Melbourne Airport's international terminal is getting a retail-oriented revamp, with an emphasis on upmarket fashion and gourmet dining.
The airport suggests the make-over "will capture the character of Melbourne in a way that truly showcases the sophisticated essence of the city" in "a vibrant precinct that mirrors the city’s world-renowned shopping, food and beverage and cultural experiences."
What does it all mean to travellers?
The passengers-only 'airside' section of T2 which lies past customs and security is being treated as four distinct retail precincts.
The hero offering will be a Melbourne-esque laneway-style retail area which mimics the city's colourful concrete corridors, although probably sans graffiti.
A new "luxury shopping precinct" will be set aside for "the world’s most fashionable and desirable luxury brands."
The dining area will provide travellers with new options for quick eats, along with restaurants and bars.
There'll also be an expanded duty free store, growing by some 30% by early 2017 – but unlike Sydney Airport's recent and welcome move to declutter the duty-free zone, outbound travellers will still be force-fed into the duty-free maze.
While the new layout is "designed to make the smartest use of the Melbourne Airport airside terminal", Melbourne Airport's retail exec Andrew Gardiner told Australian Business Traveller, "it’s a very different space geographically to Sydney Airport, and therefore the 'wide open' approach would not work here."
The entire project is expected to be completed by early 2018.