Global Travellers to Shop More at Airports In 2012

The UK-based hotel company, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has released details of a study that suggests that global travel trends are set for a change in 2012 with an increase in airport retailing.

The survey has shown that travellers are shopping more at airport stores, with global airport retailing being worth £16 billion in 2012, making it the second fastest growing retail channel next to e-retail. Women that prefer to travel light and shop at the airports outnumber men, the research results indicated.

Travel in 2012 will be defined by the use of the Internet for just about everything, including booking flights and hotels, purchasing parking, and acquiring hotel and in-flight amenities. Travel companies are set to benefit from new services on the Internet, with travellers using the web to order food at restaurants in advance, so that it is ready for them on arrival, and to order goods in flight that are delivered when they return home. The IHG report dubs this growing phenomenon, ‘from tablet to table’.

New global travel patterns are also affecting local geographies, with the development of smaller towns around airports that are away from the main cities. IQ development is expected to be another growth area, with Forbes tipping the ‘Brain Development’ software industry to become a trillion-dollar earner, from the $265m that it currently takes in the US.

Research is also showing 100 new airports will be opened in China by 2020, while the Dubai World Centre Airport in the UAE will provide facilities including a golf course and the world’s biggest shopping mall.

Joe Ferry, the company senior vice president of global innovation and design, has said, ‘IHG is an insight led business and understanding the requirements of our guests both today and pre-empting what they may look like in the future is key to building our brands and nurturing loyalty. The Re-mapping trend, for example, is evidence of this. As we see the rise in populated areas outside of main city centres, our recently launched Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts brand will aim to cater for the specific needs of the Chinese traveller and also support the rapid growth of some of these Tier 2 and 3 cities in China.’