfer achieves the near impossible feat of driving the ball behind him but that’s exactly what IAADFS’s Michael Payne did, hitting an overhead tree and seeing his drive fly back behind his head.
Industry veteran Art Miller didn’t follow the examples of his US countrymen in the Ryder Cup, having a lousy day on the links and thus ensuring the planned American Eagle prize was renamed the American Dodo.
Elegance personified: Winner of both the longest drive prizes at the MIS-HIT, Blanc de Blanc’s Takako Asaki
And the best newcomer goes to…. Aer Rianta International CEO Jack MacGowan, who played out of his skin alongside fellow Irishman Dermot Davitt (who didn’t)
The top women’s prize went to the delightful Lui Ming, wife of industry legend Harry Diehl.
And now we come to the awarding of the coveted Blue Jacket, given to the day’s highest stableford scorer. Alas, in pressing it that morning Sunil Tuli managed to scorch the sleeve, his only scorching iron of the day.
And the winner is… Kevin Walsh of Premier Portfolio with…er… 50 stableford points. Handicap 22 Kevin? Yes, and I’m an Australian and Sunil Tuli is Scottish.
The MIS-HIT champions for 2016: Peter Irion of Gebr Heinemann; David Spillane of Global Travel Retail Sales and Kevin Walsh of Premier Portfolio (tops by Paul & Shark).
And not just Paul & Shark tops but also these chic little golf accessory bags from the Italian fashion house. Thank you Catherine Bonelli.
MIS-HIT caps courtesy of Premier Portfolio. Note the silver fern and shamrock denoting the respective homelands of Messrs Moodie and Davitt. The fern is on the top, the shamrock below. Just like the forthcoming All Blacks v Ireland rugby international in Chicago.
What a great image. And what a great man. Saturday night saw a wonderful celebration in Nice of industry legend Chim Esteban’s 60th birthday.
I was honoured to to be asked to say a few words about Chim on the night
A brilliant image of a brilliant day – the inaugural Paul & Shark TFWA World Exhibition yachting regatta
Back at Cannes Mandelieu Golf Course on the Sunday for the annual Gebr Heinemann-Estée Lauder tournament, which attracted over 100 players. After 30 years running the event, Heinemann will let TFWA organise it from next year with Estée Lauder.
Arguably the best-ever fireworks display at the Opening Cocktail in a refreshingly outdoor setting on the Carlton Hotel beach

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Shiseido, one of the sponsors of our Moodie Live real-time blog stream, painted the town red during show week.
Who’s this wearing The Design Solution’s virtual reality contraption at the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport lunch? Clue: He looks like he’s doing the Viennese waltz, or used to. Now it might be a Greek horos (dance).
Industry wine guru and Leicester City Football Club devotee Rodger Craig celebrated his birthday in Cannes with appropriate signage, especially given the attendance of special guest Susan Whelan of King Power International Group, who is also CEO of the football club (known affectionately as the Foxes). Susan’s husband Robbie Gill (right), owner of The Design Solution was also on hand.
(Above and below) One of the week’s highlights for me was to meet and interview Shiseido CEO Masahiko Uotani. The Japanese beauty house’s remarkable rejuvenation has been driven by Mr Uotani’s Vision 2020 project. We’re pictured with Shiseido Travel Retail President Philippe Lesné, the man charged with fulfilling that vision in travel retail.


Monday lunchtime is always reserved for that great Italian winemaker from Verona, Masi. Lovely wines (including an incomparable Masi Amarone), lovely lunch companions – Roberta Ruffo and Pier Giuseppe Torresani


In a wonderful gesture Abu Dhabi Airports Company Senior Vice-President Business Development Dan Cappell presented me with a limited-edition 60 year old Cognac from Cognac Prunier to celebrate my 60th birthday (the wrong sort of age statement if you ask me) earlier this year. Dan had only just been presented the bottle himself having successfully bid for it (with personal funds) at a charity auction earlier this year in support of Hand in Hand for Haiti.
A great chance to meet a man whose family name appears on millions of bottles all over the world, Bacardi Chairman Facundo Bacardi (second from left). With him from left are Vice President, Managing Director, Bacardi Global Travel Retail Mike Birch; CEO Mike Dolan and Chief Marketing Officer Europe Shane Hoyne.
(Above and below) Edrington GTR boss Aristotelis Baroutsis welcomed journalists to the drinks company’s amazing annual press lunch. A superb menu paired with a range of The Macallan expressions at the Michelin-Star La Villa Archange. Sumptuous.


To me the best press conference of the week by some distance: L’Oréal Travel Retail’s annual media presentation is information-packed, insightful and sometimes inspirational. Here Managing Director Vincent Boinay leads off proceedings.
(Above and below )Waldemar Behn owner Rudiger Behn unveils the new super-premium Danzka The Spirit line extension at a traditional Danish ‘Frokost’ (smorgasbord). Alongside him is acclaimed Danish designer Timothy Jensen, whose firm is synonymous with the design for Bang & Olufsen. Timothy also created the superb new communications campaign for the brand.


(Above and below) L’Oréal Travel Retail’s annual dinner attracts a who’s who list of industry retailers. What an amazing setting.
(Above) After a week’s blazing sunshine in Cannes it’s raining. But never fear… the brilliant management and staff at Le Marais in the old town know how to keep me and my annual Thursday night dinner companion Rakhita Jayawardena dry. Chairs!
My friend Rakhita Jayawardena, an industry legend, at what I consider to be Cannes’ most hospitable, most warm, most fun restaurant in 28 years of coming here – Le Marais up the hill in the old town. The food, wine offer and service bring a smile to our faces.

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