Destinations. Arriving. “I’m here”. The journey’s one thing, but nothing beats the sense of arriving in a new place, especially when it’s abroad.
Andrew Hovells, AKA Northern Planner (fine man by all accounts, read his blog too) recently posted about his trip through the Eurostar, and sensed a lack of ‘leaving’ and ‘arriving’ compared to trips abroad on a plane. And he’s right. But the problem is rife across much, or dare I say it, every airport in the UK.
The issue is the cold commercialisation of our so-called destinations. The over-sanitation of the environments in a rampant quest for ‘simplicty’ and ‘ease of use’, and in doing so we’ve stripped the heart and soul from our historic ‘time capsuals’.
I feel quite passionate about this. That our environments don’t always benefit from a tunnel-visioned quest to smooth the experience out. I don’t think that Great Britain should be trying to make them overtly slick. For example, you really get a sense that you’ve ‘arrived’ in the country at Abu Dhabi airport.
I’ve worked with Heathrow here with talented planner @JonNZdream on a number of occasions, and we’re currently into a major review of how Heathrow communicate.
One thing’s for sure, one of our key considerations is ensuring that our primary ‘gateway to Great Britain’ should be undoubtably and proudly that – we need to love arriving again.