Milestone moment: The Moodie Davitt Report celebrates its 15th anniversary

INTERNATIONAL. The Moodie Davitt Report is delighted to celebrate a special milestone this week: our 15th anniversary. We plan to mark this moment with a celebratory e-Zine in coming days, which has been generously supported by many of our friends in the industry.

Our story began on 16 September 2002, when a new title in travel retail publishing – The Moodie Report – was unveiled via a six-page PDF report, produced initially in cooperation with Generation Group of Sweden.

Launch issues: The first edition of The Moodie Report (right) appeared on 16 September 2002 in PDF format; (left) our inaugural print edition from October 2003

The Moodie Report adopted (and has retained) a radically different publishing model. It rejected the traditional high subscription fee base that had hitherto dominated travel retail publishing and instead made its information available to all under what became a familiar ‘Fast, Factual, Free’ tagline. Unrivalled market penetration allied to high-quality content was the constant mantra.

The first edition [written solely by Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie] pledged to change the traditional media formula and to focus not only on key business developments but also the industry drivers that underpinned them. The word ‘Report’ was carefully chosen to represent the voice of this new information service.

The major items in the first edition were:

  • Travel retail braces itself for war [the second Gulf War –Ed]
  • DFS losses curbed: Much hinges on Iraq, global economies
  • Generation unveils 2001 figures – down -5% – due to post 9/11 slump

The likely invasion of Iraq was the big story though. “No question about it, war is in the air and many travel retailers are preparing for yet another drastic downturn in business,” we wrote.

Early days of digital: How The Moodie Report website looked in 2003

Some six months after the launch of The Moodie Report in pdf, the brand was extended to include a website (informally dubbed ‘The website that never sleeps’, thanks to the unrelenting focus on keeping it updated throughout each day, and night, that still characterises the service today) and e-Newsletter – another industry first.

In October 2003 the first print edition was launched, proving an instant success with its unique ‘Moodie’ format that ensured it stood out from its rivals and was easily carried by industry executives while travelling.

As an organisation we have continued to invest heavily in innovative digital media, which today features videos, podcasts, the hugely popular Moodie Blog, an Interactive Print Edition (offering multi-media advertising as well as editorial) and much more.

The Moodie Davitt Podcast: A popular feature of our on-the-spot reporting from around the travel retail world

As with the pdf’s launch in 2002 and the website’s introduction in 2003, The Moodie Report e-Zine’s debut in late 2011 changed the face of travel retail publishing. The e-Zine features regular insight into the industry’s biggest developments, presented via a unique multimedia platform, with interactive content throughout.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine’s first edition (top) featured a poignant and moving interview with WDF’s Fraser Dunlop (now sadly departed) on his long and courageous battle with cancer; (above) the cover of our 200th edition on the stunning opening of T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS in Venice in 2016

The company has homed in on new markets too, in 2011 launching the industry’s only Chinese language title, The Moodie Report China, and (in the same month, August) The Foodie Report, dedicated to travel-related food & beverage. Most recently, we launched a new business to consumer title, PretAirporter, dedicated to travel shopping.

Adding diversity: The Foodie Report & The Moodie Report China appeared in 2011

Uniquely, all variations of our titles have remained free of charge to readers. All, too, have become clear market leaders in their respective sectors – the Print Edition going from a standing start in October 2003 to clear commercial leadership (which it retains today) by 2005.

Our Print Edition went Interactive earlier this year, the latest innovation within our suite of titles

We have marked some major stories and milestones in industry history with special publications, from the influence of the Irish on the trade in The World Rovers (top) to DFS’s 50th anniversary (above)

We have also tried to champion as well as seek excellence. In 2003 we conceived The Trinity Forum, which has become the world’s most influential airport commercial revenues conference (now a partnership with ACI and ACI-Asia Pacific) and has consistently sought to advance industry standards and challenge accepted norms.

The Trinity Forum (top) hosted in 2016 by Mumbai International Airport Limited, and the 2014 event in Taipei hosted by Taoyuan International Airport and Ever Rich Duty Free. These are among many memorable Trinity Forums since the first was held in London in 2003

In 2011, The Moodie Report launched its second successful event, The Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards, which has become a beacon for that burgeoning industry sector.

The FAB Conference & Awards seeks to champion the critical travel food channel

Giving back to the community and the industry has been an integral part of our ethos over the past 15 years. We’ve been proud to support many of the industry’s great charitable drives, from the Alpha Sri Lanka Tsunami Relief Fund (launched in 2004) to Hand in Hand for Haiti (launched in 2010 and supported by the industry on a continuing basis today – Chairman Martin Moodie remains on the board and in 2015 the company announced a five-year, US$100k support commitment).

We are proud of our association with great causes, from the building of a school through Hand in Hand for Haiti to support for The Smile Train, the leading cleft charity (below)

Cleft palate charity The Smile Train has been a particular beneficiary, both from our first charity dinner back in 2007 and with a variety of other fundraising activities since.


This year we launched The Moodie Davitt Report EGB Cancer Research Fellowship, a five-year, US$225k commitment to cancer research in association with London’s Royal Marsden Hospital, honouring loved ones of our own team who have been lost to the disease. The Royal Marsden will also be the beneficiary of funds from this special 15th anniversary e-Zine: 50% of all advertising revenues will go to the hospital’s cancer research centre. Earlier this month we also became a Gold Sponsor of Isaac Giesen, a young New Zealander (and son of well-known wine company owner Theo Giesen), who is raising funds to help the battle against depression by becoming the first Kiwi to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

London’s Royal Marsden Hospital is a key partner – and half of all revenues from our special anniversary e-Zine (published shortly) will go to the hospital’s research centre. Professor David Cunningham (left) was the lead oncologist in Martin Moodie’s own successful battle with cancer.

In 2015 we began another new chapter. Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie took back full control of The Moodie Report parent company, Moodie International Ltd, after a brief period under outside control due to his own battle with stomach cancer in 2010 and 2011. The following year The Moodie Report was rebranded as The Moodie Davitt Report, reflecting Dermot Davitt’s vital contribution to the company and the changes to the ownership of parent company Moodie International.

Thank you for being with us on the journey so far as The Moodie Davitt Report turns 15. We hope you enjoy the soon to be published special 15th anniversary edition of The Moodie Davitt e-Zine, which charts the biggest stories, interviews, videos and images from our years of covering the travel retail industry. We pledge to you, our readers and supporters, that each and every day in the future we will strive to improve our service to you. Here’s to being 15 years young and to the next 15.

The Moodie Davitt Report team

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