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Baffling world of airport retail; cheapest possible tickets, most expensive possible terminal shopping

A frequent flier writes in a blog how he is baffled by airport retail policy and why “shops that you find in airports succeed or how this market is designed. If you consider that a large percentage of the folks wandering around the terminal spent a disproportionate amount of time online searching for the cheapest possible deal, then surely you wouldn’t expect them to walk into this terminal-come-shopping mall and spend £495 on a pair of socks? Ok, maybe not £495 but you get the point. It doesn’t make sense.” Heathrow Terminal 5 looks more like Rodeo Drive, except for maybe Dixons and Boots, which are the only visible high street options.  Even at Stansted, where “ 90% of the passengers spent more on their McDonald’s breakfast than they did on their tickets” though it has sensible shops landside, but after security, only up market shops.  Yet the airports make immense  profits from their retail sales.  So much for the need for cheap flights and complaints about paying APD.  In 2012 Heathrow was 3rd in the world for the amount of airport retail spending ( £831.7m – $1.34 bn –  by 70 million passengers);  Incheon Airport in Seoul was in 1st  place $1.73 bn by 38.4 million); and Dubai in 2nd place ($1.6bn by 57.6 million passengers).  Hong Kong, Singapore Changi, Bangkok, Paris, Frankfurt, Schiphol came next.
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Industry blog

Retail Therapy
By: Jeremy Clark | INFLAIR |
January 2014

There are quite a few things in this world I simply don’t understand: the Euro-zone fiscal policy, IKEA assembly instructions, camping holidays, how to manage my social media accounts, and people who choose Ryanair, these are amongst the things that totally baffle me. But fairly high up on this list is airport retail policy.

For the life of me I cannot understand how the shops that you find in airports succeed or how this market is designed. If you consider that a large percentage of the folks wandering around the terminal spent a disproportionate amount of time online searching for the cheapest possible deal, then surely you wouldn’t expect them to walk into this terminal-come-shopping mall and spend £495 on a pair of socks? Ok, maybe not £495 but you get the point. It doesn’t make sense.

Heathrow Terminal 5 looks more like Rodeo Drive, except for maybe Dixons and Boots, which are the only visible high street options. The other shops here don’t feature on most high streets.

I live in a moderately affluent area of leafy England, but even we don’t boast a Gucci, Cartier or Louis Vuitton nestled between Poundland and Oxfam.

Perhaps passengers go though some mental metamorphosis when they are given a boarding pass, or maybe there’s something in those security scanners that rids us of all traces of fiscal sense.

Surely, airports can’t think we’re all first class passengers?

Terminal 5 retail departure lounge

Terminal 5 retail departure lounge. Images courtesy of Heathrow Airport’s Media Library

 

It’s very annoying for those of us for whom the airport terminal is almost a second home, especially when you actually need something. I recently needed an extra shirt while in transit. My options were Paul Smith – who had nothing under £1,000 – Pink, Gucci, Salvatore Ferregano or Harrods. What I really needed was Marks & Spencer, T.K. Maxx or British Home Stores. Even Tesco would have done.

And at airports serving mostly low-cost carriers, where 90% of the passengers spent more on their McDonald’s breakfast than they did on their tickets, retailers such as Asda/Walmart, Tesco and Primark are more likely to make decent profits.

Take London Stansted, for example: landside, in the terminal, there are a variety of shops like Accessorize (affordable bling), Monsoon (affordable clobber for girls), Coral (for a flutter on the gee-gees), Claire’s Accessories (more affordable bling), and Clarks (sensible shoes). As you pass security, like Judy Garland into Oz, your choices are Hackett (huntin’ shootin’ and fishin’ wear for the gentry), Hamleys (toys for spoilt brats), Mulberry (like Burberry, only with bags), Swarovski (Stansted’s answer to Cartier), and Ted Baker (pricy jeans).

Food-wise it’s much the same story. Landside it’s usually Burger King and Pizza Hut for the masses and M&S food for the gymkhana set. Go airside and it’s Caviar House Oyster Bar (fish ‘n’ chips for the rich), Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food (plain, but not cheap), and Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar (for those who missed the Caviar at the Oyster Bar).

My thinking now is that as the airlines have trained us into such frugalness, they should be the ones to run the retail operation, and then we should get Aquascutum and Burberry to run the airlines – that way we can all fly first class!

http://www.airtransportpubs.com/airports/blog/post/airport-retail-therapy

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London Heathrow Airport airport served  around 70m passengers in 2012 and took £831.7m ($1.34bn) from airport retail in that time.   Link 
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Highest Grossing Airports in Duty Free and Travel Retail Announced

International duty free and travel retail publication, The Travel Retail Business (TRBusiness), has published a list of the world’s leading global airports with the highest retail sales turnover in 2012.

31.7.2013 (PR web)

Louis Vuitton, Incheon International Airport, Seoul, Number One Travel Retail Airport 2012

This Louis Vuitton store generated $92m in sales at Incheon International Airport in 2012. It was bought in by the airport’s management specifically to attract Chinese Mainland shoppers.

The Top 10 Airports Report, compiled by The Travel Retail Business (TRBusiness) from official statistics and exclusively obtained data, shows that travelling consumers increased their average spend by between 3-12%, with the top ten global airports accounting for combined takings of $9.2bn. This figure represents almost 1/5th of the $49.4bn (1) global travel retail sales total in 2012.

The report reveals that Incheon International Airport in Seoul takes the number one position, with passenger traffic totaling 38.4m, and a 15% increase in spending bringing in an impressive $1.73bn. The increase in the mix of Asian nationalities travelling to South Korea has had a huge effect on the purchasing levels at Incheon, with 2.84m (+28%) Mainland Chinese, and 3.52m (+7%) Japanese passengers passing through in the last year.

TRBusiness announced that Dubai International Airport was in close second place, with 57.6m passengers spending $1.6bn in 2012 – a 10% increase on 2011 figures. Dubai International has also moved ahead of Paris Charles de Gaulle to become the world’s second busiest international facility, according to Airports Council International.

London Heathrow Airport is in third place, having provided TRBusiness with exclusive access to a breakdown of ‘pure retail’ sales figures for the first time. The airport served 70m passengers and took £831.7m ($1.34bn) in the twelve-month period.

Hong Kong, Singapore Changi, Bangkok, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam Schiphol, and Sao Paolo Guarulhos make up the rest of the list.

The Top 10 Airports saw a combined total of 502.9m passengers pass through their doors in 2012. This represents a growth of 66.9m passengers across all of the facilities since 2010.

TRBusiness Executive Editor, Doug Newhouse, spoke of the positive response to the report.

“The travel retail industry has come to view The Top 10 Airports Report as a league table and guide of sorts, and it is still important that we try and encourage airports to provide us with transparent retail sales figures – although huge advances have been made in this direction in recent years. If we can form a better understanding of how traveller numbers and regional or global pressures can affect profits in airport retail environments, then it is obviously beneficial to the industry as a whole.”

Note for editors: (1) $49.4bn global duty free and travel retail sales total in 2012 = source: Generation Research figures announced by Tax Free World Association at TFAP 2013.

About: Since October 1997 The Travel Retail Business magazine (TRBusiness) has been a provider of news, statistics and analytical commentary to business leaders and decision makers in the duty free/travel retail industry

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10978149.htm

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Earlier:

Consumerism gone mad: Dubai Duty Free smashes all records with 30th anniversary sales of US$30.65 million

Date added: December 24, 2013

To mark its 30th anniversary, on 20th December, Dubai International and Dubai World Central airports set about beating their sales records for their anniversary day. Dubai Duty Free (DDF) set an all-time daily sales record with turnover of US $ 30.65 million. That is 40% more than on 20th December in 2012. They gave their customers up to 30% discounts, to get them to buy more and more. Dubai boasts that some of their customers even”book their flights in order to shop on that day.” By 6pm, DDF sales reached US $23.2 million and an amazing 158,931 transactions. By the end of the day it was US $30.65 million with 208,000 transactions. Sickening. Consumerism out of any reasonable scale. Perfume was the highest selling category with sales of US $8.5 million and representing 27.9% of the total daily sales. Watches & clocks was the second most popular category with sales of US$7 million. Cosmetics in 3rd place, category wise, with sales of US$3.9 million. Alcohol in 4th position followed by cigarettes. Other notable increases were seen in confectionery, which rose by 33% to US$1.2 million and delicatessen, which recorded US$619,000. That’s airports and mindless, rampant consumerism for you.

Click here to view full story…

 

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Airport retail now altering ad displays according to the sort of customers passing through

Date added: September 9, 2013

In the departure lounge of Heathrow’s Terminal 5, passengers buy over $450 million per year of perfumes, clothing, scarves, sunglasses, jewellery, watches, bags and small leather goods from top expensive brands. A similar scene plays out each day at a plethora of major international airports across the world and the last 20 years, airside retail has undergone a radical transformation.The passengers at airports constitute a captive audience, passing “the magic hour,” between clearing security and boarding their planes. Airports have a lot of information on passengers — who they are, where they are going, on what airline, at what time, in what class. Now by digitising product displays, retailers may soon be able to more rapidly adjust their merchandising strategies, in real-time, to reflect the profiles of much larger numbers of customers currently passing through the airport. eg. if you have got the English going through in the morning and they like their Johnny Walker Black you will put it on the advertising screens, and if later there is a Chinese plane coming through, you advertise something else that they like buying.

Click here to view full story…

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Airports and airlines eyeing up passengers to increase their retail spend

Date added: April 24, 2013

If the airlines can’t make enough profit from flying their passengers from A to B, then they want to extract every bit of cash they can from them, in the airport shops. An anna-aero article discusses how airports and airlines might work more effectively together, to get passengers to buy more stuff. The airlines have more personal data about the passengers, and the airports want this data in order to maximise the retail earnings in their shops. But the airlines don’t want to share the chance of profit with the airports. The Chief Commercial Officer at Manchester Airports Group said – “airport retail is vital precisely because airport charges paid by airlines are already well below the cost of the infrastructure they use.” The airports and airlines don’t see eye to eye on this. There is a problem for retailers, with the low cost airlines that limit baggage, and the ‘one-bag rule’, which is a disincentive to buy a lot at the airport. An ACI conference next spring will look at actual practical solutions to enhance “Airline-Airport Cooperation to Increase Passenger Spend.”

