Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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The Moodie Report Sri Lanka Bureau at the famous Galle Face hotel is now fully functional and I am wondering with this view whether I shall ever return to dank and dismal London.
Anyway, why would I need to? The travel retail industry has descended on Colombo. Or that’s how it feels anyway…
Industry figures from all around the world have flown into Sri Lanka this week to celebrate the wedding of industry stalwart Rakhita Jayawardena’s beautiful daughter Aneeka to Sourav, a grand and happy event which takes place later today.
In true travel retail style, a day of celebration has turned into several days of fun, frivolity and friendship, fuelled by a few drinks along the way.
On Wednesday night Rakhita’s friends and family gathered at the house of his other daughter Yuvani, while last night the international contingent enjoyed poolside cocktails at long-time industry figure Paul Topping’s house, followed by a ‘night whizz’ around some of Colombo’s best drinking and dining (mainly the former) locations.
[Yasmin and Rakhita Jayawardena, Val Ferne, Jane Grant]
[Terror on the tuk-tuk: Jonathan and Eleen Holland]
Then came the three most dangerous words in the travel retail language. “Fancy a nightcap?”
As it happened, I did. So did several others. And several others fancied several nightcaps. At least I kept to my promise to go to bed early before the big wedding day. 4a.m is very early, after all…
[Another quiet night in travel retail]
[And, on the eve of the wedding, another early finish…]
Today, blearily, I picked up the morning newspaper ‘The Island’ (pictured below) from outside my door. The headline read ‘Alcohol consumption soars; Colombo leads’.
How did they know so soon? Wow, these journalists here sure move quickly. ..