Sleepless on the French Riviera as a Cannes-do spirit kicks in

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Oh no, another day at the office…

The view from The Moodie Davitt Report Interim French Riviera Bureau in Cannes is enough to send one’s spirits soaring. As I battle in vain to shake off the jetlag from my visit to New Zealand and Hong Kong last week (hard to imagine I was in Christchurch and Auckland just seven days ago), this is just the tonic.

With our long-time accommodation knocked down last year, Dermot Davitt and I are holed up in some style at an apartment overlooking the Croisette. We’re right next to Louis Vuitton, apparently the French luxury brand having insisted on the adjacency. Or was it the other way around…?

Shiseido makes a spectacular statement about its new NARS lipstick

We’ve brought our biggest team ever (11 people) here for what remains the glamour event in the travel retail calendar. I may not agree with their choice of keynote speaker this year (or, disturbingly, the fact that he insists we don’t record him) but I cannot fault TFWA on their superb organisation of a complex and demanding event this week.

The Moodie Davitt Report team, the best I am proud to say in the business, was truly in the pink last night in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month starting this week. Left to right are Martin Moodie, Kevin Rozario, Christina Attwood, Irene Revilla, Gemma Aldridge, Liam Coleman, Colleen Morgan, Dermot Davitt, Sarah Genest and Hannah Tan-Gillies
Good to see others wearing pink in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month, including Patrick Dorais of Al Nassma camel milk chocolate in Dubai. He is pictured with The Moodie Davitt Report’s Colleen Morgan and Kevin Rozario and a certain hopelessly jet-lagged publisher.

We kicked off the week with our own memorable event on Saturday when we welcomed Gautom Menon and Paul George V at the conclusion of their epic Kerala to Cannes ‘Roartrip’. To see the two in their trusty TRiger, horn blaring, turn into the street outside Ma Nolan’s where a big crowd was waiting to greet them, was a joyous and emotional moment. Not surprisingly, a very big party followed. Thanks to Rowena Holland at Essential Communications for her help in putting it all together.

Can they make it all the way from India to the French Riviera. Yes, they Cannes!
Colm and Breeda McLoughlin of Dubai Duty Free were among the many industry friends and supporters (and in their case a sponsor) to welcome the Wild Tiger twosome to Cannes
Gautom (on the microphone) and Paul relay some of their many wild (Tiger) anecdotes from the Roar Trip.

Yesterday saw another important happening, the first-ever Wine O’Clock workshop, organised by The Moodie Davitt Report and top-notch Singaporean PR-to-design-to-communications agency Filtr. It was a considerable success as we talked wine, championed wine and drank wine. But the highlight was undoubtedly a special award to Kay Spanger of Gebr Heinemann, who recently completed 40 years with the company. During those 40 years he has been an outstanding advocate for the wine category, something recognised yesterday.

TFWA’s traditional Opening Cocktail last night was held at a new venue – L’Ecrin Plage at the Port Pierre Canto. The new venue proved popular – and spectacular, especially as the traditional firework display lit up the night sky.

With that ageless, tireless human dynamo Rakhita Jayawardena. If he looks brighter than ever, maybe that is because he is now Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, one of the most powerful government institutions in his native Sri Lanka. All that responsibility on top of running his thriving King Power inflight business. Impressive.
With my long-time friend, Vadim Sagiev, Commercial Director at Russian travel retailer Regstaer.
How nice to catch up with Mirko Wang and Stephie Yang (pictured), who do such a brilliant job with Jessica’s Secret in China. What a success that business is becoming.
With Catherine Bonelli of Paul & Shark, one of the most charismatic, natural and downright finest individuals you could hope to meet in this or any other business

Now it’s down to business, with the Conference this morning and the exhibition beginning this afternoon. Like everyone, I have a crammed schedule with appointments every 30 minutes throughout the week. On top of the cursed jetlag, that means it won’t just be the website that never sleeps for the next few days. Like the Wild Tiger twosome though, it is simply a matter of adopting a Cannes-do spirit.