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow award for top airport for shopping for 3rd year. Net Retail Income per passenger £6.21 in 2012 (£5.64 in 2010)

Date added: April 18, 2013

For the third year, Heathrow got the award (within the airports industry) for the top airport for shopping. Heathrow has over 52,000 square metres of retail space and more than 340 retail and catering outlets. Heathrow overtook Dubai International to win the title of “World’s Best Airport for Shopping” for 2012. Heathrow has the highest retail sales of any airport in the world ahead of Incheon airport in South Korea. Figures from the Moodie Report in February 2013 said that Net Retail Income per passenger at Heathrow was £6.21 (up 4.4% on 2011, partly due to the Olympics) in 2012 and £5.95 in 2011, while it was £5.64 in 2010. (By comparison the Net Retail Income at Stansted in 2012 was £4.27 per passenger). At Heathrow in 2012 the gross retail income increased +5.7% to £460.1 million

Click here to view full story…

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Airport retail: rise and rise of the shopping centre, with an airport attached

Date added: April 15, 2012

A huge, and growing, proportion of the money made by airports is from retail. It seems that the industry expects significant increases in this spending over the coming years, and airports do all they can to get passengers to spend as much time as possible in retail, put retail outlets in arrivals, etc etc and devise means for them to buy goods for collection on their return, to avoid baggage problems. The industry expects most growth in the Far East, where women tend to spend a lot of designer brands. The airport retail industry finds passengers buy less when they are stressed by airport security waits and queues, and they buy more when calm and happy. Airports need a ticket as proof of identity, so they can monitor the types of travellers, and the routes, which generate the most cash. Seems the Chinese, the Russians and the Nigerians tend to spend the most. At Heathrow, the average passenger spends £4.35. But for fashion, the average BRIC passenger spends £45.50. No wonder BAA wants more.

Click here to view full story…

How much profit do airports make from their retail activities, rather than flying?

Date added: February 13, 2012

Heathrow got 21.3% of its income from retail in 2010, compared to 53% from aeronautical. On average each Heathrow passenger spent about £5.70 (maybe £5.90) at the airport, with women spending more than men (!). BAA data say frequent fliers spend more than infrequent fliers. In the year 2010/2011 Gatwick airport made £115.6m from retail, and another £51.7m from car parking, with an average of £5.80 spent on retail per passenger. Stansted retail spending per passenger is about £4.00 to £4.20. In the year 2010/2011 Heathrow made about £380 million per year on retail, Gatwick about £115, and Stansted net retail income fell from £79.8m in 2010 to £73.9m. Manchester made about £70 million on retail, with about £3 per passenger.

Click here to view full story…

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Tourism board drive to lure visitors away from London – half never venture outside the capital

In summer 2013 the UK nation’s tourism authority, “Visit Britain” launched a drive to get more overseas visitors to visit the rest of the country. Research for Visit Britain showed that of the 31 million who visited the UK in 2012 – a record number – half went to London only, never venturing outside the M25. The rest of England welcomed 13 million tourists, Scotland 2.2 million and Wales 0.9 million.  The Visit Britain “GREAT Britain” initiative hoped to use the delights of country pubs, Stonehenge and cathedral cities such as Winchester and Lincoln promoted in campaigns abroad.  Also that Britain is a comparatively small country and relatively easy to get around – and that they should not worry about driving on the left side of the road. It seems that many potential visitors just don’t know what there is to see outside London, or how to get there. Visit Britain offices abroad are being given a “Beyond London” dossier of suggestions for destinations to promote. Visit Britain is to step up efforts to exploit opportunities presented by low-cost airlines which use regional airports for direct flights to Europe. Although most passengers are British tourists, the airports have already seen an increase in Europeans coming to UK destinations.  An international survey showed 75% believed the UK has plenty of interesting places to visit outside of London (22% strongly).
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Tourism board to launch drive to lure visitors away from London

From castles and cathedrals to country pubs and canals, there can be no doubting the charms of Britain beyond the borders of the capital. But it seems that too few foreigners are finding them.

Britain’s tourism board wants overseas visitors to consider other parts of the UK during their visit, such as: (from top left, clockwise) Glen Coe, Suffolk pubs, Lincoln Cathedral and Chester.  Photo: ALAMY

By , Consumer correspondent (Telegraph)

4 Aug 2013

The nation’s tourism authorities are to launch a drive to get more overseas visitors to visit the rest of the country, amid fears that the industry has become unbalanced in favour of London.

New research for Visit Britain has shown that of the 31 million who visited these shores last year – a record number – half went to the capital alone, never venturing outside the M25.

The rest of England welcomed 13 million tourists, Scotland 2.2 million and Wales 0.9 million, prompting the organisation to make attracting visitors beyond the capital’s draws of Buckingham Palace and the West End its new priority.

The initiative will see the delights of country pubs, Stonehenge and cathedral cities such as Winchester and Lincoln promoted in campaigns abroad.

It will also attempt to convey to potential visitors that Britain is a comparatively small country and relatively easy to get around – and that they should not worry about driving on the left hand side of the road.

Research conducted among holidaymakers from US, France, Norway and Germany found there was a “general lack of knowledge” about other destinations outside of London, confusion as to which nations made up the British Isles, and “nerves” about driving on Britain’s roads.

A quarter said it was “too expensive” to travel across Britain, but nearly 30 per cent said they simply did not what it was like elsewhere in the UK or what was on offer. One more traditional foreign view of Britain appears to have faded, however, as only one in ten said the food was “poor”.

Sandie Dawe, the chief executive of Visit Britain, said London’s place on the world stage had been a huge draw, but that the rest of the country had huge potential to benefit.

“London is so popular and so dominant that when people think about Britain it’s such a strong draw. It’s a huge benefit, but also a challenge.

“The Olympics increased the interest in Britain around the world. We just have to make sure that some of our other fantastic assets are not put into the shade by the brilliance of London’s light.”

She added: “We have got some fantastic heritage, history and culture outside of London. When tourists think about romance, luxury, relaxation, France and Italy will pop into their heads before they think about Britain. But we have got some beautiful cathedral towns, such as Winchester, Salisbury, York, Chester or Lincoln.”

Visit Britain offices abroad are to be given a “Beyond London” dossier of suggestions for destinations to promote. Among the “hidden gems” which will be highlighted are Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which was used as Hogwarts in parts of the Harry Potter series of films, the more than 2,000 miles of navigable canals and rivers, and the country pubs of Suffolk, which Visit Britain hopes will become a “foodie” destination.

The tourist authority is also likely to step up its work with the English Premier League. Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United’s Japanese footballer, has already extolled the virtues of Britain in a video for Visit Britain and the popularity of the league is already bringing in football fans from countries such as Norway and Belgium.

Visit Britain is also to step up efforts to exploit opportunities presented by low-cost airlines which use regional airports for direct flights to Europe. Although most passengers are British tourists, the airports have already seen an increase in Europeans coming to new destinations, with examples including Liverpool proving a hit for Spanish visitors.

Ms Dawe said far more could be achieved with the right strategy. “With places like Italy, people around the world would know Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Naples,” she said.

“But when it comes to Britain they may say Windsor or Bath but that would be it. If you look at places such as the north-east there are beautiful castles and coastal walks. Suffolk is absolutely beautiful – there are places like Lavenham and Long Melford – and there is great potential in East Anglia as tourists often tell us they are interested in country pubs, and the British way of life.”

She added: “A large part of it is simply educational. When I speak to people in Brazil, India or China, you are talking to people from huge countries who cannot quite gather how small our country is. I tell Brazilians you can fit most of Great Britain in between Rio and Sao Paulo, and that it would take the same time to get to Scotland and the Highlands as it would to fly between the two cities. They have no idea.”

Edinburgh is Britain’s most popular single destination outside London, with 1.3 million foreign visitors last year. Other leading destinations include Manchester, which had 932,000; Cambridge, 398,000; York, 199,000; and Windsor, which had 182,000.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/tourism/10220711/Tourism-board-to-launch-drive-to-lure-visitors-away-from-London.html

 Quiz: How well do you know Britain?

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63% of respondents now want to visit Britain with 75% looking beyond London

January 2013 ?    (Visit Britain website)

Great campaign

A new study commissioned by VisitBritain and its partners in the* suggests that global perceptions of ‘Welcome’, Britain’s ‘Overall Nation Brand’ and the UK’s sporting and cultural credentials have significantly improved thanks to the hosting of the London 2012 Games.

The Nations Brands Index (NBI) research** rates 50 of the world’s leading nations around six core categories. Research was carried out in July 2012 and then repeated post Games. The study sets out to reveal how the international image of a country can change before and after hosting a major sporting event.

According to the new research Britain’s ‘Welcome’ has seen the biggest jump by moving from twelfth place pre-Games to ninth – putting Britain in the top 10 for the very first time.

Britain’s ‘Overall Nation Brand’ and ‘Culture’ ranking moved up one place. ‘Tourism’ held its position in fourth place, with ‘People’ remaining fifth overall. Fourteen of the total 15 panel countries rank the UK within the top 10 on the overall NBI. Nine of the 15 panel countries – including key source markets USA, China, Japan, Russia and India – put the UK in the top three post Games, a marked improvement on previous years.
More key findings include:

• 63 per cent said the Olympics had increased their interest of visiting for a holiday
• 75 per cent of those who saw coverage agreed they wanted to see more than London
• 73 per cent agreed that Britain offered outstanding venues for watching live sport
• 70 per cent said Britain has lovely countryside
• 58 per cent agreed that Britain has a wide variety of world cuisines on offer

Perceptions of British sport see it move two places into the top five in the overall rankings (5th). The UK will continue to host major sporting events in the coming years with a Champions league Final, Tour de France, Rugby Union and Rugby League World Cups, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014, followed by the World Athletics Championships to be held in London in 2017.

Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain said: “London’s hosting of the Games, the amazing opening and closing ceremonies and the warmth of welcome shown to our international visitors have combined to boost our global image.

“With our partners we have taken every opportunity to promote Britain to overseas audiences through our GREAT marketing campaign, our digital activity on Facebook and Twitter and by inviting foreign travel journalists to write about Britain. This work is now paying off with post Games visitor figures significantly up on last year, and prospects for 2013 looking strong.

“Britain is already an established visitor destination and our tourism ranking is high. The goal this year was to maintain rankings in culture and heritage where we are strong, and improve in areas such as the warmth of our welcome where we had room for improvement. We intend to build on these encouraging results to ensure we turn that increased goodwill into visitors and deliver a growth in tourism that will deliver jobs across the country.”

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “The summer of 2012 put the UK firmly in the global spotlight, allowing us to shape international perceptions and show the best of Britain. These results are very encouraging, and show that the UK’s sporting and cultural credentials have significantly improved thanks to London 2012.  We are determined to deliver a lasting economic legacy for the whole country, boosting tourism and growth.”

To maximise the promotion of Britain overseas before, during and after the Games, VisitBritain together with UKTI, British Council and FCO mounted a major marketing campaign under the banner GREAT Britain. The campaign showcases the very best of Britain in a highly impactful campaign promoting culture, heritage, countryside and sport, and also education and business.

Notes to editors

* GREAT Partners include: VisitBritain; Cabinet Office, UKTI; FCO and British Council

** NBI research conducted by Anholt-GfK Roper. The post-Games NBI wave was undertaken in 15 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, UAE and USA. Respondents rated 50 nations on questions in six categories: Exports, Governance, Culture, People, Tourism and Immigration/Investment.

