Specialist analytics firm ForwardKeys is to acquire the travel statistics arm of global information company NPD Group.

ForwardKeys will take over direct responsibility for providing information on travellers and on travel trends to former NPD clients in the travel retail sector from May 1.

Traveller Statistics, which uses ForwardKeys data, is an online platform that provides intelligence on passengers travelling through each terminal at 550 airports.

It helps users understand the passenger mix by nationality and assists retailers to benchmark their sales performance, identify trends and opportunities, diagnose issues and make decisions to drive growth.

ForwardKeys will consult with its new customers on potential upgrades to the platform to enhance the insights and intelligence provided.

Chief executive Olivier Jager said: “Travel retail is becoming an increasingly important segment for us, so I am pleased to acquire direct relationships with several major players.

“As our data is already the backbone of the Traveller Statistics platform and we have some exciting new initiatives in the pipeline, which will future-proof our offer to clients. I am optimistic we will strengthen and grow those relationships.”

NPD Group Europe and Asia Pacific president Gerhard Hausruckinger added: “As the long-time provider of data for Traveller Statistics, ForwardKeys has expertise in the business and is prepared to provide a seamless transition for the service.”