Arriving in true Trinity style at Taoyuan after Sunrise celebrates 15 great years

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

Taipei view

I’ve arrived in Taipei for The Trinity Forum 2014, our annual airport commercial revenues conference co-organised with ACI and ACI Asia-Pacific, and what a welcome it was.

Taipei Trinity trolley

Ever Rich Duty Free, our Platinum Partner, and Taoyuan Airport our hosts, have arranged a special Trinity makeover for their VIP welcoming buggies. It’s such a nice touch and believe me it’s just the beginning. Taiwanese hospitality is legendary and I can promise Trinity delegates they’re in for a treat – well, several actually.

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I was whisked by the ultra-efficient and charming Ever Rich team to the Huan Yu VIP Terminal. The facility offers the airport’s first-ever speedy customs service, quick-fire immigration and the use of a VIP room and refreshments while formalities are being processed and one’s luggage claimed.

Taipei VIP

Taipei Hun Yu

I – and many of the delegates also – am arriving in on a high from the wonderful Sunrise Duty Free 15th anniversary celebrations in Shanghai yesterday.

Our hosts  Madame Zhang Feng Yi and Fred Kiang and the whole Sunrise team outdid themselves in the magnificence of the evening, which included a 190 metre walk down the red carpet of the Avenue of Stars by the guests, through the most exquisite stage and music set designed and directed by famous Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum, Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qui Ju, Shanghai Triad, Hero, House of Flying Daggers), who also directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The evening was also notable for a star appearance by acclaimed French film actress Sophie Marceau.

Sunrise also unveiled, in spectacular style, an e-commerce initiative that will, I think, transform Chinese, and perhaps global, duty free. But I’ve agreed with Sunrise to hold my report until our Cannes print issue next month so you’ll have to wait for more details. I can promise you it will make important reading.

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[Fred Kiang, Madame Zhang Feng Yi and Zhang Yimou]

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[The ice men cometh: Javier Simon and Olivier Bottrie of The Estée Lauder Companies in front of a giant Sunrise Duty Free ice carving]

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[Martin Moodie, Alex and Olivier Bottrie]

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[Martin Moodie and Jacqlyne Li of Bally stop for a photo shot with a hostess on the Zhang Yimou-directed red carpet experience]

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[Signing a message of goodwill to Sunrise on the magnificently designed outdoor set]

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[Advance Australia fair: Craig Sargeant (left) and Doug Bagley, the two Australian heads of Mars and Diageo’s travel retail divisions]

Afterwards the party continued in relaxed style with a few late-night drinks. I had the chance to smoke a great cigar with Fred Kiang (below) while sipping on Marc Gentzbourger’s equally fine Chabot 1945. It was great to be able to sit and chat with this true gentlemen as he related tales of the very early days of Sunrise, including opening day when only two cartons of cigarettes were sold. Sunrise has come a long, long way since.

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By the time I hit my pillow it was the wee small hours and another type of sunrise was beckoning. After a few hours sleep I did an early morning store-check at Shanghai Pudong Airport (business was particularly robust in beauty and there were some outstanding wines on show, nicely presented) before the short flight to Taipei.

Sunrisde Pudong

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Sunrise store shot

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It’s time now though to ban all thoughts of socialising and work through the evening on preparation for this week’s big event, which kicks-off with an opening cocktail here at the Grand Hyatt. The hotel, incidentally, celebrated its 24th birthday this afternoon in spectacular style just as I was checking in.

Taipei flash dance

Staff from all departments performed an exuberant flash dance, drawing what seemed like just about every guest out on to the balconies above, before Hotel Manager Kai Speth and members of his team cut a giant cake. Speth then talked about the astonishing transformation of the local district over the past 24 years amid a booming economy and the emergence of a world-class tourist industry, in which travel retail has played a major role.

Expect Trinity to put a splendid icing on the cake.

Taipei dance crowd

Taipei cake

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