Post Pandemic ‘revenge travel’ has brought with it a new mix of travellers with a taste for adventure and money to spend. Travel retail is the ideal channel to appeal to the jet setting aspirations of today’s shoppers.

Global airport retail is predicted to reach 41.6 billion dollars by 2027 (

Keep reading below to find out how brands can make an impact in this space.

Trend 1: Wanderlust Reignited

🔍  WHAT WE’RE SEEING: Starved of adventure, modern travellers are making up for lost time, ticking off bucket list experiences with far flung destinations and life changing trips

🧠 WHY DOES IT MATTER? A new wave of travellers with expanded mindsets and a craving for adventure creates opportunity for creativity at every stage of their journey. Particularly at the first touchpoint and gateway to their trip – the airport terminal.

✈️  HOW ARE BRANDS RESPONDING? The wonder and drama of travel are expressed through disruptive activations, limited edition products and novel gifting solutions. Interaction is encouraged through gamification and tactile product discovery.

Trend 2: Flair over Function

🔍  WHAT WE’RE SEEING: Gone are the days of airports being merely transitory spaces serving utilitarian missions. Nowadays the airport leg of the journey is something to be relished, not forgotten.

🧠  WHY DOES IT MATTER? Travel purchases aren’t limited to last minute sun cream or WHSmith panic buys. Brands are transforming airport retail from unremarkable, functional spaces into emotive and unforgettable experiences

✈️  HOW ARE BRANDS RESPONDING? Holidays are inherently anti-function. A time for shameless indulgence and extravagance, brands are reflecting this spirit with flair and frivolity. OTT, elaborate and oversized displays capture attention and imagination. Shoppers are immersed in escapist worlds to indulge in sensorial pleasure.

Trend 3: Budding Traveller

🔍 WHAT WE’RE SEEING:  A reduction in business travel and a new wave of young travellers (with money to spend) means the passenger mix is diversifying

🧠 WHY DOES IT MATTER? Discerning, individualistic and highly creative, this new wave of young travellers represent an entirely new shopper that airports around the world need to prepare for

✈️ HOW ARE BRANDS RESPONDING? Gen Z don’t follow the beaten track, they follow their curiosity towards unexpected niches. Brands are starting to respond through an injection of dynamic, creative vibes to the space. These stores are more like galleries – curated spaces that showcase expressive and independent brands, with a spotlight on unexpected collabs bespoke to the region

Trend 4: Soothing Spaces

🔍 WHAT WE’RE SEEING:  The pandemic led to a growing demand for experiences that improve physical health and mental wellbeing, and people are investing more in wellness when they travel

🧠 WHY DOES IT MATTER? There will always be a level of chaos and stress to endure in transit, but airport retail can be a stop along the way to soothe and calm the senses.

✈️  HOW ARE BRANDS RESPONDING? Whether it’s using sound absorbing materials to cancel out noise like Aesop at Zurich airport, the warm ambient lighting and dreamlike colour schemes of Veuve Clicquot or intimate spaces like the Louise Vuitton lounge, brands in travel retail are turning liminal spaces into sanctuaries.