Ever since Singapore Changi Airport together with Singapore Airlines and Singapore Tourism Board introduced the first free stopover concept while transiting at Singapore Airport, it has been a competitive parameter: Passengers suddenly get to visit two countries in a trip for the price of one.
As simple as that sounds it still poses critical challenges, and this is what Epinion recently set out to research together with Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Tourism Board with an intense focus on stopover services around the world.
The project involved a worldwide desk research, FGD sessions and web panel interviews seven key and diverse markets: UK, USA, Japan, China, India, Indonesia and Australia. From a logistical point of view a challenging project, however, from a market research perspective super exciting – not least travelling to observe FGDs in exotic and new locations!
The four things not to do!
Stopover concepts can be anything from a few hours enjoying a local meal to large packages with limousine transport, luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants and local sights complete with security, customs, lounge and gate support
From the desk research it is easy to conclude stopover services and products have spread throughout the world, which is clear indication of the importance of the offering. Digging further in we found that the stopover concept is highly popular and can change the passenger’s choice of airport and airline. While many airports were offering some version of the original stop over concept, then the sad thing was many people were completely unaware of the possibility:
- … it was very hard to find the offering as a passenger
- … the product offerings were unclear
- … the concepts offered had a very varying value for money
- … in general, a mess of who is offering the services e.g. the airport, an airline, the tourism organisation or some private tour company. If it needs to be successful a good idea is to work together and across Airport, tourism organisation and Airlines.
It practically reads like a marketing strategy 101 with the 4Ps: Placement, Product, Pricing and Promotion. This is no surprise, because it can on its own be a complete business, and it is critical that it is treated as such. Airports and airlines considering stopover services therefore need to consider whether they either are willing to commit the resources or should spin it out as a separate unit.
Where to go next?
Since Singapore Changi introduced the stopover concept it has developed tremendously and been followed up by more and more airports. This development is expected to continue as stopover products and services will be a key competitive element in the future battle for market shares of airport passengers and a way to develop one’s position as a hub airport.
From our personal point of view some of the most interesting stopover services and products today can be found in Singapore, Doha, Helsinki, Istanbul and Reykjavik. They all represent something different – and great value for money. We look forward to seeing more exciting concepts pop up and do let us know, if you have seen some great examples.
Now all you need the next time you go travelling is to do yourself the favor of checking out the possibilities of the various airlines and transit airports – and you could be exploring an additional city or country in one and the same trip.
But as an airport – if not already in the game - get in there! But make sure you do not undermine your chances by committing any of the 4P mistakes!
Contact Epinion’s aviation experts today (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your needs further and learn more about our service portfolio or read more about our aviation solutions at www.epinionglobal.com