GOAA tenders Orlando duty free next month

By Doug Newhouse |

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) is to tender a seven-year duty free concession at Orlando International Airport next month, covering the two existing shops in Terminals ‘A’ and ‘B’ next month, according to GOAA’s Manager of Concessions Linda Baratta.

She told TREND this week that a request for proposals (RFP) document will be issued – or made available – to interested companies next month. The concession is presently operated by the Alpha-Keys Orlando Retail Associates Partnership (now Aldeasa/Autogrill) which has held the business for many years. 

The tender also comes at a good time for GOAA, where the number of non-stop international destinations serviced by the airport has grown to more than 20. Last year, total traffic (mainly domestic) reached nearly 34.9m (+3.5%), while international passenger traffic passed the 3m level for the first time in the airport’s history – up 9.0% to 3,245,799 passengers. 

This represented an increase of 267,978 passengers over the previous record set in 2009. [Prior to this, 2008 was Orlando’s second-busiest year in history with international traffic up by nearly 17% to 2,686,913 passengers-Ed].

Orlando has continued this upward traffic trend into 2011, reporting an international traffic increase of 7.94% to 277,384 passengers in January (the last statistics available). The Central Florida destination’s big attractions such as Disneyland and Universal Studios are also said to be performing well in what is now the peak tourism season for the location.

Referring to the strong performance in 2010, Phil Brown, Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) said: “Breaking through the three million passenger level for international travellers is a high point for Orlando International. This indicates the appeal and value of the Central Florida destination.

“We will continue to work with Visit Orlando (formerly the Convention and Visitors Bureau) and our community partners to target overseas markets that may give us the greatest opportunity to make 2011 another record breaking year”.

This new seven-year contract period is a departure from GOAA’s previous practice of tendering five-year contracts, with the GOAA Board agreeing last December that a seven-year term would be more appropriate to allow the winning retailer sufficient time to amortize its investment. 

Alpha last expanded its main store in the Delta Terminal in 2007, growing the space from about 900sq ft to 5,000sq ft, while rebranding the shop in distinctive pink. Alpha also expanded its other main airside store from 1,000sq ft to over 3,000sq ft at a total cost of £2m ($3.2m). In return it received a five-year contract extension.

COMMENT: The Orlando Airport duty free concession is likely to be keenly contested, considering there has been no opportunity for retailers to tender for this duty free business for a decade. Aldeasa can be expected to defend its concession vigorously, while a challenge from Dufry – which already operates its Hudson News brand at the location – seems certain.

Several other companies – including Duty Free Americas which operates at Miami Airport – will surely look at this business.


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