Year in Review

A year like no other

In this, our final eZine of 2020, we cast a look back at a year of crisis that humanity will be glad to see recede in the rear view mirror, writes Dermot Davitt.

In preparing this edition, we glanced back at the beginnings of the COVID-19 story in our coverage. On 6 January we reported on a mystery virus in Wuhan that Chinese authorities declared was not SARS but a new phenomenon. Ten days later we reported on the first cases in Thailand and Japan, and on the initial impact on travel and tourism-related companies’ share prices, as confidence in the sector turned sharply down.

Dermot Davitt

By the time of our first eZine of the year, on 23 January, our headline ‘Shadow cast over Lunar New Year’ captured the deep concern that had emerged in the build-up to one of our industry’s most critical trading periods.

From that point, our coverage has been dominated by travel restrictions and shutdowns, of airport and store closures, of plummeting passenger traffic, of job losses and calls for relief from all quarters of the business. In short, it has been the story of a struggle for survival.


How we covered the early days of the unfolding crisis in our 23 January eZine; click to access

Our coverage has been driven by the imperative to report on each phase – from sharp shutdown to slow and gradual reopening – in a relevant and responsible way. And we’re pleased to say that you, our audience, responded with overwhelming readership numbers as the crisis began to unfold, and then accelerated in severity and geographic reach. Our top ten most read stories, listed on this page, offer a snapshot of that surging interest and in the other stories that gripped you through the past 12 months.

In that vein, rather than focusing on the traditional ‘highlights’ or ‘best of’ lists in this edition, we recall the past year through its defining themes and key words (some new to the industry lexicon). We also reflect on the power of corporate social responsibility in the travel, aviation and travel retail channels amid the pandemic, and on examples of proactive and positive thinking and action that can lay a platform for our industry’s future. We believe that we played our part in this too, by pivoting to create the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, a premium digital event for our times that helped to bring the industry together (highlights in the pages ahead).

We wish our readers health and happiness, and hope 2021 sees the travel retail industry rekindled and in time, resurgent.

Best read stories of 2020

We bring you the list of the ten best-read news items from the industry’s most popular home page,, from 1 January to 18 December 2020. The stories and their headlines reflect the fear and uncertainty about the crisis as it took a grip, hopes of recovery and some of the most talked about industry developments along the way.

“There’s something that’s goin’ round, that’s shutting our borders down; It’s a bad time for our sick and our old;” ‘Pray’ beautifully captured the mood of a changed world when it was released in March by National Director – Duty Free for PMA Canada Jeff Orson. Below, we salute one of the most uplifting industry moments of 2020 as the winners of The QDF Factor are revealed at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo (more on these initiatives in the pages ahead).

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 289 | 21 December 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd).

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