Read the full analysis of the study here.  January 2013

 

http://www.visitbritain.org/mediaroom/pressreleases/postgamesnbi.aspx

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The GREAT Britain campaign:

http://www.visitbritain.org/marketing/marketingprogramme.aspx

The GREAT campaign logo

Spice girls flash mob in Canada

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‘Yes, London is GREAT, now explore the rest of the country’, declares Visit Britain

By SARAH GORDON

5 August 2013 (Daily Mail)

Of the 31 million people who visited Britain last year, half spent at least one night in London, while of the 12 million holidaymakers who came to these shores, two-thirds based themselves in the capital for at least a night.

Now Visit Britain is looking at how it can shift holidaymakers’ focus and encourage them to explore the UK’s other delights, with new tourism campaigns and extra information supplied to its tourist offices abroad.

Visit Britain offices around the world are going to be given special packs to help them better ‘sell’ the delights of Britain, from Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which appeared in the Harry Potter films, to Stonehenge and experiences like our country pubs and canal network.

Great campaign

These will tie in with an extension of Visit Britain’s hugely successful ‘GREAT’ campaign, which has targeted key cities in key markets with films and image-led print adverts showcasing what makes Britain great.

Two problems the tourist board faces are convincing the rest of the world how small and easy-to-navigate the UK is and how driving on the left is not as daunting as it seems.
While Edinburgh remains the second most popular tourist destination after London, many tourists miss cathedral cities such as Lincoln, York, Winchester and Salisbury. However, Bath and Windsor often feature on itineraries for their heritage and royal links.

And while regional airports have encouraged visitors to other cities such as Liverpool, few explore rural spots, despite the abundance of picturesque villages, traditional pubs and verdant landscapes.

Visit Britain is keen to highlight that it is not trying to encourage visitors to avoid London, but that it has spotted an opportunity for ‘London Plus’ tourism, with visitors combining the capital with other experiences.

Heritage: Tourists could be encouraged to visit Cathedral cities like Lincoln
The latest research by Visit Britain found that London remains the key draw for visitors, but the majority of those questioned would like to combine it with trips to destinations up to two or three hours away.

However, knowledge about what else to see in Britain can be scant in some markets, with holidaymakers concentrating more on ticking off the top sights in the capital.

On a more positive note, the reasons cited for wanting to travel beyond London include wanting to explore more heritage sites, to add variety to their itineraries, to find unique places to stay and see the countryside and to see how British people live.

Visit Britain’s aim is to approach tourism to the UK much as they do in countries like Italy, where visitors are keen to explore cities like Venice and Florence as much as Rome.

In Italy, visitors spent just 13 per cent of their stay in Rome, while in France, tourists spent just 26 per cent of overnight stays in Paris. However, in the UK, 41 per cent of overnight stays are spent in London.

A spokesperson for Visit Britain confirmed: “We compete against a number of other destinations where overseas visitors tend to visit a wider range of locations. We want visitors to enjoy brilliant London but then extend their stay by visiting other parts of Britain, something our research proves they are keen to do.”

But tourism figures for the UK so far this year are positive, showing a 2 per cent rise in visitors during the first five months of the year and a a 10 per cent spike in cash generated.
The £25 million ‘GREAT’ image tourism campaign – which has targeted 14 major cities in nine countries – is also performing well on the international stage, especially when compared to competitor tourist boards with substantially larger budgets.

Nearly three-quarters of the audience in target cities recall seeing the ‘GREAT’ campaign and 23 per cent of those who recall the campaign plan to visit in the next year.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain said: “In 2012 Britain became the first Olympic host since Sydney to see an increase in inbound tourism in the year of the Games.

“The GREAT campaign is playing a major role in our efforts to attract a greater number of overseas visitors, with those seeing our images increasingly likely to visit the UK in the next few years. It is essential that we continue to deliver this campaign in our high value tourism markets and the growth markets of the future if we are to enhance overseas perceptions of Britain as a must see destination.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2384808/Best-British-tourism-Visit-Britain-tempts-visitors-London-new-tourism-campaign.html

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Branson’s plans for “space travel” progress – for the privileged mega-rich

The plan to take tourists up on joy-rides virtually into space must be one of the most environmentally irresponsible around. Perhaps indicative of a society that has lost sight of the concept of living within environmental limits, using resources wisely, and not flaunting excessive wealth. But space travel is what Branson plans.  It is reported that Virgin’s “Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo,” VSS Enterprise, has just completed its third test flight. It has now reached the altitude of 13.5 miles or 71,000ft, but in order to be considered to be at the edge of the earth’s atmosphere, it needs to get up to 62 miles or 328,084ft above the earth  (called the Kármán line). These trips planned by Richard Branson are purely for “space tourists” and only those with exceptional wealth would be able to afford them, so it will be rich celebrities and rich business people only. The price is likely to be around £152,000 for a return ticket to the edge of space.  Conspicuous consumption gone mad. This is a Branson PR statement: “2014 will be the year when we will finally put our beautiful spaceship in her natural environment of space.” They hope to reach the Kármán line this spring, and begin commercial operations later in 2014.
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Will space travel become a reality for anyone but the privileged few?

 

Space tourism could now be just months away after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo reached an all-time high of 71,000 ft

Richard Branson passes a SpaceShipTwo rocket under its mother ship

Richard Branson passes a SpaceShipTwo rocket under its mother ship

Within decades of the Wright brothers taking to the air for the first time in December 1903 commercial aviation was linking Auckland to Amsterdam and Zurich to Zanzibar as the jet age took off.

Now barely five decades after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin wrote his name into the history books commercial space travel will be linking earth to the ether.

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Enterprise, the craft entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is hoping will soon herald a new age of pleasure trips around the cosmos, has just completed its third test flight.

But Sir Richard and his team still have some way to go to reach the Kármán line – the border where earth’s atmosphere ends and outerspace begins.

This lies 62 miles or 328,084ft above the earth – more than ten times higher than the flight path of the average passenger jet. SpaceShipTwo flew 13.5 miles or 71,000ft into the air recently – less than a quarter of the way to the Kármán line.

But Sir Richard has no doubt that before this year ends he, his adult children, Holly and Sam, and stars like Katy Perry and Justin Bieber will become the world’s first space tourists.

He said: “2014 will be the year when we will finally put our beautiful spaceship in her natural environment of space.”

And Jay Tate, director of Knighton’s Spaceguard Centre & Observatory, in Powys, has no doubt SpaceShipTwo will journey the remaining 48.5 miles to realise Sir Richard’s dream.

He said: “There is no reason why it shouldn’t – technically it’s not that terribly hard.”

Physically, the obstacles may be just a formality of running enough test flights to ensure everything is safe and ready to go. But financially space tourism is unlikely to see many of us enjoying the curve of the earth from the comfort of one of SpaceShipTwo’s seats any time soon.

At around £152,000 a return ticket to the edge of space is worth more than the average house in Wales.

But what of the future? Will anyone over 40 live to see the emergence of budget spacelines offering cut-price deals to the Kármán line? Trips where your soul-achingly beautiful view of the earth from 328,000ft is blocked by a morbidly obese man from Blackburn.

And where inspiration at a once-in-a lifetime experience enjoyed battles with relief that now you’re back on terra firma you can use the toilet.

Mr Tate believes it will be decades before competition sees space tourism become something other than a privilege only celebrities and the super rich can enjoy.

He said: “If commercial companies take it up then within a couple of decades or so we should be able to do that (go into space).”

Sir Richard is promising the craft will allow an “out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience with astounding views of the planet from the black sky of space for tourist astronauts and a unique microgravity platform for researchers”.

Since 2005 the company has accepted more than £42m in deposits from around 580 people, which is about 10% more than the total number who have ever gone to space.

Sir Richard, who owns Virgin Galactic with Abu Dhabi firm aabar Investments PJS, is v passengers five minutes floating around in space before they will return to earth.

Dr Xing Li, an Aberystwyth University expert on astrophysics and cosmology, said as a scientist it would be “beautiful” to be one of SpaceShipTwo’s privileged passengers.

But SpaceShipTwo travels at a super-sonic 2,500mph – more than four times faster than a passenger jet – and Dr Li believes it’s difficult to imagine anything that goes at that speed becoming affordable.

He said: “Now we don’t have supersonic flights because of the cost issue. At the moment I don’t see that it will be possible even in 30 or 40 years. It will only happen if we have some technological advance that would bring down the cost.”

Once operational Virgin Galactic believes it may fly up to 500 people in the first year to 18 months and 30,000 over 10 years. The firm plans to use a fleet of five models of SpaceShipTwo – with VSS Enterprise, named in honour of Star Trek, being the first.

Virgin Galactic say they would ultimately like to fly every day and even from the outset will journey into the heavens many more times than NASA’s Space Shuttle programme. But that shouldn’t be too difficult as in its 30 year history the shuttle programme ventured into space on average fewer than five times per year.

A spokesman said: “We should have flown as many passengers as every other space programme combined within a year or two of starting service.”

The firm hopes to reach the Kármán line by the spring, and begin commercial operations in the second half of the year.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/space-travel-become-reality-anyone-6539978

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Consumerism gone mad: Dubai Duty Free smashes all records with 30th anniversary sales of US$30.65 million

To mark its 30th anniversary, on 20th December, Dubai International and Dubai World Central airports set about beating their sales records for their anniversary day.  Dubai Duty Free (DDF) set an all-time daily sales record with turnover of US $ 30.65 million. That is 40% more than on 20th December in 2012.   They gave their customers up to 30% discounts, to get them to buy more and more.  Dubai boasts that some of their customers even”book their flights in order to shop on that day.”  By 6pm, DDF sales reached US $23.2 million and an amazing 158,931 transactions. By the end of the day it was US $30.65 million with 208,000 transactions. Sickening. Consumerism out of any reasonable scale. Perfume was the highest selling category with sales of US $8.5 million and representing 27.9% of the total daily sales. Watches & clocks was the second most popular category with sales of US$7 million. Cosmetics in 3rd place, category wise, with sales of US$3.9 million.  Alcohol in 4th position followed by cigarettes. Other notable increases were seen in confectionery, which rose by 33% to US$1.2 million and delicatessen, which recorded US$619,000. That’s airports and mindless, rampant consumerism for you. 
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Dubai Duty Free smashes all records with 30th anniversary sales of US$30.65 million

Published: 21/12/13

Source: ©The Moodie Report

By Martin Moodie in Dubai

UAE. Dubai Duty Free yesterday set an all-time daily sales record with turnover of US$30.65 million on its 30th anniversary day, 20 December.

The figure represents an astonishing +40% increase over the previous record, set on 20 December 2012, of US$21 million.

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin said: “We had a fantastic day on our anniversary with a huge surge of sales. Extending a -30% discount to our customers was our way of saying thank you for three decades of support. I join our Chairman, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum in congratulating all of our staff, suppliers and partners on the occasion of this milestone anniversary.

“We began introducing a discount offer across a wide range of merchandise on our 20th anniversary in 2003 and it has become a popular day with travellers, some of whom book their flights in order to shop on that day,” added McLoughlin.

The statistics highlight the huge volume of sales that passed through the cash points within the 24- hour period.

