We’re not travelling like the Jetsons (yet), but it’s closer than you think.
As domestic air travel increases five per cent each year (according to Andrew McEvoy, CEO of Tourism Australia), airports are evolving from transport hubs to lifestyle centres, where you can fill a prescription, pick up the groceries, and catch up with friends.
In the past couple of months alone, Sydney airport’s domestic terminal has opened a new retail concept Studio T2 (which stocks everything from cosmetics to technology), a restaurant by award winning MoVida, and an alehouse by SA beer giant Coopers.
Meanwhile, Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport now hosts Woolworth’s ‘click&collect’ program, where travellers can order groceries online, then pick them up on their way through the terminal.
Then there’s Cairns which, while not exactly the business centre of Australia, has so many business-people regularly flying in that Virgin has opened a business lounge there.
Next? We’re predicting weekly plane tickets (à la weekly train tickets), more airports (particularly in regional areas), and airports becoming destinations in their own right – Westfield-style complexes, with cinemas, gyms and more. Interesting times ahead.