ETRC Index points to ‘significant recovery’ with pax spend ahead of 2019 

By Kristiane Sherry |

Julie Lassaigne said is was ‘heartening’ to see the recovery across European TR

The European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) has released data from its ETRC Business Performance Index for the full 2022 year, with passenger spend 4% greater than in 2019.

Total European travel retail sales for the 12 months to December reached 83% of 2019 levels, according to the data compiled by Pi Insight.

The ETRC Business Performance Index presents trends based on historic aggregated sales, with 2017 as the reference year. It covers airside airport retail in locations spanning 90% of European traffic across beauty, liquor, confectionery and fine foods, and tobacco. Passenger data is powered by the ForwardKeys Traveller Statistics Tool.

Airport retailing across the continent posted “significant recovery”, according to the report, following the sharp declines in 2020 and 2021 following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Key findings, which are available in full to ETRC members, also show that international passenger numbers rebounded to 80% of 2019 levels.

Compared to 2021 figures, value sales and passenger numbers climbed 108% and 120% respectively. 

Encouragingly, the recovery accelerated through the year with Q4 2022 sales reaching 91% of that recorded in the same period in 2019.

Full year European TR sales performance since 2018.

While ETRC noted that individual categories are rebounding at differing paces, every one is back in growth compared to 2021. 

Spend per passenger is 4% ahead of that recorded in 2019, however it has fallen back 5% against 2021 figures. 

“After incredibly difficult  years, it is heartening to see a notable improvement for our industry last year,” said Julie Lassaigne, ETRC Secretary General.

“The recovery trend indicates that 2023 should see business performance close to pre pandemic levels but the impact of the current inflationary environment calls for caution.“ 

Passenger spend is soaring compared to 2022 levels.

Data presented at the ERTC’s Business Forum held in Amsterdam in January showed that value sales at European hubs from January to September 2022 stood at -19.2% against 2019 figures.

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