At 10.00am, the preliminary sales figure was recorded at US$12.5 million accounting for 86,550 sales transactions. As at 6pm, DDF sales reached US$23.2 million and an amazing 158,931 transactions and broke its anniversary sales of US$21 million in 2012. By 10pm, the cash registers had recorded 193,163 transactions and sales reached US$27.3 million, while the final figure when the anniversary day sale ended reached an incredible US$30.65 million. Some 208,000 transactions were completed on the day.

From a category point of view, perfumes was the highest selling category with sales of US$8.5 million and representing 27.9% of the total daily sales. Watches & clocks was the second most popular category on the anniversary day with sales of US$7 million. Cosmetics came in at third place, category wise, with sales of US$3.9 million.

Liquor came in fourth position followed by cigarettes. Other notable increases were seen in confectionery, which rose by 33% to US$1.2 million and delicatessen, which recorded US$619,000. Departure sales recorded US$28.3 million, representing 92.3% of total anniversary sales.

The announcement of the record capped an amazing day for Dubai Duty Free, which unleashed a party atmosphere for shoppers and staff alike at Dubai International and Dubai World Central airports.

Several product lines were offered at 1983 prices, while many others (as noted above) were available at a -30% discount, helping to drive a near shopping frenzy.

As the day drew to a close last evening, a congratulatory message featuring Dubai Duty Free’s 30th anniversary logo was beamed onto the world-famous Burj Al Arab hotel (click on The Moodie Live icon above to see all images).

In a travel retail publishing first, The Moodie Report covered the whole day in real time, streaming a series of reports, videos, podcasts and photos to its website via the new Moodie Live service. This allowed us to capture events as they unfolded on iPhone, transmitted directly to readers worldwide. The service was in association with William Grant & Sons.

The retailer’s anniversary was marked by a series of high-profile activities across both Dubai International and Dubai World Central airports

 

http://www.moodiereport.com/document.php?c_id=6&doc_id=37823

 

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More news stories on  Air Travel and Consumerism:

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Airport retail now altering ad displays according to the sort of customers passing through

5 SEPTEMBER, 2013In the departure lounge of Heathrow’s Terminal 5, passengers buy over $450 million per year of perfumes, clothing, scarves, sunglasses, jewellery, watches, bags and small leather goods from  top expensive brands.  A similar scene plays out each day at a plethora of major international airports across the world and the last 20 years, airside retail has undergone a radical transformation.The passengers at airports constitute a captive audience, passing “the magic hour,” between clearing security and boarding their planes. Airports have a lot of information on passengers —  who they are, where they are going, on what airline, at what time, in what class. Now by digitising product displays, retailers may soon be able to more rapidly adjust their merchandising strategies, in real-time, to reflect the profiles of much larger numbers of customers currently passing through the airport. eg. if you have got the English going through in the morning and they like their Johnny Walker Black you will put it on the advertising screens, and if later there is a Chinese plane coming through, you advertise something else that they like buying. .

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17283

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Airlines selling expensive meal upgrades to economy class passengers, for foie gras, duck confit etc, to boost profits

Date added: June 9, 2013

Airlines are always keen to find new ways to extract money from their customers. Now several airlines have begun selling gourmet food to the passengers in the cheap seats, for a price. In February Air France has started tempting economy-class customers with paid-for meal upgrades featuring foie gras terrine. eg. duck confit with mushrooms and sauteed potatoes, followed by Opera cake for dessert, costing €18. So-called ancillary sales ranging from food to overhead-bin space have jumped more than tenfold to $36 billion since 2007, amounting to 5% of the total $680 billion earned by airlines in 2012. They are expected to rise to $50 billion per year by 2019 or so. “The low-cost carriers have taken ancillary revenue from a normal way of doing business and turned it almost into an art form.” Revenue streams that remain untapped — in-flight entertainment, wireless access and shopping — could be worth $5 billion. “When people get on board an aircraft, they’re actually in a great retail mindset. About an hour into the flight, they start to relax and their mind opens.Opening their wallets, too, has become a major ambition of airlines”. So much for the fake concern about the odd few $$s or €€s in aviation taxes on their “hard working family” passengers.

Click here to view full story…

Airports and airlines eyeing up passengers to increase their retail spend

Date added: April 24, 2013

If the airlines can’t make enough profit from flying their passengers from A to B, then they want to extract every bit of cash they can from them, in the airport shops. An anna-aero article discusses how airports and airlines might work more effectively together, to get passengers to buy more stuff. The airlines have more personal data about the passengers, and the airports want this data in order to maximise the retail earnings in their shops. But the airlines don’t want to share the chance of profit with the airports. The Chief Commercial Officer at Manchester Airports Group said – “airport retail is vital precisely because airport charges paid by airlines are already well below the cost of the infrastructure they use.” The airports and airlines don’t see eye to eye on this. There is a problem for retailers, with the low cost airlines that limit baggage, and the ‘one-bag rule’, which is a disincentive to buy a lot at the airport. An ACI conference next spring will look at actual practical solutions to enhance “Airline-Airport Cooperation to Increase Passenger Spend.”

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow award for top airport for shopping for 3rd year. Net Retail Income per passenger £6.21 in 2012 (£5.64 in 2010)

Date added: April 18, 2013

For the third year, Heathrow got the award (within the airports industry) for the top airport for shopping. Heathrow has over 52,000 square metres of retail space and more than 340 retail and catering outlets. Heathrow overtook Dubai International to win the title of “World’s Best Airport for Shopping” for 2012. Heathrow has the highest retail sales of any airport in the world ahead of Incheon airport in South Korea. Figures from the Moodie Report in February 2013 said that Net Retail Income per passenger at Heathrow was £6.21 (up 4.4% on 2011, partly due to the Olympics) in 2012 and £5.95 in 2011, while it was £5.64 in 2010. (By comparison the Net Retail Income at Stansted in 2012 was £4.27 per passenger). At Heathrow in 2012 the gross retail income increased +5.7% to £460.1 million

Click here to view full story…

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How much profit do airports make from their retail activities, rather than flying?

13.2.2013
Heathrow got 21.3% of its income from retail in 2010, compared to 53% from aeronautical. On average each Heathrow passenger spent about £5.70 (maybe £5.90) at the airport, with women spending more than men (!). BAA data say frequent fliers spend more than infrequent fliers. In the year 2010/2011 Gatwick airport made £115.6m from retail, and another £51.7m  from car parking, with an average of £5.80 spent on retail per passenger. Stansted retail spending per passenger is about £4.00 to £4.20.  In the year 2010/2011 Heathrow made about £380 million per year on retail, Gatwick about £115, and Stansted net retail income fell from £79.8m in 2010 to £73.9m.  Manchester made about £70 million on retail, with about £3 per passenger.

 

 

 

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Chiswick group says new hi-tech BA ‘Magic of Flying’ adverts may become ‘tragic roundabout’ if drivers distracted

BA hopes it has hit upon a dramatic new form of advertising, with massive ad billboards, near roads, which can detect the presence of a BA plane overhead. When one is detected, it plays a film of a child looking up excitedly at the plane, and then shows which flight it is, and where from. BA hope this will make viewers “.. dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination.” and “We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be” (and get them to buy flights, of course). A bit of slick marketing. They have put one of the massive billboards at the Chiswick Roundabout, which is several hundred yards north of the northern runway approach path and has exceptionally heavy traffic. The local West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society, which opposed the building of the advert towers originally, are very concerned the BA ads are a safety issue, distracting drivers. They say when the billboards were approved, the displays had to be “identical at all times and shall be static and two dimensional only with no moving or apparently moving images” etc,  Hounslow Council need to decide if the BA ads breach their planning condition.
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Residents’ Group Questions British Airway’s Ad Sign

‘Magic of Flying’ may become ‘tragic roundabout’ say WCGS

The advertising display on the A4 near Chiswick Roundabout [which is only a few hundred yards north of the Heathrow northern runway approach flightpath, an exceptionally busy road junction with very high traffic levels] which interacts with British Airways planes as they fly overhead is in breach of planning conditions according to a local residents’ group.

 

The West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society (WCGS), which opposed the building of the towers originally, point to the following stipulation in the document approving the signs:

“The displays on all panels shall be identical at all times and shall be static and two dimensional only with no moving or apparently moving images, devices, words or emblems and shall not depict any images that resemble road signs or traffic signals.”

Marie Rabouhans, Chairman of the WCGS said, ‘I did not see the ads and I am not a planning professional but I imagine that encouraging drivers to read the “small print” and/or look up to the sky as they drive over the Chiswick Flyover or negotiate the Chiswick roundabout might raise public safety issues with respect to such ads. The “magic of flying” might turn into the “Tragic Roundabout” in more ways than one. ‘

The digital display will has tracking devices which provide onscreen updates when a British Airways flight is overhead giving details of where the plane is coming from. A child points to the sky as the plane passes to emphasise the ‘magic of flying’.

British Airways denied that the advertising was in breach of planning conditions when we asked them about the signs.

We contacted Hounslow Council to ask if any enforcement action was being planned in relation to the signs but have yet to receive a response.

November 29, 2013

http://www.chiswickw4.com/default.asp?section=info&page=towerblocksigns004.htm

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British Airways’ plane detecting billboards showcase the magic of flying #lookup

by   (“Simpliflying”)

British Airways’ plane detecting billboards showcase the magic of flying #lookup
Once in a while, there comes a marketing campaign that takes your breath away. You wonder, “how did they do it?” This is one of them.

British Airways has put up a  billboards in Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick in London that respond to their planes flying overhead. When the billboard “detects” a BA flight flying below the clouds, visible to passers by, a child starts running, pointing up to the sky – chasing the airplane. The billboard then updates to reflect the flight details, like “BA flight 475 from Barcelona”, along with a URL ba.com/lookup. Onlookers can then go online and view destination details and ultimately make a booking.

British Airways has worked with the agency Ogilvy 112th Floor to custom-fit the billboards with surveillance that detects only when their flights pass overhead, and activates the billboard. Watch the billboard in action in the video (see link for the short video).

Abigail Comber, British Airways’ head of marketing, said: “This is a first, not just for British Airways but for UK advertising. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them.“We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be.”   [Seem to have forgotten to say about the alleged vital nature of the business connections ... most Heathrow flights are in fact for leisure trips. AW]. 

Well, it’s a great story, and it surely reminds me of my childhood, when I’d point up and run after an airplane. And brings out my inner #avgeek, when I still look up, and try to identify the airline and flight details.

