Issue 3 2012 / 6 June 2012 /
In 2010, the global duty-free and travel retail market recorded net sales of $39 billion1 despite the aviation sector being hit by the economic crisis. Having such a vibrant retail sector while many of the economic indicators are at half-mast should be a source of positivity.
Commercial activity is, and will continue to be, one of the principle driving forces behind Europe’s airport industry in the years ahead. In 2010, non-aeronautical revenues, which accounted for 48 per cent of airports’ incomes, grew twice as fast as aeronautical revenues, as airports put greater emphasis on developing their retail activities. This enabled the airports to bring down the costs for airlines and passengers and to finance infrastructure improvements and expansion. The airport commercial sector is now such an important means of generating revenue that vibrant and attractive retail areas are considered by airport operators to be a critical element of their facility modernisation plans.
Development prospects for the duty free and travel retail industry are good, both within the EU and outside its borders. In the next 20 years, I expect that our industry will track and indeed outperform the forecast increases in air traffic, with specifically, travellers from Asia and the Middle East representing a major economic potential. (more…)