DFWC 2023 Q2 KPI Monitor shows only ME region exceeding 2019 pax numbers

By Simon Warburton |

Peter Mohn, Owner & CEO of m1nd-set.

Peter Mohn, Owner and CEO of m1nd-set.

Quarterly data from the Duty Free World Council (DFWC) Q2, 2023 KPI Monitor reveals the Middle East to be the only region to have surpassed 2019 air passenger traffic levels.

Second quarter international passenger departures in the region stood at 55 million, a 3% increase on Q2, 2019, while global passenger departures were 87% of their 2019 levels at 425 million.

The quarterly monitor, produced for the DFWC by industry travel and travel retail research agency m1nd-set, records changes in shopper behaviours across the globe as well as changes in air traffic figures.

The DFWC’s KPI Monitor tracks the evolution of global and regional air traffic, with data from m1nd-set’s Business 1ntelligence Service (B1S), supplied by IATA’s DDS air traffic database and forecasting tool.

M1nd-set CEO and Owner Peter Mohn said: “Comparing the Q2, 2023 traffic to the same period before the pandemic in 2019, we see the Middle East is the only region that has surpassed the 2019 level.

“In South America, Europe and North America, air traffic is nearing the pre-pandemic level at 30m international departures, which equates to 97% of the same period in 2019 for South America; 209m in Europe, which is 94% of Q2, 2019 traffic; and 47m in North America, 92% of Q2, 2019.

Dubai is leading airport with nearly 10.5m passengers

“These regions are all performing above the global average of 87% versus Q2, 2019, which reflects the poor performance in Asia Pacific where air traffic revival is still sluggish at only 64% of the pre-pandemic level in Q2, 2019,” added Mohn.

The Q2 KPI Monitor also focuses on the leading airports for international traffic and top travelling nationalities.

Dubai Duty Free will offer a special 25% discount on a wide range of products.

Dubai led the way in Q2, 2023.

Six out of the top ten airports for international traffic in Q2, 2023 are located in Europe, according to the Monitor.

Dubai comes first with nearly 10.5m passengers, followed closely by London Heathrow with 9.76m passengers.

Other leading global hubs – Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Singapore Changi – complete the top five ranking, followed by Frankfurt, Istanbul, Seoul, Madrid and New York JFK.

Sarah Branquinho, President, Duty Free World Council.

Europeans dominate the top ten rankings for nationalities travelling internationally in Q2, 2023, with six out of the top ten travelling nationalities coming from Europe.

Second quarter 2023 data shows 27% of global shoppers purchased on impulse, an increase of 4% from 23% in the previous quarter. The percentage of shoppers planning their purchases has declined, both for specific and undecided planners.

The percentage of global shoppers planning with either a specific product or brand in mind has fallen from 28% in Q1 to 26% in Q2, while the percentage of undecided planners – those who plan to purchase with either some or no specific idea in mind – slipped to 47% in Q2 from 49% in Q1.

Self-indulgence is also on the rise, according to the Monitor’s focus on the purpose of purchase.

Some 58% of shoppers globally said they purchased an item in the duty and tax free shops for themselves in Q2 this year, a 5% increase on self-purchases in Q1.

DFWC President, Sarah Branquinho, said: “The quarterly behaviour tracking monitor is a helpful indicator of trends which can prompt industry stakeholders to take action.

“Nearly three-quarters of shoppers who interacted with the staff in the duty free shops said they were positively influenced by the staff in Q1 this year, while less than two- thirds of shoppers said the same in Q2.

“This could reflect customers’ confidence in brand awareness, but staff engagement with shoppers can result in extra basket items and the importance of staff engagement with browsers is crucial.”


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