While British Airways still needs to work on their social media strategy, they certainly have nailed their last few traditional marketing campaigns – first with Visit Mum, and now this #lookup campaign, to bring back the magic of flying. The latest campaign certainly seems to have caught the attention of Twittersphere.

http://simpliflying.com/2013/british-airways-plane-detecting-billboards-showcase-magic-flying-lookup/

Read more »

Monbiot on our relentless and unceasing consumerism – and its impacts on us

George Monbiot, writing on the damaging modern phenomenon of accelerating consumerism says that advertising and consumerism dull our capacity for empathy. The Greendex survey in 2012, indicates countries with the highest consumption levels often have some of the lowest levels of guilt about environmental harm done. That includes the UK.  Monbiot says the government’s programme for economic recovery depends on unceasing consumption: that if people start repairing things or doing without, the scheme collapses. “Christmas permits the global bullshit industry to recruit the values with which so many of us would like the festival to be invested – love, warmth, a community of spirit – to the sole end of selling things that no one needs or even wants.”  ”Are we so bored, so affectless, that we need to receive this junk to ignite one last spark of hedonic satisfaction? Have people become so immune to fellow feeling that they are prepared to spend £46 on a jar for dog treats or £6.50 a bang on personalised crackers ….” Air travel is one particularly high carbon type of consumption; buying a trip by plane is just another product, albeit a particularly environmentally damaging one.
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Spend, Don’t Mend.

November 25, 2013
by George Monbiot
 

Advertising and consumerism dull our capacity for empathy.

Published in the Guardian 26th November 2013.

Guilt is good. It’s the feature that distinguishes the rest of the population from psychopaths. It’s the sensation you are able to feel when you possess a capacity for empathy.

But guilt inhibits consumption. So a global industry has developed to smother it with a 13-tog duvet of celebrities and cartoon characters and elevator music. It seeks to persuade us not to see and not to feel. It seems to work.

The 2012 Greendex survey found that people in poorer countries feel, on average, much guiltier about their impacts on the natural world than people in rich countries(1). The places in which people feel least guilt are, in this order, Germany, the US, Australia and Britain, while the people of India, China, Mexico and Brazil have the greatest concerns. Our guilt, the survey reported, exists in inverse proportion to the amount of damage our consumption does. This is the opposite of what a thousand editorials in the corporate press tell us: that people cannot afford to care until they become rich. The evidence suggests we cease to care only when we become rich.

Greendex graphGraph taken from the 2012 Greendex report

“Consumers in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, China and India,” the survey tells us, “tend to be most concerned about issues like climate change, air and water pollution, species loss, and shortages of fresh water … In contrast, the economy and the cost of energy and fuel elicit the most concern among American, French and British consumers.”(2) The more you have, the more important money becomes. My guess is that in poorer countries empathy has not been so dulled by decades of mindless consumption.

Watch the latest advertisement for Toys ‘R Us in the US(3). A man dressed up as a ranger herds children onto a green bus belonging to “the Meet the Trees Foundation”. “Today we’re taking the kids on the best field trip they could wish for,” he confides to us. “And they don’t even know it.”

On the bus he starts teaching them, badly, about leaves. The children yawn and shift in their seats. Suddenly he announces, “but we’re not going to the forest today …”. He strips off his ranger shirt. “We’re going to Toys ‘R Us guys!” The children go beserk. “We’re going to get to play with all the toys, and you’re going to get to choose any toy that you want!” The children run, in slow motion, down the aisles of the shop, then almost swoon as they caress their chosen toys.

Nature is tedious, plastic is thrilling. The inner-city children I took to the woods a few weeks ago would tell a different story(4), but hammer home the message often enough and it becomes true.

Christmas permits the global bullshit industry to recruit the values with which so many of us would like the festival to be invested – love, warmth, a community of spirit – to the sole end of selling things that no one needs or even wants. Sadly, like all newspapers, the Guardian participates in this orgy. Saturday’s magazine contained what looks like a shopping list for the last days of the Roman empire(5). There’s a smart cuckoo clock, for those whose dumb ones aren’t up to the mark; a remotely-operated kettle; a soap dispenser at £55; a mahogany skateboard (disgracefully, the provenance of the wood is mentioned by neither the Guardian nor the retailer(6)); a “papardelle rolling pin”, whatever the hell that is; £25 chocolate baubles; a £16 box of, er, garden twine.

Are we so bored, so affectless, that we need to receive this junk to ignite one last spark of hedonic satisfaction? Have people become so immune to fellow feeling that they are prepared to spend £46 on a jar for dog treats or £6.50 a bang on personalised crackers, rather than give the money to a better cause?(7) Or is this the Western world’s potlatch, spending ridiculous sums on conspicuously useless gifts to enhance our social status? If so, we must have forgotten that those who are impressed by money are not worth impressing.

To service this peculiar form of mental illness, we must wear down the knap of the Earth, ream the surface of the planet with great holes, fleetingly handle the products of that destruction then dump the materials into another hole. A report by the Gaia Foundation reveals an explosive growth in the pace of mining: cobalt production up 165% in ten years, iron ore by 180%, a 50% increase in non-ferrous metals exploration between 2010 and 2011(8).

The products of this destruction are in everything: electronics, plastics, ceramics, paints, dyes, the packaging in which our fatuities arrive. As the richest deposits are mined out, ever more land must be attacked to maintain production. Even the most precious and destructive materials are junked when a new dopamine hit is required: the UK government reports that a tonne of gold embedded in electronics is landfilled in this country every year(9).

In August a most instructive row ignited within the Conservative Party. The environment minister Lord de Mauley urged people to repair their gadgets rather than junking them(10). This, he argued, was necessary to reduce the amount of landfill, in line with the European waste directive. The Telegraph reported that “the proposals risk alarming businesses that are struggling to increase demand for their products.”(11) The Tory MP Douglas Carswell demanded to know “since when do we need government to tell us what to do with broken toasters? … having ruined our prospects of economic growth, the Eurocrats now seem to be giving us advice on how to make do and mend. The sooner we leave the European Union the better.”(12)

He understood that the government’s programme for economic recovery depends on unceasing consumption: that if people start repairing things, the scheme collapses; that mahogany skateboards and wifi kettles are necessary responses to a saturated market; that the iron god of growth to which we must bow demands that we spend the living world into oblivion.

“‘But old clothes are beastly,’ continued the untiring whisper. ‘We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending, ending is better than mending.’”(13). Brave New World seems less fantastic every year.

www.monbiot.com

References:

1. http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-content/file/GS_NGS_2012GreendexHighlights_10July-cb1341934186.pdf

2. http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-content/file/GS_NGS_2012GreendexHighlights_10July-cb1341934186.pdf

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5SXybm6bss

4. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/07/education-children-not-feral-enough

5. This feature isn’t online, but it covered 36 pages in the Saturday magazine.

6. http://shop.shipnduck.com/products/chris-craft-longboard-sting-ray

7. As above.

8. Philippe Sibaud, 2012. Opening Pandora’s Box: The New Wave of Land Grabbing by the Extractive Industries and the Devastating Impact on Earth. The Gaia Foundation. http://www.gaiafoundation.org/opening-pandoras-box

9. Defra, 21st November 2013. https://twitter.com/DefraWaste

10. https://consult.defra.gov.uk/waste/waste_prevention/

11. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10229659/Householders-should-make-do-and-mend-to-cut-waste-says-Tory-minister.html

12. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10229659/Householders-should-make-do-and-mend-to-cut-waste-says-Tory-minister.html

13. Aldous Huxley, 1932. Brave New World. Penguin edition, page 43.

 

http://www.monbiot.com/2013/11/25/spend-dont-mend/

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The Greendex survey:

“Greendex 2012: Consumer Choice and the Environment — A Worldwide Tracking Survey”
measures consumer behavior in areas relating to housing, transportation, food and consumer
goods. Greendex 2012 ranks average consumers in 17 countries according to the environmental impact of their consumption patterns and is the only survey of its kind.

First conducted in 2008, the Greendex survey was expanded in 2009, with the addition of
Argentina, South Korea and Sweden to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain and the United States. Seventeen-thousand consumers were polled online (1,000 in each country). The same 17 countries were included in the 2012 survey.

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How high carbon is flying, compared to other forms of consumption?

Carbon footprints of products, and their life cycle carbon footprints, are not easy to measure – and there are a limited number of figures around. Calculations are complicated, and there are huge numbers of variables and imponderables.

But below are some comparisons from information available.

Taking data from the (excellent) book by Mike Berners-Lee “How Bad are Bananas?”:

(CO2 e = CO2 equivalents)

Some consumption examples:

A carpet – good quality. 4 x 4 metres.    290 kg CO2 e

100 loads of washing, at 40 degrees C dried in a vented drier. 240 kg CO2 e

100 baths, generously filled, heated by an efficient gas boiler. 260 kg CO2 e

100 loaves of bread, from a supermarket.   100 kg CO2 e

A Mac laptop –  its manufacture.  Between 200 – 700 kg CO2 e

A Mac laptop - electricity consumption in use.   ? 20 – 50 grams CO2e per hour. Average ? 35 grams CO2 e                                                                                                              ie. using laptop for 8 hours per day that, per year, is 102 kg CO2 e

Expensive gold and diamond necklace.  Per £500 of cost.   400kg CO2e

Average UK Christmas (presents, extra food, trips, decorations, lights…) 280 kg CO2 e      per adult

300 pints of beer (local bottled beer from shop, or foreign beer in a pub) – 150 kg CO2 e

300 showers (3 minute shower, efficient gas heated, aerated showerhead) –  27 kg CO2 e

300 showers (6 minutes, typical electric shower) – 150 kg CO2 e

Leaving a 20 watt light bulb on all the time for a year   100 kg CO2 e

Lavatory paper use for a year (one person) – ? 200 – 300 kg CO2 e

Driving 5,000 miles (around half UK average annual car use) in a car that does around 35mpg  (about 15 km per litre - or 187 gCO2/km ).   Around 3,000 kg CO2 e

from  Mike Berners-Lee “How Bad are Bananas?”


 

Flying:

Flight London to Rome return (one person  - economy class)  - 280 kg CO2 e without including non-CO2 impacts (= radiative forcing), and 530 kg CO2 e including them.  see link for calculation

Flight London to Rome return (one person – First class) – 790 kg CO2 e including non-CO2 impacts    see link for calculation

Flight from Manchester to Barcelona return (one person, economy class) – including non-CO2 impacts  - 510 kg CO2 e

Flight. London to Glasgow return. (one person – economy class) – including non-CO2 impacts –  370 kg CO2 e   see link for calculation

Flight London to New York return (one person – economy class)  - including non-CO2 impacts -  1,840 kg CO2 e

Flight London to Thailand return (one person – economy class) - including non-CO2 impacts – 3,160 kg CO2 e

Flight London to Hong Kong return, in a 747. Economy class. 3,400 kg CO2e  (taken from “How Bad are Bananas”)


 

Annual gas and electricity consumption:

Average UK domestic use of gas  per year   (see link)  16,500 kWh  (Using DECC conversion figure of 0.20435 kg CO2 per kWh for natural gas)  - 3,370 kg CO2e per year

Average UK domestic use of electricity  per year   (see link)  3,300 kWh             (Using DECC conversion figure of around 0.58 kg CO2 per kWh for natural gas)  -  1,914 kg CO2 e per year

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How high are the carbon emissions from flying, compared to other forms of consumption?

