Gen Z highest spenders in Latin America & Caribbean travel retail

By Faye Bartle |


The m1nd-set data on LATAM and Caribbean travel retail and air traffic dynamic was presented at the ASUTIL Conference 2024. 

Gen Zs from Latin America and the Caribbean spend the most in travel retail, compared to other age groups in the region, parting with an average of $135, despite below average footfall and conversion among this young shopper segment, according to the latest research from m1nd-set.

The data was presented by the company’s CEO & Owner, Dr. Peter Mohn, at the ASUTIL Conference, which took place from 19-20 June in Bogotá, Colombia.

The research also shows that millennials follow in second place, spending $129 across all categories in travel retail.

Footfall among millennials is in line with the global average. However, they have a tendency to purchase more than the global average in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The m1nd-set data also pinpoints business travellers as  among the higher spending shopper segments, also at $129. While they tend to have above average footfall, conversion among business travellers is below average.

Columbians spend the most

The research goes on to drill down on spend by nationality, revealing only minor differences across them.

The highest spenders are the Columbians at $126, with Brazil in second place at $119.

Travellers from the US spend $120 when shopping in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexicans $110 and shoppers from Canada $101.

In terms of footfall and conversion by nationality, Mexicans and Columbians tend to visit the shops less but purchase more frequently than average, while travellers from Brazil, the US and Canada, visit the shops more than the average but show a below-average conversion.


M1nd-set CEO & Owner Dr. Peter Mohn.

“We see that shoppers from the region consider the travel retail offer as poor value,” said Mohn, of helping stakeholders to improve their performance with shoppers from the region.

“Higher prices and, to a certain extent, uninspiring products and sales are the top barriers to purchase, which are leading shoppers to purchase in other retail channels.

“This is also evident from the fact that price comparison is higher among non-buyers than buyers.

“We see a below average purchase rate and limited exposure to touchpoints by travellers from the region before arriving at the airport; the intention to shop is therefore limited.

“We recommend that stakeholders invest in more targeted and more effective digital campaigns to ensure higher exposure to pre-trip influencing factors.

“This will not only positively impact footfall but also lead to greater purchase intention and ultimately higher conversion rates.”

Chocolate & confectionery a top choice

The top three categories purchased by shoppers from the region, according to the research, are chocolate & confectionery, alcohol and perfumes, yet there are some marked differences when compared to the global average.


Source: m1nd-set.

More than one third (35%) of shoppers from the region purchased confectionery, six points higher than the global average, while 27% purchased alcohol compared to 24% globally.

Perfumes, coming in third, is purchased by 22% of Latin American and Caribbean shoppers, which is 6% below the global average, says m1nd-set.

In-store experience more important than value

In terms of the factors driving purchases, the Latin America & Caribbean traveller research reveals that killing time, convenience, lower prices, variety of choice and product authenticity are the main reasons why the duty free shopping experience appeals to them.

When grouping together the key purchase drivers, the in-store experience scores higher than value with 50% of shoppers from the region citing ‘experience’, seven points higher than ‘value’, at 43%.

Suitability is the third main net purchase driver cited by 38% of Latin American and Caribbean shoppers.

Looking at each purchase driver individually, good value for money is the top purchase driver (25%), followed by convenience (23%), brand loyalty (19%), sufficient dwell time (17%) and the suitability of the shopping experience for self-indulgence (15%).

Additional influencing factors impacting the purchase decision, according to Latin American and Caribbean subscribers to m1nd-set’s Business 1ntellligence Service (B1S) shopper behaviour database, include everything from uniqueness to promotions and in-store sales staff.


The ASUTIL Conference 2024 took place from 19-20 June in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: TFWA Press Office.

Promotions and exclusives, as well as new and unique products, are also important influencers.

Over half (52%) of shoppers from the region say they purchased a product on promotion, 56% of shoppers said they purchased a duty free exclusive, and 61% of shoppers said they purchased a product they had never purchased before.

One of the main touchpoints and influencers for shoppers in travel retail is the in-store sales staff, who are ‘invariably highly influential, irrespective of the passenger’s region or nationality’, according to m1nd-set.

The research agency reports that the tendency to interact with sales staff is higher than the global average for shoppers from Latin America and the Caribbean (54% vs 48%).

However, the impact of the interaction is less effective among regional shoppers. Just less than two thirds of Latin American and Caribbean shoppers reported a positive impact from the interaction, which is somewhat lower than the global average of 71%, demonstrating a potential area of improvement to increase the shopping basket.

The research also focuses on how air traffic performance across the region and highlights the fact that in 2024 international departures will surpass the pre-pandemic level of 2019 for the second consecutive year, reaching 128 million passenger trips.

That is 8% higher than the 2019 level, five points higher than the global average of 103% vs. 2019 and ahead of all other world regions except for the Middle East & Africa, according to m1nd-set.

READ MORE: TR Consumer Forum 2024: Digital and Direct

READ MORE: ASUTIL Conference in Colombia’s Bogotá attracts 300+ delegates

READ MORE: Duty free style shoppers are younger, more impulsive & price advantage savvy


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