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The view from my late-year, late-night Interim Moodie Davitt Report Bureau (you can see the reflection of my laptop in the window) at the Pullman Guangzhou Airport Hotel tells its own story. This is a suitably huge airport to serve the sprawling southern port city of Guangzhou and the vast Pearl River Delta around it.
I’m in transit en route home to London from Haikou Meilan International Airport, my final stop of a long year, much of it spent on the travel retail road. I arrived in late last night for a few hours’ rest before the early flight back this morning. Room service, half a bottle of Chilean red, some web stories and some restless sleep. Déjà vu.
Maybe it was a case of saving the best for last. My trip to Hainan Island to join in the fifth anniversary celebrations of HNDF Haikou Meilan Airport Duty Free Shop was a rich pleasure. Not just for the honour of being asked to participate in (and speak at) such a landmark occasion but also because of the amazing, talented and friendly people I met.
I also had the opportunity yesterday to visit the retailer’s downtown Haikou Mova Plaza, a soon-to-be-opened blend of duty free retail showcase, duty paid shopping, leisure, entertainment, parkland, theatres and museums. It’s built on a grand scale that underlines parent company HNA Group’s ambition, vision and readiness to invest in the future.
You’ll be able to read my full report on this thriving retail operation in the New Year. My plane home to London leaves soon so I’ll close out this pre-Christmas Blog (written from the China Southern Airlines lounge at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport) with some images that underline both the scale and excellence of the retail offer that has been put together by HNDF Haikou Meilan Airport Duty Free Shop, part of it with supply and consultancy partner DFS Group. They’ve done a mighty job here, the focus on quality retail and a diverse category and brand selection helping to drive estimated year-end sales of around US$237 million.
The fifth anniversary was something special. There will be bigger and even better celebrations to come as this private/public partnership develops and as HNA Group (which today closed its acquisition of gategroup) continues to thrive and expand on the international stage. Take my word for it, HNA will become a global powerhouse of our industry.