Carbon footprints of manufacture of products, and their life cycle carbon footprints, are not easy to measure – and there are a limited number of figures around. Calculations are complicated, and there are huge numbers of variables and imponderables. But it is illuminating to compare the carbon emissions of some of our regular consumption items.  For example, taking the emissions from one person flying, return (including the non-CO2 impacts) from London to Rome, economy class – that is approximately equivalent to leaving a 20 watt light bulb on, all the time, for over 5 years.  Or buying more than 500 loaves of bread.  Or buying around 500 pints on beer in the pub. Or buying a £600 gold and diamond necklace.  Or the manufacturing emissions of making a new laptop computer. Or about a quarter of the average UK household’s use of electricity for a year. One person flying return, economy class, to New York would be about the same emissions as 760 machine loads of clothes washed, and dried in a dryer. Or about the same as the electricity to power a modern laptop for 8 hours a day, for 18 years. Or getting on for half of the average UK home’s gas usage, or almost the average UK home’s electricity usage.
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How high carbon is flying, compared to other forms of consumption?

Carbon footprints of products, and their life cycle carbon footprints, are not easy to measure – and there are a limited number of figures around. Calculations are complicated, and there are huge numbers of variables and imponderables.

But below are some comparisons from information available.

Taking data from the (excellent) book by Mike Berners-Lee “How Bad are Bananas?”:

(CO2 e = CO2 equivalents)

 

Some consumption examples:

A carpet – good quality. 4 x 4 metres.    290 kg CO2 e

100 loads of washing, at 40 degrees C dried in a vented drier. 240 kg CO2 e

100 baths, generously filled, heated by an efficient gas boiler. 260 kg CO2 e

100 loaves of bread, from a supermarket.   100 kg CO2 e

A Mac laptop –  its manufacture.  Between 200 – 700 kg CO2 e

A Mac laptop - electricity consumption in use.   ? 20 – 50 grams CO2e per hour. Average ? 35 grams CO2 e                                                                                                              ie. using laptop for 8 hours per day that, per year, comes to perhaps about 102 kg CO2 e

Expensive gold and diamond necklace.  Per £500 of cost.   400kg CO2e

Average UK Christmas (presents, extra food, trips, decorations, lights…) 280 kg CO2 e      per adult

300 pints of beer (local bottled beer from shop, or foreign beer in a pub) – 150 kg CO2 e

300 showers (3 minute shower, efficient gas heated, aerated showerhead) –  27 kg CO2 e

300 showers (6 minutes, typical electric shower) – 150 kg CO2 e

Leaving a 20 watt light bulb on all the time for a year   100 kg CO2 e

Lavatory paper use for a year (one person) – ? 200 – 300 kg CO2 e

Driving 5,000 miles (around half UK average annual car use) in a car that does around 35mpg  (about 15 km per litre - or 187 gCO2/km ).   Around 3,000 kg CO2 e

from  Mike Berners-Lee “How Bad are Bananas?”


 

Flying:

Flight London to Rome return (one person  - economy class)  - 280 kg CO2 e without including non-CO2 impacts (= radiative forcing), and 530 kg CO2 e including them (multiplier of x 1.9).  see link for calculation

Flight London to Rome return (one person – First class) – 790 kg CO2 e including non-CO2 impacts    see link for calculation

Flight from Manchester to Barcelona return (one person, economy class) – including non-CO2 impacts  - 510 kg CO2 e

Flight. London to Glasgow return. (one person – economy class) – including non-CO2 impacts –  370 kg CO2 e   see link for calculation

Flight London to New York return (one person – economy class)  - including non-CO2 impacts -  1,840 kg CO2 e

Flight London to Thailand return (one person – economy class) - including non-CO2 impacts – 3,160 kg CO2 e

Flight London to Hong Kong return, in a 747. Economy class. 3,400 kg CO2e  (taken from “How Bad are Bananas”)


 

Annual gas and electricity consumption:

Average UK domestic use of gas  per year (per dwelling)   (see link)  16,500 kWh  (Using DECC conversion figure of 0.20435 kg CO2 per kWh for natural gas)                                         - 3,370 kg CO2e per year

Average UK domestic use of electricity  per year (per dwelling)  (see link)  3,300 kWh             (Using DECC conversion figure of around 0.58 kg CO2 per kWh for natural gas)                      -  1,914 kg CO2 e per year

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Calculations from Mike Berners-Lees book, and others done by AirportWatch using data from sources to which there are links above.

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Airport retail now altering ad displays according to the sort of customers passing through

In the departure lounge of Heathrow’s Terminal 5, passengers buy over $450 million per year of perfumes, clothing, scarves, sunglasses, jewellery, watches, bags and small leather goods from  top expensive brands.  A similar scene plays out each day at a plethora of major international airports across the world and the last 20 years, airside retail has undergone a radical transformation.The passengers at airports constitute a captive audience, passing “the magic hour,” between clearing security and boarding their planes. Airports have a lot of information on passengers —  who they are, where they are going, on what airline, at what time, in what class. Now by digitising product displays, retailers may soon be able to more rapidly adjust their merchandising strategies, in real-time, to reflect the profiles of much larger numbers of customers currently passing through the airport. eg. if you have got the English going through in the morning and they like their Johnny Walker Black you will put it on the advertising screens, and if later there is a Chinese plane coming through, you advertise something else that they like buying. .
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Airport Retail Flying High

BY ROBIN MELLERY-PRATT  (The Business of Fashion – BOF)

5 SEPTEMBER, 2013

Once a profitable but rarely discussed sideline business, airside retail is now a highly lucrative, core component of a successful luxury strategy and airport operators are innovating to take sales even higher. BoF investigates.

Dior concession at London Heathrow Airport | Source: Heathrow Airport

LONDON, United Kingdom — Christian Dior’s dove grey carpets and boudoir mirrors vie for the eyes of customers with Prada’s harlequin tiles. The polished hardware of Dolce and Gabbana handbags glint, not far from lustrous exotic-skinned accessories by Gucci.

No, this is not the Avenue des Champs-Élysées or Bond Street, but the departure lounge of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5, where passengers buy over $450 million per year of perfumes, clothing, scarves, sunglasses, jewellery, watches, bags and small leather goods from brands including Alexander McQueen, Burberry and Chanel, the airport’s top performer.

A similar scene plays out each day at a plethora of major international airports across the world, from Singapore’s Changhi and South Korea’s Incheon to Dubai International and Charles de Gaulle in Paris. But this wasn’t always the case. Indeed, in the last 20 years, airside retail has undergone a radical transformation.

From Sideline to Strategic Priority

“What you used to have at Heathrow and Gatwick, for example, was big old airport terminals, with a WH Smith and maybe a Knickerbox and a big greasy spoon café,” Brian Collie, former group retail director of the British Airport Authority (BAA) from 1997 to 2005, told BoF.

But things began to change in the mid-1990s. “What we did was bring quality retail developers and architects to the airports,” said Collie. “And we were beginning to get demand from brands who had never really traded at the airport: big players like Chanel and Dior, who had always sold cosmetics through the duty-free operators, but had never had stand-alone stores.”

The passengers who make up the majority of retail foot traffic at airports constitute something of a captive audience, passing what executives often refer to as “the magic hour,” the time between passengers clearing security and boarding their planes. Many are bored and looking for diversion. Others are buoyed by the start of a leisure trip.

“For many, airport shopping marks the start of their holidays,” said Richard Perks, director of retail research at Mintel. “Today, over one in ten European travellers look forward to shopping at airport shops.”

But perhaps the biggest draw for brands is the premium customer profile of international passengers. “At an airport you have the best customers. Ten, fifteen, twenty million customers going past your door every year and they are 60 percent AB’s,” said Collie, using socio-economic classifications developed by the NRS (National Readership Survey) in which A’s are upper middle class and B’s are middle class. “[Luxury brands] had been buying posters at airports around the world for years, buying the back covers of in-flight magazines stuck in a seat in front of somebody and now they had the opportunity to put their product and staff in front of them.”

Today, marketing remains a key reason to invest in airport real estate, but “the volumes were so good that it became, not just part of the marketing mix, but part of the retail operation,” Collie continued. “Airports are a fantastic piece of real estate. The sales density can be significantly higher than the best locations downtown,” he added, referring to a critical metric for retail performance, typically measured in sales per square metre.

While declining to reveal precise figures, Muriel Zingraff–Shariff, retail concessions director of London Heathrow, concurred: “For some of the luxury brands, I can tell you that their store [in London Heathrow Terminal 5] is second only to their Bond Street or New Bond Street stores in terms of productivity — and, for some, it’s the most successful in terms of productivity per square metre.”

Duty-free and travel retail sales of perfumes, cosmetics and luxury goods jumped 28 percent between 2008 and 2011, and are expected to grow by another 25 percent in the next two years, according to Generation Research, a Stockholm-based consultancy, which predicts that, by 2020, the travel retail and duty-free market will be worth $120 billion per year.

“Before, travel retail was seen as a kind of nice-to-do thing, but you didn’t really talk about it and it was a side part of the business. Now, travel retail is integrated into the main strategies of very big brands such as Burberry,” said Zingraff–Shariff. “With Smythson, as another example, they had a very strategic approach to travel retail. They describe travel retail in their overall strategy and they see Heathrow as an international platform to launch their brand to the world.”

A New World Takes Flight

In January of this year, the UN World Tourism Organisation announced that, in 2012, the number of unique international tourist arrivals passed a record one billion for the first time in history. And indeed, driven by continuing globalisation and the rise of emerging economies, half a billion more international tourists, defined as those staying over one night in a non-native country, travel today than they did in 1995.

Along with growth from China, Russia and Brazil — at 31 percent, 22 percent and 15 percent, respectively — Central and Eastern Europe grew by 10 percent, South East Asia by 12 percent and the Middle East by 13 percent, which all spells increasing sales for luxury retailers with airport concessions.

“Thirty years ago, it was the Japanese. Twenty years ago it was the Koreans. The past few years it has been the Chinese. And between all of those you have had a lot of the Middle Eastern markets and South American markets,” said Collie. “Once you have an emerging market with a burgeoning middle class with the propensity to travel, who don’t have access to a lot of the brands in the local markets, or if they do have access it’s at a very high price because of import tariffs, what you have is the opportunity to sell huge quantities of your best products.”

“Last year, there was an 18 percent increase in the average spend per passenger from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries,” added Zingraff-Shariff. “[At Heathrow], Chinese passengers currently represent 0.7 percent of overall passenger volume, but are responsible for 25 percent of the total spend on luxury goods.”

Big Data and Digital Merchandising

Airports offer unique advantages for another reason as well: data. As passengers move from check-in to gate, airports capture an enormous amount of information on them — including who they are, where they are going, on what airline, at what time, in what class — a trove which could prove a gold mine for savvy retailers, if effectively structured and shared. But according to Zingraff -Shariff, this hasn’t traditionally been the case.

“Before I joined, the one thing I did was phone a number of CEOs who I knew and they all came back saying ‘Great environment, the problem is we don’t understand it that well.’ That’s because information was not shared in a way in which the brands could understand it,” she said. “It was not analysed in a way that made the data a tool; it was just loads of information.”

