“Like an Airport Terminal” • THINK Global Research

Sometimes the best insights from qualitative research arise out of analogies people use to describe something completely unrelated. Despite the fact that we conduct extensive research for the aviation industry, the most interesting aviation insight this week came out of tourism related discussion.

During the discussion of what makes certain destinations boring, travellers have referred to a particular (apparently mundane, homogeneous) destination as being “like an airport terminal”. When asked to elaborate further, they have explained that they perceive all airport terminals to:

–        Have the same atmosphere around the world

–        Have visitors because they “have to” be there, not because they want to

–        Have the same shops selling the same products

–        Are sophisticatedly decorated but lack distinctive character

–        Have a standard set of brands and shops offering the same products around the world

What does this suggest for the airports?

Although they spend a significant amount of budget on stocking the same brands, decorations and furnishings, these factors are not necessarily what everyone values the most. Diversification and differentiation is key.

People travel because they wish to be exposed to experiences which are unique to each culture and destination, and their expectations of the airports are no different. Our research has shown that travellers desire for airports to have a unique atmosphere and product offering that reflects each destination. They do not wish for their unique travel experience to end, just because they got to the airport.

Through our specialised THINK Aviation division, we have worked with multiple airports and carriers to determine what their customers actually value the most, and use these insights to shift their focus on factors that make the most impact for travellers.

Written by:

Kristy Ihle – Managing Director

For further information on THINK Global Research, please contact Kristy Ihle (Managing Director) at  info@thinkglobalresearch.com.

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