The latest global event held in the city was the 22nd World Route Development Forum (“World Routes”), one of the biggest annual events for the global civil aviation sector. The four-day event, which concluded on Sept 27, drew 3,500 representatives from airlines, airports, government departments and international organizations, and was the largest in its history in terms of scale. It offered a platform for route development professionals to meet, plan and discuss new and existing global air services. The agenda included keynote speeches, a strategic summit, a world tourism summit, face-to-face meetings, exhibitions and folk performances.
The exhibition area totaled more than 40,000 square meters. The exhibition hall specified for Chengdu covered 1,400 sq m, which fully displayed the city’s flight networks, aviation economic development, as well as tourism and culture.
The event bore fruitful results. The Chengdu city government, together with Sichuan Province Airport Group, signed agreements with six airlines to open nine non-stop air routes departing from Chengdu during World Routes. These airlines are Air China, Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines, Tibet Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Sichuan Airlines. According to the agreements, they will open the direct routes within one year, strengthening Chengdu’s connection to Europe, Oceania, North America, Africa and the Middle East.
Chengdu is the second city on the Chinese mainland to host World Routes, following Beijing in 2009. Launched in 1995, World Routes is considered the “Olympics” or “World Expo” for the worlds’ civil aviation industry. The event has been held in cities including Abu Dhabi, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dubai, Vancouver and Beijing, all famous international destinations.
Chengdu has rich experience in hosting events such as World Routes. In the past five years, Chengdu has introduced, on average, more than 10 new international conventions each year, including the 2013 Fortune Global Forum, the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, the ninth World Biomaterials Congress, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, the 12th Michelin Challenge Bibendum, and the 2016 Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair. Chengdu is upgrading its service and infrastructure to meet the growing demand for international events, according to the Chengdu Bureau of Exposition.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, has become a top destination for international conventions and exhibitions to be held in western China.