Zingraff-Shariff has plans to change this. “The first step is that we are going to be able to have our daily sales fed to us directly, so that we can analyse them in conjunction with flights and passenger numbers; we can analyse all of this and give it back to the brands so they can make good use of it,” she said

“For example if you have got the Singaporean flight going out and you are a luxury accessories brand, you may want to make sure you put your smaller size bags in front and not your big size bags, because we know that the Far Eastern customer doesn’t like big bags; they buy small.”

“The next level is what we call big data, which is basically creating a platform where the brands, our partners, can access that information directly,” she continued. “It will be merged with parking information and basically any other data that we otherwise have, and analysed in such a way that it will enable people to understand the total journey of a passenger.”

This type of data is already used to alert certain luxury companies when particular individuals are passing through the airport. “Our objective with a lot of luxury brands is to significantly increase the average transaction value by being able to offer [special things] when we know certain passengers are going through.”

But by digitising product displays, using high quality screens, retailers may soon be able to more rapidly and efficiently adjust their merchandising strategies, in real-time, to reflect the profiles of much larger numbers of customers currently passing through the airport.

“Basically, [when you have digital screens] all you need is to plug in various contents of each brand at a lot less cost and with more flexibility. It enables you to change quickly, so if you have got the English going through in the morning and they like their Johnny Walker Black you will put it on [the screen]. And then at 15.30, because you have got another nationality going through in droves, you are going to put on the latest Chinese liquor. In essence, you could end up having a pop-up that doesn’t have any product and actually you would just be sending people through to one of the stores, but it would become a real experience, similar to when Burberry did a fashion show that was all holographic.”

“The technology is here, but there is still a big step to commercial realisation. We will make that journey, but it will take some time.”

http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/09/airport-retail-flying-high.html

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More news stories on  Air Travel and Consumerism:

Airlines selling expensive meal upgrades to economy class passengers, for foie gras, duck confit etc, to boost profits

Date added: June 9, 2013

Airlines are always keen to find new ways to extract money from their customers. Now several airlines have begun selling gourmet food to the passengers in the cheap seats, for a price. In February Air France has started tempting economy-class customers with paid-for meal upgrades featuring foie gras terrine. eg. duck confit with mushrooms and sauteed potatoes, followed by Opera cake for dessert, costing €18. So-called ancillary sales ranging from food to overhead-bin space have jumped more than tenfold to $36 billion since 2007, amounting to 5% of the total $680 billion earned by airlines in 2012. They are expected to rise to $50 billion per year by 2019 or so. “The low-cost carriers have taken ancillary revenue from a normal way of doing business and turned it almost into an art form.” Revenue streams that remain untapped — in-flight entertainment, wireless access and shopping — could be worth $5 billion. “When people get on board an aircraft, they’re actually in a great retail mindset. About an hour into the flight, they start to relax and their mind opens.Opening their wallets, too, has become a major ambition of airlines”. So much for the fake concern about the odd few $$s or €€s in aviation taxes on their “hard working family” passengers.

Click here to view full story…

Airports and airlines eyeing up passengers to increase their retail spend

Date added: April 24, 2013

If the airlines can’t make enough profit from flying their passengers from A to B, then they want to extract every bit of cash they can from them, in the airport shops. An anna-aero article discusses how airports and airlines might work more effectively together, to get passengers to buy more stuff. The airlines have more personal data about the passengers, and the airports want this data in order to maximise the retail earnings in their shops. But the airlines don’t want to share the chance of profit with the airports. The Chief Commercial Officer at Manchester Airports Group said – “airport retail is vital precisely because airport charges paid by airlines are already well below the cost of the infrastructure they use.” The airports and airlines don’t see eye to eye on this. There is a problem for retailers, with the low cost airlines that limit baggage, and the ‘one-bag rule’, which is a disincentive to buy a lot at the airport. An ACI conference next spring will look at actual practical solutions to enhance “Airline-Airport Cooperation to Increase Passenger Spend.”

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow award for top airport for shopping for 3rd year. Net Retail Income per passenger £6.21 in 2012 (£5.64 in 2010)

Date added: April 18, 2013

For the third year, Heathrow got the award (within the airports industry) for the top airport for shopping. Heathrow has over 52,000 square metres of retail space and more than 340 retail and catering outlets. Heathrow overtook Dubai International to win the title of “World’s Best Airport for Shopping” for 2012. Heathrow has the highest retail sales of any airport in the world ahead of Incheon airport in South Korea. Figures from the Moodie Report in February 2013 said that Net Retail Income per passenger at Heathrow was £6.21 (up 4.4% on 2011, partly due to the Olympics) in 2012 and £5.95 in 2011, while it was £5.64 in 2010. (By comparison the Net Retail Income at Stansted in 2012 was £4.27 per passenger). At Heathrow in 2012 the gross retail income increased +5.7% to £460.1 million

Click here to view full story…

Greenhouse gases hit record level …. and threaten tourism … while tourism threatens climate

Date added: November 28, 2012

The Doha talks are taking place at present, on global carbon emissions. The UN has confirmed that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to record levels last year, reinforcing scientists’ warnings that the world is on course for dangerous global warming. TravelMole reports that this will cause more pressure to minimize tourism-related carbon emissions – principally from air travel and accommodation. Global warming will also threaten tourism destinations – principally small islands, delta destinations and winter sports destinations. Global CO2 was at 391 ppm in October, compared to the pre-industrial era level of 280 ppm. About 375bn tonnes of carbon have been released into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial era in 1750, and much of it remains there for centuries. Temperatures have already risen 0.8 C and stopping an increase of over 2C is not likely. The carbon emissions from global aviation are around 5% of anthropogenic climate change, taking into account the non-CO2 impacts. World Tourism Organisation says tourism accounts for about half of all global air passengers

Click here to view full story…

Sports Tourism – a growing phenomenon. VisitBritain hopes for more high-spending sports fans

Date added: November 8, 2012

Sports Tourism seems to be a new angle of how to get people to spend more on their money on travel. There is sports tourism by those actively taking part in sports, like skiing, cycling etc. And there are spectator trips, with people attracted to large events like the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, F1 Grand Prix. Globally in 2003 the amount spent on sports tourism was about $51bn, equivalent 10% of the total international tourism market. VisitBritain says in 2011 some 900,000 football tourists visited Britain – (which included 61,000 from the USA). They £706 million in total – an average of around £785 per visitor – during their trip, which is around £200 more than average UK visitors who do not come here for sport. In August the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said a priority is exploiting the role of sport as a magnet for tourists ….” The VisitBritain figures do not mention the numbers of Brits who fly abroad for sporting events elsewhere, taking their money abroad.

Click here to view full story…

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Airlines selling expensive meal upgrades to economy class passengers, for foie gras, duck confit etc, to boost profits

Airlines are always keen to find new ways to extract money from their customers. Now several airlines have begun selling gourmet food to the passengers in the cheap seats, for a price. In February  Air France has started tempting economy-class customers with paid-for meal upgrades featuring foie gras terrine. eg. duck confit with mushrooms and sauteed potatoes, followed by Opera cake for dessert, costing €18.  So-called ancillary sales ranging from food to overhead-bin space have jumped more than tenfold to $36 billion since 2007, amounting to 5% of the total $680 billion earned by airlines in 2012. They are expected to rise to $50 billion per year by 2019 or so. “The low-cost carriers have taken ancillary revenue from a normal way of doing business and turned it almost into an art form.”  Revenue streams that remain untapped — in-flight entertainment, wireless access and shopping — could be worth $5 billion. “When people get on board an aircraft, they’re actually in a great retail mindset. About an hour into the flight, they start to relax and their mind opens.Opening their wallets, too, has become a major ambition of airlines”. So much for the fake concern about the odd few $$s or €€s in aviation taxes on their “hard working family” passengers.

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Foie Gras Now Served in Coach Class as Airlines Spice Up Profit

By Kari Lundgren & Robert Wall (Bloomberg)
Jun 5, 2013 

Alex Kraus/Bloomberg
A flight attendant serves drinks on an Airbus A380.

The days of bland economy-class food are numbered, with Europe’s full-service carriers dishing up gourmet menus reminiscent of the golden age of air travel as they look for ways to squeeze more revenue out of passengers.

Air Canada Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu said, “In terms of competing with new entrants, with folks who have a significantly lower cost than we do, the best way of competing was to give the exact same price on the base fare and then start incrementally adding to that.” Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

British Airways in February started sales of cheaper hand-luggage-only tickets, a move consumer groups say amounts to charging for checked bags. As well as establishing checked luggage as a generator of revenue, the move has the advantage of reducing take-off weight, allowing for lower fuel consumption and faster turnaround times. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Air France is tempting economy-class customers with paid-for meal upgrades featuring foie gras terrine, and Austrian Airlineshas Wiener schnitzel and sushi among its 15-euro ($19.60) in-flight nourishments. They’re part of a growing trend of carriers charging for auxiliary services, including lounge access or individual aircraft seat choice.

The move comes two decades after Ryanair Holdings Plcstarted a cultural revolution in Europe by making passengers pay for snacks and drinks. So-called ancillary sales ranging from food to overhead-bin space have jumped more than tenfold to $36 billion since 2007, amounting to 5 percent of the total $680 billion earned by airlines last year, International Air Transport Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler said.

“The low-cost carriers have taken ancillary revenue from a normal way of doing business and turned it almost into an art form,” said John Dabkowski, managing director for airline technology company Navitaire Inc. “They’ve set the customer’s expectation, so people now are not offended by it.”

Untapped Niches

Ancillary sales will rise to $50 billion in the next five years, John Thomas, a senior managing director at L.E.K. Consulting LLC said this week in Cape Town, where IATA held its annual meeting to discuss industry trends. Revenue streams that remain untapped — in-flight entertainment, wireless access and shopping — could be worth about $5 billion, he said.

“When people get on board an aircraft, they’re actually in a great retail mindset,” Thomas said. “About an hour into the flight, they start to relax and their mind opens.”

Opening their wallets, too, has become a major ambition of airlines. Air Canada has seen ancillary revenues for services ranging from baggage fees to lounge access climb 30 percent annually since 2009, CEO Calin Rovinescu said.

“In terms of competing with new entrants, with folks who have a significantly lower cost than we do, the best way of competing was to give the exact same price on the base fare and then start incrementally adding to that,” Rovinescu said.

Air France sold more than 26,000 menu upgrades priced at 12 euros and 28 euros to economy- and premium-economy fliers in the nine months to March 31. The Paris-based carrier’s duck confit with mushrooms and sauteed potatoes, followed by Opera cake for dessert, costs 18 euros. EasyJet Plc, Europe’s No. 2 discount carrier, charges 8 euros for its “meal deal” featuring a sandwich, tea or coffee and a Twix chocolate bar.

New Model

“We’re moving away from historic all-in pricing,” said Donal O’Neill, an analyst at Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin. “For airlines like Air France, where the margins are so razor thin at the moment, every cost saving can be material.”

