The mysterious case of the disappearing Trinity

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

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‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English) – From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Sorry for the lack of Blogs in recent days, caused by circumstances beyond my control, but I am now fully back up to speed.

This Blog comes to you from The Moodie Report’s interim India Bureau, on the 8th floor of the stately Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi (view pictured above). I’m here, along with a very large travel retail contingent, to attend the wedding of Karan Tuli, son of King Power Group (HK) Duty Free & Travel Retail Managing Director Sunil, to Jasreen, which promises to be a wonderful experience over the next three days.

I flew out of Heathrow with Emirates, making a short early-morning transit through the great Terminal 3 Concourse A at Dubai International. Impressions and images of Heathrow and Dubai International to follow in my next Blog. I travelled on the Emirates A380, a magnificent aircraft but not a magnificent experience due to being sat next to possibly the worst-behaved children I have ever seen on an aircraft. Business Class turned into creche class as the two youngest of the three children, proceeded to tear around the cabin from just after take-off to just before landing and, believe it or not, even while the plane was taxiing on the runway at Dubai.

Not a word was said by the crew, despite the obvious annoyance being caused to both them and fellow passengers, as well as the clear safety concerns posed by very young children dashing around a plane. As with most poorly behaved children, it’s the parents who are to blame, and it was noticeable that just after the plane landed, both father and mother jumped to their feet to start collecting their hand baggage – the spur for another lap of the cabin by the two now hysterically hyperactive contenders for the next horror movie to be made about satanic possession of children.

But I digress, and said children, I promise, are the not the link to my Lewis Carroll quote. Far from it.

First there was the ‘failed’ Trinity. Now there’s the unsolved case of the ‘disappeared’ Trinity. Something very curious indeed is going on. To explain, I have spoken in this Blog before about an endlessly negative media voice when it comes to all things to do with the industry’s ‘Trinity’ concept. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, of course, and there’s no doubt that the grand notion of enhanced mutual understanding and partnership between industry stakeholders is a difficult one, often talked about but too rarely practiced.

However, big ideas require big thinkers, progressive minds, persistent personalities. Progress on difficult issues is always about overcoming the quicksand-like lure of the naysayers who can so easily suck others into their trap of giving up simply because giving up and commandering the cynic’s seat is easier than doing what rugby players call ‘the hard yards’.

So I do disagree with that pundit’s view, regularly expressed to the dwindling audience who wants to listen, that Trinity has “failed” – whatever that means.

Whether he’s right or wrong, though, I do find recent reports by his esteemed title a little cynical. The first was based on a press release from Budapest Airport headed ‘Maserati Ghibli joins Budapest Airport’s retail drive; 15 Trinity campaigns build on sales success’.

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The release related how Budapest Airport is set to drive retail at its flagship SkyCourt passenger hall with a scheduled 15 Trinity (their word not mine) promotions this year.

It also stated that last year’s Trinity promotions (in partnership with duty free/Travel Value concessionaire Gebr Heinemann) had generated sales increases exceeding +250% for each product being promoted and that Hungarian brands  such as Royal Tokji Wines, Zwack Unicum and Pick salami would play a key role in this year’s Trinity campaigns.

A good story, one that we and certain other industry media duly published. But here’s the curious thing. The  media title to which I referred earlier somehow contrived to eliminate all the airport’s references to Trinity.

And then it got curiouser. Not long afterwards, CTC-ARI, Cyprus Airports Food & Beverage and Hermes Airports announced that they were collaborating in a drive to showcase the island’s rich culture at Larnaka International Airport. The ‘Living Cyprus’ campaign is a true “Trinity partnership” said the companies. Another great Trinity story. Yet once again the word ‘Trinity’ was dropped entirely by a certain title.

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What is going on, asks Alice… I mean Martin? Is this a rare case of the press censoring the industry? Is it that such ‘good news’ stories don’t fit a certain pre-set agenda which suggests that the Trinity has failed? Or is it perhaps a twist on the old adage that you can’t teach an old Doug new tricks?

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