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Cochin airport duty-free shop a 'benchmark': Expert

By Staff
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Kochi, Feb 23 (UNI) Describing the duty-free shopping area at the Cochin International Airport as a ''benchmark'' in the country, travel operator Alpha Asia Managing Director Paul Topping today said the per customer dollar spend in Cochin was double that of other Indian airports.

Addressing a press conference here on the conclusion of the two-day 'India Duty Free Workshop', Mr Topping, whose company manages the Cochin Airport duty-free shop, said teams had visited from Bangalore and Hyderabad to see how the duty-free shop at Cochin had been constructed and managed.

He said that compared to the 'per customer spend' of about two dollars at the other international airports in India, the sales in Cochin were four dollars.

The duty-free shopping area at Cochin notched up a turnover of five million USD last year, with an average growth rate of 25 per cent.

''However, with an increasing number of airlines coming to Cochin and more tourists coming in from Europe, a growth rate of 35 per cent is possible in the next few years,'' he added.

A new duty-free shopping area was being constructed inside the departure lounge and this should be ready within one year, he added.

While the liquor, confectionary and super market sections of the Cochin duty-free shop were doing well, the perfumes, soft toys, electronics and food sections needed to be improved and efforts were on in this direction, he added.

The workshop highlighted various topics related to duty-free shopping and airport development in India, including low cost airlines, aviation investment, suppliers and their brands and in-flight retail.

Among the participants were ITDC vice-president N K Piplani, Flemingo India director Atul Ahuja and Duty-Free News International editor John Rimmer, CIAL managing director V J Kurian and Deccan Air Chief Revenue Officer John Kuruvilla.

UNI ARC GM 1929

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