Pre-booking is key to boosting quality while trimming waste, helping to make the paid-for-food model cost effective, said Caroline Hanly, head of catering at Dublin-based Aer Lingus Group Plc, which began offering three-course upgrades to economy-class passengers on trans-Atlantic trips in February.

“We’re going to know exactly how many people on board are going to want certain meals,” Hanly said in an interview. By selecting traditional Irish fare such as soda bread and black pudding, it’s also an opportunity for Aer Lingus to highlight its status as an indigenous Irish brand, she said.

Design Challenges

Regardless of the quality of food, catering also poses a design challenge to manufacturers Airbus SAS and Boeing, who must build galleys sufficiently large to cater for three meals on long-distance flights lasting more than 12 hours, said Tim Clark, president of Emirates, the world’s largest airline known for its lavish premium product including in-flight showers.

EasyJet sold almost one million bacon sandwiches in 2012 from its “Cafe in the Sky” range, plus 14 million drinks including Starbucks Corp. coffee, helping boost in-flight sales 10 percent.

“They’re commoditizing the seat and filling out the rest of the experience with retail offering of some description,” said Goodbody’s O’Neill. “The more they split those out and manage the cost base of each item, the more profitable they’ll be.”

Full-service carriers are taking note and following suit. British Airways in February started sales of cheaper hand-luggage-only tickets, a move consumer groups say amounts to charging for checked bags. As well as establishing checked luggage as a generator of revenue, the move has the advantage of reducing take-off weight, allowing for lower fuel consumption and faster turnaround times.

Passengers on European routes are prepared to pay as much as 40 euros for add-on items and, and airlines will ultimately demand cash for all aspects of flying beyond the basic journey, especially once they’ve exhausted options for paring expenses, said Bjoern Maul of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH.

“We’re just scratching the surface,” said Jim Davidson, CEO of aviation adviser Farelogix Inc. “You can actually democratize the back of the cabin and that’s pretty exciting, so someone who only flies two or three times a year, if they want to be treated like a frequent flier they have the capability to do that.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-04/foie-gras-now-served-in-coach-class-as-airlines-spice-up-profit.html

 

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Our love affair with consumerism and consumption is damaging the planet at an increasing rate …

Our love affair with cars, consumerism and consumption is damaging the planet at an increasing rate. The last time atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were as high as they are now, around 3 – 5 million years ago, humans had not even evolved. The level reached 400ppm this year, for the first time, and the rate of increase in emissions is accelerating.  Little has been done to reduce pollution from agriculture or road transport, or aviation. Much of the CO2 is emitted by factories producing goods for customers in the UK. Phasing out oil and gas and investing in green technology could provide a huge boost to the economy, while numerous studies have shown that living simpler, less materialistic lives make us happier. But society’s focus is increasingly on material consumption. Consumerism is not only the buying of physical objects: it extends to the buying of experiences. Consumer activities include things like eating at a restaurant, buying local handicrafts, buying ‘tourist’ experiences such as a camel ride or a picture with a tango dancer, and clocking up travel destinations as form of one-upmanship.
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Richard Sadler: Consumerism driving us to disaster

  • by RICHARD SADLER
28 May 2013  (Scotsman)

OUR love affair with cars, consumerism and consumption is damaging the planet at an increasing rate – we must change our ways, writes Richard Sadler

 

IMAGINE you’re at the wheel of a car and you are careering towards a cliff edge, foot hard down on the accelerator. You don’t know where the cliff is because you are blindfolded. The stuff of nightmares? It’s an analogy for our collective plight here on planet Earth in the early 21st century. The car driver is humanity speeding recklessly into the unknown; the cliff represents the descent into chaos and turmoil when climate change spins out of control.

The fact that concentrations of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have now passed 400 parts per million (ppm) will not make any noticeable difference. The Sun will still rise tomorrow and people will go about their daily business – but like Neil Armstrong’s one small step for a man, it has huge symbolic significance.

The 400ppm mark has been widely recognised in United Nations climate change negotiations as a dangerous threshold we should not pass. The last time concentrations were this high, around three to five million years ago, humans had not even evolved. Horses and camels grazed the high arctic and sea levels were at least 10m higher than they are today – a level that would inundate many of our major cities.

However, not only has that threshold been passed, as confirmed by measurements at the Mauna Loa monitoring station in Hawaii, but the rate of increase in emissions is accelerating.

As every schoolboy should know, when concentrations of heat-trapping gas rise, the planet heats up, polar ice caps melt and sea levels rise. Over millions of years of prehistory there have been natural fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels. Natural climatic variations – triggered by oscillations in the Earth’s orbit, or solar activity – occurred over tens of thousands of years, generally giving enough time for species to adapt.

Now the situation is very different. As humans have burnt more fossil fuels, CO2 emissions have risen exponentially. In the 1960s, the average annual rate of increase was 0.9ppm; now the rate is more than 2ppm – about 100 times that seen when the last Ice Age ended.

As if that was not worrying enough there is no sign of a slow-down. In fast-growing economies such as China and India, citizens are copying unsustainable western lifestyles characterised by high consumption of energy and consumer products, more car and air travel and carbon-intensive, meat-rich diets.

In the United States, the world’s second biggest polluter after China, 43 per cent of the population still do not believe there is such a thing as human-induced global warming and there are no binding targets for cutting CO2 and other heat-trapping gases. The European Union has managed a small reduction, but much of this is due to the economic slowdown and stricter long-term targets are being opposed by the UK coalition government.

However, there are a few honourable exceptions. Since devolution Scotland, together with Germany and Scandinavian countries, has made significant progress in restructuring its economy away from dependence on fossil fuels.

First Minister Alex Salmond says he wants to make Scotland the green powerhouse of Europe and his target for the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2020 is the world’s most ambitious.

The Scottish Parliament’s 2009 Climate Act is widely praised by environmental campaigners because it sets annual emission targets. Although the 2010 target was missed – there is no data yet for 2011 or 2012 – tangible progress has been made. In 2012, a record 39 per cent of electricity came from renewables including hydro, wind, and tidal power. And last week the Scottish Government gave the go-ahead for the world’s largest wave power scheme, off Lewis.

But in other areas not much has changed. Little has been done to reduce pollution from agriculture or road transport, and recent approval of major new road schemes can only lead to further traffic growth.

In a global context, the slow-down in fossil fuel consumption in Scotland is far outweighed by fast-increasing pollution in the developing world. Nor should it be forgotten that much of that pollution is emitted by factories producing goods for customers in the UK. Which brings us back to the unpalatable reality of accelerating greenhouse gas concentrations and our fast-warming planet.

As the Earth has heated up, extreme weather events such as storms, floods, heatwaves and droughts have become more common – a trend accurately predicted by climatologists more than 20 years ago.

But events like the recent deadly Oklahoma tornado, Australian bush fires, record heatwaves in continental Europe and flash floods in the UK will seem trivial compared with what is to come.

So far global average temperatures have increased by only 1C since pre-industrial times, but the International Energy Agency estimates that if current trends continue we could see 6C of warming by the end of the century.

As sea levels rise, major cities including London, New York, and Mumbai may become uninhabitable, while in the developing world, crop failures will force hundreds of millions of people to migrate. This in turn is likely to start new wars over increasingly scarce food and water resources.

The nightmare scenario is that after so many years of unchecked warming, the planet will reach a tipping point, where climate change takes on a momentum of its own. This is the point of no return, where so-called “positive feedbacks” start to kick in, accelerating the rate of warming still further. For example as the Greenland ice sheets melt, less solar heat is reflected back into space which in turn leads to more warming, more melting, less heat reflection and so on.

If that happens, there will be nothing we can do to stop it and for us humans much of the planet will become uninhabitable.

Why would an apparently intelligent species put civilisation at risk in this way? Perhaps it is because western civilisation itself has conditioned us to expect ever cheaper material goods and the freedom to travel where we want and eat what we want regardless of the consequences.

Though we may have nagging worries about climate change, most of us are too wrapped up in our day-to-day concerns to think about changing our ways. Alternatively, we can convince ourselves that climate change is not really happening – or, if it is, that it is not of our making.

Politicians should know better but they have failed to provide the necessary leadership. When the occasion demands, they make fine speeches about how dire the situation is, but they are too easily swayed by powerful vested interests who want to maintain the status quo.

The irony is that phasing out oil and gas and investing in green technology could provide a huge boost to the economy, while numerous studies have shown that living simpler, less materialistic lives make us happier.

The Scottish Government – which estimates that as many as 11,000 jobs have already been created from renewable energy alone – has taken important steps in the right direction. It still has a very long way to go before the principles of sustainable development are hard-wired into every aspect of society, but it has made a start.

If it stays the course, it is just possible that this small country could become an example for others to follow. For all our sakes, the world needs one.

 

• Richard Sadler is a freelance science journalist and former BBC environment correspondent

 

http://www.scotsman.com/news/richard-sadler-consumerism-driving-us-to-disaster-1-2945784

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See also  (from USA)

Consumerism and Its Discontents

Monday, 27 May 2013

By Charles Derber,

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/16582-consumerism-and-its-discontents

….. a couple of excerpts:

“In a recent informal study of Boston-area college students, I asked them how they felt about American consumerism. Almost all said they would prefer to be in a society that was less consumer-oriented, because consumer culture gives them these headaches:

* It creates fierce competitive pressure to have more and newer “stuff.”

* It complicates their lives, always worrying about how to maintain, pay for and use all the things they buy.

* It distracts from a quality life with their family and friends.

* It creates a “dirty” lifestyle that makes them and the planet sick.

* It leads to more inequality, with people seeking more at the expense of others.

* It distracts from political engagement – President Bush told them to go shopping as he was gearing up for war with Iraq after 9/11.

* It imprisons them in a life full of products and empty of meaning.”

…..

and

….

“But a quick history of American consumerism suggests something very important: that the growing awareness of its real and serious downsides can largely be explained by problems of sustainability and freedom at the core of US capitalism.

Up until the 1920s, most Americans made their own clothes, grew their own food and bought very little. They were producers and not consumers. This changed in the 1920s, when the growth of capitalism had created large corporations that could no longer prosper simply from World War I production. They needed Americans to become consumers.

The corporations hired public relations experts and launched the modern advertising industry. Retailers such as the giant Sears Roebuck sent out millions of catalogs with alluring pictures of clothes, furniture and other commodities. This was the beginning of “coerced consumption.” In the 1950s and 1960s, the new advertising culture mushroomed and became massive and irresistible, with corporations redefining American freedom as the freedom to buy.

Since profits require ever-expanding consumer markets, capitalism has always coerced consumption, typically by seductive advertising but also by harsher means. ”

….

and

….

“ Quality must replace quantity as the measure of economic and cultural success. Government tax and regulatory policy must end extreme inequality and reduce production and consumption of dirty energy, unhealthy food and luxury goods. Large investment in public transit, community-owned enterprises, national parks and other public goods must substantially reduce private consumption.”

 

 

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