Moving on down to the Marianas

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

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I’m posting this Blog from Incheon International Airport just before I jump on my Korean Air flight to Guam.

South Korea is known as the Land of the Morning Calm, but there’s probably not too much calmness here among the Lotte Duty Free team as they prepare for one of their most significant store openings of recent days on Wednesday.

I’m heading to Guam (for the second time in less than a year) to report on that opening, which embraces a new duty free, specialist and luxury retail offer at AB Won Pat International Airport. The Korean travel retailer has spent some US$17 million transforming the airport’s commercial facilities and I’ll be intrigued to see how it’s taken shape.

First though there was a brief opportunity to take a quick look around Incheon, one of my (and the world’s) favourite airports. The Korea Traditional Cultural Experience Center here really is one of the great attractions in the airport world, right up there among my top ten outlets. It’s lovely to hear live performances like the one that was taking place today, and to watch adult and child passengers alike all involved in traditional Korean art and craft activities within the Center.

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Incheon CCLotte’s liquor & tobacco, fashion and perfume & cosmetics stores were all doing roaring business and if they can just generate some of that in Guam they will be delighted.

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[Note how packed the store is behind me]

We’ll be the only travel retail media present in Guam and you can look forward to an extensive report, including pictures, podcasts and video, very soon.

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p111hotoBelow you can see a couple of the boutiques, opened in recent weeks. But there’s much more, including the retailer’s promised focus on championing local culture and crafts.

With all the travel I’ve been doing lately, I keep falling into using the wrong language (I kept addressing the Spanish hotel staff in Italian last week) but so far my limited Korean is bearing up nicely and there’s just one key term I need for Guam – the lovely Chamora phrase ‘hafa adai’ (meaning hello or welcome). I’ll be saying hafa adai to you all soon from somewhere way, way out in the mid-Pacific as I return to the beautiful Mariana Islands.

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