Free as a (Kiwi) bird and flying high in Haikou

The following two tabs change content below.
Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

I’m a flying Kiwi again though this time the flight in question was very short, a quick one-hour hop across the South China Sea from Hong Kong International Airport to Haikou Meilan International.

I always like to stand near the PoS and watch what is being bought. This Chinese traveller purchased three bottles of Patrón Tequila. The category is on fire across much of Asia (and the world). The flames are clearly spreading to China.
Shop tour over, it’s time to set up my latest Interim Bureau at a favourite haunt, the SSP-run Jardin de Jade, and grab some steaming hot, delicious dumplings to send me on my way

I’m here for the fourth China International Consumer Products Expo (Hainan Expo), which is being held in Haikou from 13-18 April. The Moodie Davitt Report is out in force as I am being joined by two of our Hainan team – Chief China Representative Zhang Yimei and Moodie Davitt China Travel Retail Express (our daily WeChat platform) Editor Dachang Wang – alongside UK-based Publisher Irene Revilla and Brands Director Hannah Tan-Gillies.

Up close and personal with the Hainan gibbon mascots for the Hainan Expo 2024. The real-life Hainan Gibbon, native to the island, is a critically endangered species with just 36 Hainan still in existence.

This is my second consecutive year at the Hainan Expo and this time around I am well-prepared for its sheer vastness, something that really amazed me in 2023. This show is a big deal for Hainan and China, a showcase for both the Hainan Free Trade Port and the country’s ‘dual circulation’ programme.

I’m happy to be on the road again, having experienced more than a flickering of déjà vu over the previous week or so.

Click the image to open The Moodie Davitt China Travel Retail Report. The cover story and premiere Moodie Davitt STUDIO film is on page 47 (English) and 63 (Chinese).

Thanks to some renovations of our Hong Kong apartment, my wife and I have been holed up in a Hong Kong hotel (the Auberge in Discovery Bay) and with me barely leaving my desk from 6am to midnight for several consecutive days due to needing to get our latest China Travel Retail Report eZine over the line, it has at times felt like a rerun of one of many COVID hotel quarantines.

This time around, I could at least step outside my door. But apart from a daily flit to the hotel gym, I did not. Did we really live through the days (and nights) of two-week and even three-week hotel quarantines?

Anyway I am as free as a bird again and unlike the real Kiwi there’s no problem with being airborne. It’s good to be back on this beautiful island, whose offshore duty-free sector has been travel retail’s single greatest success story of the past 13 years.

Last night I had the great pleasure of dining with newly promoted China Duty Free Group (CDFG) General Manager Luke Chang at a fine Chinese restaurant within the magnificent cdf Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex.

I was joined by my colleague Zhang Yimei and cdf Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex General Manager Liu Bin, who is doing such an excellent job here.

The choice of venue gave me the welcome opportunity to also view some of the latest enhancements to this magnificent shopping, dining and leisure emporium. And there are more coming soon. Progress never stops in Hainan and nor does CDFG. ✈

China Duty Free Group General Manager Luke Chang (second from right) and me at dinner with The Moodie Davitt Report Chief China Representative Zhang Yimei (left) and cdf Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex General Manager Liu Bin (right)
Yimei and I are looking forward to catching up with old friends and making many new ones this week
The evening also offered the welcome chance to revisit the magnificent shopping emporium that is cdf Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex. Note the stunning duplex formats and dramatically imposing façades.

(Above and below) The spectacular AURA, a unique customised atrium built by Dafeng Group from China and designed by New Zealand company Wētā Workshop