The European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) has said that whilst results released to members in the ETRC Business Performance Index for the first quarter of 2022 are ‘overall positive’, it is keen to see how the rate of spending per passenger will evolve, after it ‘fell fairly significantly’ during Q1.
Following the significant recovery pace shown in Q2 and Q3 2021, the industry recovery slowed down in Q1 2022 in line with the previous quarter showing a sales deficit of 37% vs the same quarter in 2019.
International pax on the other hand experienced stronger recovery, taking the pax deficit to 32% of Q1 2019 levels.
In addition, the rate of recovery is now fairly consistent between the core categories, with each having an Index that closely tracks the overall market status. Whilst the results are overall positive, a word of caution comes from the rate of spending per passenger which fell fairly significantly in Q1 2022, with levels being 7% down compared to Q1 2019.
During TFWA’s Travel Outlook H2 2022 webinar hosted 19 July, Julie Lassaigne, ETRC Secretary General told attendees that the inflated spend registered in 2021 can be attributed in part to travellers keen to part with their ‘accumulated spend’ saved up from numerous lockdowns. “I don’t think we realise just how extraordinary last year was…especially considering the absence of Chinese passengers.”
Steve Hillam, Managing Director at Pi Insight commented on the recent report.“The recovery of Travel Retail in Europe continues to be underpinned by several key dynamics, although several of these trends, including sales recovering quicker than international pax and increased rates of spend per passenger, reversed in Q1 2022.
“The next edition of the ETRC Index will tell us if this is just a hiccup or confirmed trend on an otherwise remarkably fast road to recovery.”
Lassaigne added: “Q1 2022 saw a raft of challenges causing uncertainty for travellers in Europe, including renewed travel restrictions in response to the Omicron wave and most notably Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We expect though Q2 2022 to show stronger results as a result of the rebound of international travel in the region.’
Developed as an exclusive service to ETRC members, the ETRC Index is compiled by Pi Insight thanks to data contributed by participating travel retailers and the support of ForwardKeys for passenger data.