Concerns over climate change and natural resources have pushed sustainability up the agenda for consumers in the high street and on their travels. A new TFWA-commissioned study probes current traveller and industry attitudes.

Freak weather events, single-use plastics and the cleaner air brought by Covid-19 lockdowns are keeping sustainability at the forefront of public consciousness. To better understand how the issue is affecting passenger behaviour and shopping habits, and to gauge the response of duty free and travel retail stakeholders, TFWA recently asked Pi Insight to investigate. The result is the latest addition to the TFWA Insight series, the TFWA Sustainability in Travel Retail Study 2020, accessible to members via

TFWA Insight

Conducted in two phases, the research interrogated over 2,400 travellers of 11 key nationalities. This was followed by in-depth telephone interviews with brands, retailers, airports and other industry stakeholders. The findings show that sustainability clearly matters to most travellers, over three-quarters of respondents according it medium or high importance. It can also sway the purchase decision when shoppers are choosing between different items and shape the way travellers perceive brands.

Feedback from industry players highlighted several obstacles facing sustainability strategies in travel retail. Some of these relate to consumers and the mixed messages they can send, such as a desire for sustainable products as well as an expectation of premium packaging in the channel. Other challenges include the increased cost that often accompanies sustainable initiatives, or regulatory hurdles like a requirement to seal purchases in tamper-evident bags when many are trying to reduce the presence of disposable plastics.

TFWA members can download a summary of the study findings or the full report from the membership section of A webinar on the study will be held on 16 July at 10:30 Paris time and again at 17:00 Paris time.

Should you wish to attend the 10.30AM session, please register
Should you wish to attend the 5.00PM session, please register

Access the study (TFWA members only)