Hospitality and retail revamp for airport

Townsville Airport will revamp its hospitality and retail areas of the domestic terminal to make it more welcoming to travellers.

Work on the expanded hospitality and retail offerings, which is expected to include several new dining and shopping options, will commence early next year.

Townsville Airport chief operating officer Kevin Gill said passengers would be the big winners out of the revamp of its hospitality and retail spaces.

“We have got some exciting stuff planned in the new year,” he said.

“People will notice a really positive impact in the offerings for food, beverage and retail.

“We really want to enhance customers service at all the hospitality and retail offerings.

“It’s part of our continuous improvement philosophy and is on the back of the free Wi-Fi in the terminal.”

Mr Gill said there was no specific figure for the cost of the refurbishment as plans were still being finalised.

It comes as the airport considers a major refurbishment of the domestic terminal.

A survey is being undertaken to see if passengers support a $3 surcease or levy on tickets to pay for the work.

The airport had planned to implement a $50 million upgrade of its facilities in 2012 but it was put on the backburner due to a lack of funding.

The Bulletin understands the airport is completing a major development plan and is keen to commence refurbishment works within 18 months.

As part of the proposed development, unused office space in the terminal would be opened up to allow more retail or increased lounge capacity.

Mr Gill said plans for the proposed redevelopment had not yet been approved.

“There are a number of options for the long-term development (of the airport) but nothing has been decided or approved at this stage,” he said.

Mr Gill said there was nothing unusual about the airport questioning passengers on different issues including a major redevelopment of the terminal.

Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Stephen Motti said the airport was a crucial gateway for the city.

“Any measures to enhance the experience of people arriving at the airport is very much welcome,” he said.

“The airport is a crucial gateway for the city and helps form the first impressions of our great city for business people, tourists and visitors.

“It’s very welcome to see Queensland Airports reinvest in their asset.”

Anthony Templeton, Townsville Bulletin – Published Wednesday 12 November 2014 – Townsville Bulletin Website