When a business receives an award, it is a great success. It helps build brand awareness, develop a positive brand image and is an accolade of the hard work and commitment of an organisation’s team.
In the airport world, the constant developments have made airports destinations individuals enjoy visiting and play a big part in the holiday experience. The developments in retail, F&B and interactive services have established airports as a growingly competitive industry. Now passengers are aware of the offerings available, their expectations are rising and they are more selective of which airport they travel from. Price and convenience is no longer the only consideration; travellers want nice restaurants, a strong mix of retailers, the latest technology, experience lounges, efficient parking facilities, assistance with luggage, fast check-in, the list goes on – I know I am willing to travel to an airport slightly further away to enjoy a better experience.
There are many awards airports can strive for, a leading event being; ‘The Skytrax World Airport Awards’. These awards are voted for by passengers, and the 2014-2015 survey received 13.02 million completed entries. The volume of votes make these awards exceptionally highly regarded. With passenger experience expectations rising, receiving an award voted for by passengers themselves can be a great way to differentiate the airport and influence the traveller’s decision when choosing an airport. Singapore Changi Airport was crowned the World’s Best Airport at the Skytrax 2016 World Airport Awards, Changi Airport has over 350 stores, and with the passenger growth set to be of 57million this year (if they continue at the same rate), retailers have a massive opportunity to increase their sales performance. With the title of ‘World’s Best Airport’ it can be predicted that passenger numbers visiting will continue to increase and the retail sales will continue to rise.
The ACI awards are also highly sought after. Airports apply with detailed entries and they are judged by a panel of industry experts. This scoring system is different to the passenger judged Skytrax awards, but is equally regarded as a strong honour to any airport. There is a variety of categories to apply for so airports can strategise how they are currently viewed by the public, how to improve this and promote and prove to travellers they are a destination worth visiting.
London City Airport has won the ACI Best Airport Award for the last 3 years running. Last month, the City airport received planning permission for an expansion which will enable the airport to welcome 6.5 million passengers by 2025. This development will support the UK economy, create a high volume of jobs and will drastically enhance the retailer’s sales, as the audience they will be able to capture is expanding massively!
Awards have numerous benefits; free marketing and visibility, bench-marking, market insights, positive team morale, and heightened credibility – all increasing passenger desire to travel through. Receiving awards in relation to passenger fulfilment highly benefits the retailers within the airport. Joh Harrell, Head of Airports at Amadeaus IT Group has found ‘satisfied passengers will spend 45% more on airport retail purchases’, with travel retail booming, it is vital airports keep strategising ways to develop and improve the passenger experience in order to really make the most out of today’s travellers who are more than willing to spend!
Kat Whitehead, Marketing & Operations, Foundation Recruitment