Funny where the time goes

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

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it’s time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?

– Funny where the time goes, Sandy Denny

It was 6,940 days ago. A Monday. 16 September to be more precise. 2002. The Year of the Horse. Exactly 19 years ago today.

On that day, I set sail on a journey that would take me places both geographically and career-wise that I could have never imagined. On that day The Moodie Report (as it was then known) was born. Perhaps in kindredship with its creator, it wasn’t a particularly beautiful baby. The first edition was a 6-page pdf. No frills. No photographs. No advertising. No subscription fee. And according to some, no hope.

Ugly ducklings: The first edition of The Moodie Report (right) appeared on 16 September 2002 in PDF format; (left) our inaugural print edition made its debut in October 2003

But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and luckily plenty of people liked what they saw. With great help from my long-time industry friend Yngve Bia – then the owner of Generation in Sweden – I launched that edition from what I affectionately dubbed ‘The Worldwide Headquarters’ but which was in fact as former Abu Dhabi Duty Free boss Mohamed Mounib loved to rightly point out ‘The Garden Shed’.

I and we have come a long way since. We were, I suppose, among the earliest digital disrupters in travel retail, our target the legacy model print publishers that had grown rich and complacent in equal measure and who did not realise the power of digital technology nor the pace of its evolution.

On our home page today, Dermot Davitt (my business partner since 2015 and journalistic colleague since 1996… he was just two at the time) presents a brilliant run-down of some of the highlights along our 19-year path.

I won’t repeat those here but instead limit my comments to thanking the many people who have helped me and us along the way. Yngve and the Generation team right at the beginning; my first Moodie Report colleague ‘Captain Bob’ Wilby (whom I am thrilled to have back on the team since he answered my emergency call for help early in the crisis) and of course my present-day team of staffers and freelancers (Richard Jell, Matt Willey, Victoria Willey, Irene Revilla, Sarah Genest, Phil Peachey, Hannah Tan-Gillies, Mark Lane, Colleen Morgan, Sinead Moodie, Declan Moodie, Ray Heath, Kiran Ghattaura, Penelope Zhou and Jess Howells).

Then there’s the industry support. I would need a 100 Blog posts to name every individual who has supported me and us through fair feather and foul; from the tough early days to the even tougher middle period (my stomach cancer of 2010/11) and the plenty of good times we have enjoyed.

That support – moral and financial, sometimes both – has been particularly important in helping us weather this most tumultuous of storms over the past 20 months or so. Thanks for being with us on this amazing ride. 19 eh? Funny where the time goes.

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