‘Adapt or Die’

ACI Europe has named the upcoming Airport Commercial & Retail Conference & Exhibition in Reykjavik ‘adapt or die’. The agenda is set to uncover the importance of airports being responsive to change in order to survive, having a real focus on the growing number of passengers and their changing behaviour.

Passenger numbers are rising and the objective of getting them through the airport, to their gate, seamlessly and in the quickest and most efficient way possible – whilst maximising opportunities to increase revenue – is becoming significantly more challenging.

Looking through the ACI agenda, there are plenty of exciting subjects to be covered. The diversity of topics demonstrate the volume of opportunities available and the momentum the industry has going forwards. 

Payment methods: New payment methods coming to market could have a major impact on the average sale value. For example, 70% of Chinese mobile payments are via ePassi-Alipay and given tourists often use cash and avoid card payments due to additional charges, offering a familiar mobile payment option would remove the cash budget and encourage higher spending.

Tax refunds: As convenience grows in importance to consumers, the concept of automating tax refunds could be a real game-changer for the retail experience. This concept would eliminate the forms at the end of every purchase, reduce queues and remove the hassle involved to claim it back.

Electric Cars: As the automotive sector develops and more and more people own electric cars, airports need to be equipped to charge the cars within the car park. Alongside this, airports need to be alive to the fast-growing trend of car sharing and taxi apps such as uber, reducing the number of passengers who use the parking facilities. Could the car park space be used in a more commercial way? Read more on this topic here.

Food and Beverage: Food and Beverage is a rising star in non-aviation revenue and there are plenty of new concepts and growth opportunities ahead! As airports have grown from a travelling process into an experience, eating is becoming the new shopping and services such as Deliveroo are ensuring food and beverage tenants can maximise on passenger’s limited time before boarding.

There are plenty more topics on the agenda including digitally enhanced experiences, electronic engagement with the traveller and improved effectiveness and speed of processes, amongst much more!

The big question is, will the changes made today hold longevity? Are new strategies strong enough to stretch over a growing number of passengers along with their growing list of expectations?

It is almost impossible to predict, especially with the speed at which technology is advancing and delivering new, more effective ways to improve procedures.

We are really looking forward to attending the ACI conference in March to gain further insights into the industry and what changes and developments we can expect to see over the coming years.

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