Ferragamo CEO: airports should create more exclusive environment

With the occasion of the Tax Free World Association World Exhibition opening conference, Michele Norsa, CEO of Italian luxury house Salvatore Ferragamo said he sees airports as shopping cathedrals but also as democratic spaces, where people travelling in all classes sharing the same retail environment. He added “You can feel like a VIP, which is very important for the growing number of Chinese travellers.” Norsa also told delegates he considers travellers an opportunity, and not the traditional passenger but a new group of travellers from different and emerging countries. He gave gambling cities as an example of a popular destination with Chinese nationals, raising Macau to new heights in tourism due to its popular casinos and proximity to China.

Norsa said airports should create a more exclusive environment with “no cheap food smells, souvenirs and sleeping people”, adding that their retail quality should reflect that of the luxury downtown shopping streets such as Bond Street in London. He concluded by highlighting the opportunities presented by unknown destinations such as Indonesia and Mongolia for the luxury market and underdeveloped duty-free locations including airports in the US, adding that Chinese customers want to indulge in European style with Asian levels of service.