Coming soon: Changing of the guard at Hong Kong International Airport

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

I’m at the most interim of Interim Bureaux for The Moodie Davitt Report – a public laptop counter by gate 16 at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Next stop is Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar International) in Bali, Indonesia.

I must be the only traveller who specialises in taking pictures of shop and restaurant hoardings but I find it fascinating to see what’s coming next at the world’s airports. As always, HKIA has plenty of new outlets lined up, adding to what I consider one of our industry’s best and most diverse shopping and dining offers.

First though I stopped off at The Peak Lookout, one of my favourite landside restaurants worldwide. If you like people watching, there’s no better place at HKIA than sitting up here gazing out over the check-in hall. The compelling architecture of the airport adds to the amazing panorama and the implicit sense of drama. The Peak is very spacious, has an excellent food and drinks menu, and is a serene contrast to the frenzy below.

Now to the ‘coming soon’ list. My eye was immediately drawn to the container-like façade of the Homeless HKG lifestyle store, which will offer furniture, lighting, gifts, home accessories and timepieces. Sounds and looks interesting, and judging by the same brand’s local market success, I reckon it will do well here.

The dining offer is constantly being refreshed at HKIA and I note the airport authority is taking the bold step of opening a Caviar House & Prunier and a new Lobster & Oyster Counter alongside one another.

Besides what’s coming soon, one can’t help but be aware of what’s going soon. DFS shocked the travel retail world – and itself – back in 2012 when it won all three core category concessions.

Alas, it couldn’t have got its timing much worse, for when it opened several months later the market was about to go into a tailspin, prompted of course by the Chinese crackdown on conspicuous consumption, gift-giving and corruption. DFS, of course, is exiting the business at the end of this year (it didn’t even attempt to defend its liquor & tobacco concession), just as, perversely, the business starts to look a whole lot more robust.

That is the nature of the open tender beast, of course. You win some, you lose some. And sometimes, as with DFS here, you do both.

Out and about at Hong Kong International Airport

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