There may be truffle ahead

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

There may be truffle ahead,
But while there’s music and moonlight,
And love and romance,
Let’s face the music and dance – with apologies to Irving Berlin

Hong Kong International Airport is all dressed up and ready to go for Chinese New Year. I doubt if a single airport in the world embraces seasons, festivals and special occasions better than the Hong Kong gateway.

2019 is, of course The Year of the Pig, and we’ll be bringing you pictures and video from all around the world over coming weeks to highlight how the aviation and travel retail sectors are celebrating the occasion.

The Year of the Pig is generally associated with good fortune in Chinese culture. Try googling Pig characteristics and you’ll end up with a bewildering array of traits and likely outcomes for the year. So, as your resident horoscope analyst, I’m going to save you time with my highly selective take on travel retail’s prospects in the Year of the Pig.

Despite all the doom-mongering about Brexit, Trump, and Chinese-US trade wars, 2019 will be an auspicious year for travel retail because:

  • Duty free was invented in 1947 (by Dr Brendan O’Regan at Shannon Airport, Ireland). 1947 was a Year of the Pig.
  • In Chinese culture, pigs are a symbol of wealth.
Martin Moodie: Predictions of truffle ahead are all hogwash.

So, given its birth year, let’s take the duty free industry as a pig, shall we? Yes, I know the theory that pigs living in their birth sign year experience ill-fortune. But 1947 pigs were fire pigs. 2019 is an earth pig year. And pigs, I discovered, generally have sound prospects for the coming year. According to the excellent China Highlights website, their wealth will increase this year as they will be well rewarded.

So there you have it. What was all that worrying about? Trump, schmump. Brexit, schmexit. Yes, many commentators believe there may be truffle ahead but to me that’s hogwash, the sort of prediction I might have made in my younger, rasher days. No, take my word for it, this year duty free retailers will be laughing all the way to the (piggy) bank. So let’s face the music and dance.

Footnote: Please send your airport and travel retail-related Year of the Pig images to me at

Source: China

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