ASUTIL – and The Moodie Blog – head to Central America

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

If it’s Tuesday, it must be Panama… I think.

The Moodie Blog has generated some decent (or maybe indecent) airmiles in recent days. On Saturday night I headed home to London from Hong Kong International Airport after an exhilarating visit to the new DFS Galleria Macao.

Back into a dull and rainy London Sunday morning, then just over 48 hours later it was time to head west rather than east – this time to join the ASUTIL conference in Panama, the first time the South American Duty Free Association has held the event in the Central American Republic.

I’m co-moderating the conference over the next few days but if I break into Mandarin rather than English or Spanish, it’s simply due to confusion as to where I am.

The Moodie Report believes passionately in the value of seeing travel retail at work – we don’t believe you can report on this sector properly unless you view it with your own eyes. Deputy Publisher Dermot Davitt was in Russia last week and yours truly has passed through something like 15 international airports in the past six weeks alone.  

Each one offers an insight, and there’s always a cameo moment worth capturing. Today – and it still is today (Tuesday) in Panama, despite me having left my home in London well over 24 hours ago in the early hours of Tuesday (UK) morning – I flew through Heathrow Terminal 2 (an aging, creaking patient, and one that clearly shows neither BAA nor World Duty Free at their best), through Madrid Barajas Terminal 4 (bright, buzzing but still disorientating to many; notable for a really good Aldeasa-run destination merchandise offer), across to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala (highlighted by its impressive stand-alone store for Ron Zacapa rum producer Industrias Licoreras, pictured below) and finally on to Tocumen International Airport, gateway to Panama.

We’ll bring you impressions, images and information from the ASUTIL conference. But first… some sleep. The longest Tuesday in The Moodie Report’s history has just ended.


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