Trinity triumph and World Cup woes

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

Another Trinity Forum over. Another Rugby World Cup come and gone. From a parochial Kiwi publisher’s perspective one triumph followed by an excrutiating case of what might have been.

The 20th anniversary edition of The Trinity Forum, held here in Hong Kong, may have been the best yet. In terms of calibre of speakers, size of audience (well over 400), excellence of social events, and technical quality it was certainly right up there.

After such events I feel as if I’ve been put through a mental wringer, the psychological equivalent of being run over by the Springboks forward pack (more of which, alas, in a moment), the unrelenting concentration required meaning that relief rather than exhilaration is the dominant emotion afterwards.

But how very good it was to welcome delegates from all around the world to Hong Kong, a place closed to them for so long because of the pandemic. For many visitors it was either their first experience of the Special Administrative Region or their first since before the crisis.

But it’s now guaranteed that all will return after a remarkable gesture by Airport Authority Hong Kong CEO Fred Lam at the Gala Dinner. There was great excitement in the room as he revealed that the evening’s lucky draw winners – 50 of them – would each receive a return air ticket to Hong Kong.

But there was more to come. Once the names were revealed on the giant screen, Lam announced that all Gala Dinner guests would receive a ticket to Hong Kong. What’s more, the 50 lucky winners drawn earlier would receive two. The free tickets are part of a government scheme announced in 2022 to stimulate the COVID-ravaged local tourism sector.

Has there ever been a lucky draw such as this at an industry conference? Airport Authority Hong Kong CEO Fred Lam announces the giveaway of 50 return tickets with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong for 50 lucky guests.
Amid much excitement, the winners are revealed
But wait, there’s more. In an extraordinary gesture, Fred Lam announces that all Gala Dinner guests will receive a return air ticket to Hong Kong. What’s more, the 50 lucky winners drawn earlier will receive two.

What a great way to cap an event where we heard time and again how resilient Hong Kong is in the face of adversity.

As for the Rugby World Cup, well, you win some, you lose some. And if losing some includes your skipper to a red card early on then you are up against it in any match, let alone a World Cup final against the ferocious Springboks. Well done South Africa. And so a long four-year wait begins for the chance for redemption. At least it’s only 12 months for a reprise of The Trinity Forum. ✈

With my long-time business partner and colleague Dermot Davitt on stage as The Trinity Forum 2023 gets underway

What a privilege it is to interview our industry’s top leaders on stage. Above is Avolta CEO Xavier Rossinyol
Here I am chatting with Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths
The Q&A with DFS Group Chairman & CEO Benjamin Vuchot was among many high points of the event
Time to welcome China Duty Free Group Executive Director Luke Chang to the stage
A lovely moment as The Trinity Forum draws to an extraordinary climax with a superb Gala Dinner at Rosewood Hong Kong hosted by Hong Kong International Airport with wines and spirits supplied by Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail. Celebrating the moment on stage with me are (left to right) Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail CEO Laurent Pillet; Airport Authority of Hong Kong Head of Retail & Advertising Alby Tsang; Airport Authority Hong Kong Executive Director, Commercial Cissy Chang; ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira; Airport Authority Hong Kong CEO Fred Lam; and The Moodie Davitt Report President Dermot Davitt
The Trinity Forum 2024 will be hosted by IPP Travel Retail on 5-6 November in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Pictured with me at the official handover ceremony during the Gala Dinner are Airport Authority of Hong Kong Head of Retail & Advertising Alby Tsang (left) and IPP Group Vice President/IPP Travel Retail CEO Phillip Nguyen.
What an honour to present Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths with The Trinity Award 2023 for Outstanding Contribution to the Airport Commercial Revenues Sector
Hong Kong International Airport doesn’t do things by halves as epitomised by a thrillingly pyrotechnic lion dance early in the evening

Pernod Ricard provided a range of outstanding spirits, wines and Champagnes to celebrate the culmination of The Trinity Forum. The table centrepiece was the limited-edition Royal Salute 21 Year Old Richard Quinn Edition II.

(Above and below) A proud moment for The Moodie Davitt Report team as the 20th anniversary edition of The Trinity Forum draws to a close. Pictured  left to right are Jess Allerton, Matt Willey, Irene Revilla, Sarah Genest, Aran Turner, Yimei Zhang, me, Richard Jell, Dermot Davitt, Vincci Chung, Mark Lane, Kristyn Branisel, Hannah Tan-Gillies, Jeannie Wong and Penny Zhou 

Time to thank the team for all their amazing work
With Gary Leong, long-time Foreo Global Travel Retail Director, who has just left the company to take on new challenges, and his wife Lilith Yu
A lighter moment with four of our industry’s top talents, (from left) Clarins Global Travel Retail President Alexandre Callens, Shiseido Chief Commercial Officer Travel Retail Asia Pacific Evelyne Ly Wainer, DFS Group Senior Vice President Global Merchandising Amael Blain and Coty Senior Vice President Global Travel Retail Guilhem Souche
With Riyadh Airports Company Chief Commercial Officer Abdulaziz Al Asaker
Airport Authority of Hong Kong Head of Retail & Advertising Alby Tsang with me and Dermot Davitt
Fresh General Manager Travel Retail Asia Pacific Ariel Yak enjoys a sense of place at the Gala Dinner
Ariel pictured here with King Power Group Hong Kong’s Antares Cheng and Karli Cheng (right) and (second to right) Fresh Commercial Area Director Travel Retail Cherrie Chan
So who’s going to win the Rugby World Cup final? “The All Blacks, of course!” I say. “No way, it’s going to be the Springboks,” replies Africa Travel Retail Director Chichi Maponya. Alas, by now you know who was right.
I have enormous regard for Lagardère Travel Retail Chairman & CEO Dag Rasmussen and it was a pleasure to hear from him at The Trinity Forum in a typically erudite address
With The Estée Lauder Companies travel retail team who turned out in impressive numbers
Cissy Chan and Alby Tsang (sixth and fifth from right respectively) celebrate the success of this year’s Trinity Forum with their brilliant team
With two of our industry’s great leaders, Airport Authority of Hong Kong CEO Fred Lam and Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths
Cissy Chan (fifth from left), Alby Tsang (third from left) and I join the China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and CDF International teams led by CDFG Executive Director Luke Chang (sixth from right)
The Moodie Davitt Report Chief China Representative Zhang Yimei, who is doing such an outstanding job for us from her Hainan base, joins me for a photo opportunity with the CDFG and CDFI teams
With Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Deputy General Manager Peng Yang and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport General Manager Retail Management Department Dicky Cheung
A nice shot of Dermot and me with one of the great pioneers of our industry, Rakhita Jayawardena, the king of inflight
Qatar Duty Free Senior Vice President Thabet Musleh had to pull out of the event at the last minute due to pressing matters back in Doha. But you can’t keep a good man down and he delivered a dazzling video presentation showcasing the super Qatar Duty Free retail and food & beverage offer at Hamad International Airport.
With Zhang Yimei, our Chief China Representative, Hainan Hinews’ Lu Tianqin and Jessica’s Secret Founder Mirko Wang