New-gen World Travellers add to GTR Growth

Rising disposable incomes and new airports boost India's airport retail, especially in luxury spirits. Ashish Chopra discusses how duty-free shops cater to this trend with exclusive offerings...[.]

By Spiritz Desk
New Update
Ashish Chopra, CEO, Delhi Duty Free

With an increasing number of Indians now taking to the skies and travelling to various parts of the world either for business or sightseeing, the indulgence in shopping at airport stores has been on the rise. This is fuelled by the rise in disposable incomes and also the initiative to try out new products, especially in the alcoholic beverages category. As such, airports in India have responded with luxury stores showcasing the best of spirits to lure potential customers and captivate them through different immersive experiences. In this context, Ashish Chopra, CEO, Delhi Duty Free Services, elaborates about this trend and the shape it is likely to take in the future.

India's burgeoning middle-class and increasing number of air travellers are indeed significant factors shaping the growth of alcoholic beverage categories in the global travel retail (GTR) sector. As more and more Indian travellers are exploring destinations around the world, there is a growing demand for premium and luxury alcoholic beverages from them, driving sales and revenue growth in the alcobev segment. This consistent footfall presents a unique opportunity for retailers to engage with Indian consumers and showcase a diverse range of alcoholic beverages.

As Ashish Chopra puts it, by offering exclusive promotions, tailored experiences and personalised recommendations, duty free retailers can capitalise on this trend and drive sales growth in the GTR sector. Sharing his observations about how the behaviour of Indian travellers has changed over the past five years, Ashish states that there has been a notable shift towards premium and luxury alcoholic beverages, driven by increasing disposable incomes and a desire for high quality products.

Moreover, Indian consumers are placing greater emphasis on experiential shopping than they did a decade or so before and are seeking out unique and exclusive offerings, leading to an increased demand for limited edition spirits and craft spirits. In fact, the percentage of air travellers transitioning to super premium and luxury liquor products is steadily increasing, reflecting changing consumer preferences and purchasing behaviour.

To that extent, Ashish and his team are implementing various measures to attract high-spending customers, including offering exclusive promotions, exclusive launches and partnering with luxury brands to create immersive experiences.

Catering to New-gen Travellers

With the emergence of new-gen flyers, brands have indeed shifted their focus towards introducing new brands and categories to cater to evolving consumer tastes. He believes that liquor categories experiencing higher sales and possessing greater growth potential include premium and ultra-premium whiskies, craft spirits, artisanal gins and luxury vodkas. By continually innovating and diversifying their product offerings, retailers can effectively capture the attention of new-gen flyers and drive sales growth in the GTR sector.

Meanwhile, another observation is that Indian flyers have a preference for whiskies and Scotches over wines, among other options. "This preference is driven by socio-cultural factors, as well as the perception of whisky as a sophisticated and prestigious beverage," Ashish points out. Category-wise breakdown indicates that whiskies, particularly single malts and premium blends, account for a significant portion of alcohol sales among Indian travellers, followed by vodka, gin and rum, asserts out Ashish.

Delhi Duty Free

New Airports, New Experiences

One more factor contributing to this growth curve is the emergence of new airports in India that has had a significant impact on the expansion of the global travel retail industry. These modern and state-of-the-art airports offer world-class facilities and amenities, attracting a growing number of domestic and international travellers.

"With increased passenger traffic and improved infrastructure, airport retailers in India now have more opportunities to showcase their products and enhance the shopping experience for consumers. Additionally, new airports in the country are now serving as strategic hubs for promoting tourism and driving economic growth in the region," explains out Aashish.