Travel Trend: Destination Airports

We can all agree that today’s air travellers have the benefit of relishing in the journey rather than just the destination, and this mindset is reinforced by contemporary airport conditions.

In the past, airports were merely focused on processing passengers and baggage as expediently as possible; trading on efficiency, airports have tended towards delivering a “nothing-to-do-or-see-here” sameness in the bargain.

What the industry refers to today as destination airports, are the new generation of airports that treat the terminals as more than just a threshold. What brought these about was a need to recognise a new reality: because of security, passengers spend more time in the terminal, making them vital to revenue growth and reputation and creating new possibilities for what airports can be. This awareness sees airports increasingly treating terminals as destinations, where passengers also spend a great deal of money.

There are two noteworthy destination airports that we would highly recommend for you to experience. The first is Singapore Changi’s Jewel Terminal, that is undoubtedly the most outstanding aviation getaway on the planet (at least – for now). While standard airports offer little more than a quick bite and of duty-free shopping, Changi boasts the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, forest hiking trails beneath a glass bio-dome, a rainbow mirror maze, giant slides, an immersive gaming studio and elevated nets for visitors to crawl around on.

The second destination airport that Cevalon recommends for an extended stay is at the New York JFK. We would even go as far as recommending an overnight stay at the retro-chic TWA hotel, which was the former 1962 TWA Flight Centre designed by the architect Eero Saarinen and made its debut in 2019. This fantastic property has put the airport on the map, thanks to its brilliant array of Instagrammable features.


Here are some notable statistics:

5 – the number of hours Singapore Changi recommends air passengers allow to experience its Jewel Terminal

US$2 billion – retail sales revenue in 2019 for Singapore Changi airport

US$922 million – retail sales revenue in 2019 for London Heathrow airport

US$91 billion – projected value of global airport retail revenue by 2030

During the pandemic, flying became highly stressful, complicated and unattractive. There was no delight in attempting it. However, the years ahead look far more optimistic, with nostalgia, hedonism and wellness being the driving forces behind new heights in hospitality. We have our predictions about what the future holds for destination airports. We predict that they will be designed to encourage travelers to maximise their time, rather than spending their time waiting to depart. Due to the profitable revenue that destination airports bring, we have strong reason to believe that the destination airports of tomorrow will evolve to model mini cities that are filled with retail outlets, from local brands to designer brands, Michelin-star restaurants and ultra-healthy fast “functional” food, imaginative play zones for children, co-working spaces, wellness zones and a host of other entertainment and cultural attractions.


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