To attract vital new airline routes, tourist boards and airports need to get in step with airlines’ own risk management outlook and offer them greater risk-sharing opportunities through closer partnerships.
Alfredo Gonzalez vice president of global meetings trade and market development for Visit Florida
This is one of the major issues being discussed today at the World Routes Strategy Summit in Durban, South Africa, where the heads of major airlines, airports and tourist boards have gathered to debate the key themes affecting aviation and tourism development globally.
Speaking in a panel discussion, Alfredo González, vice president of global meetings, trade and market development for Visit Florida, said: “Airlines today are in the risk management business and we need to match their thinking if we are to attract their business. The risks facing airlines are immense and diverse, from operational and financial to political and procurement. Tourism bodies and airports need to step up their partnerships to create better risk sharing and risk mitigation deals that will help airlines achieve their own goals. Having a large traveller catchment area, attractive resorts and a healthy regional economy are no longer enough.
“Airlines globally have taken a multi-billion dollar bet in their latest fleet orders, with thousands of new aircraft entering service in the next several years. These aircraft can be deployed anywhere, so it falls to destinations and airports to make a convincing case to airlines that we can help offset their risks. Perhaps more than any other factor, a destination’s sophistication in risk management will determine how successful it is in attracting visitor traffic in the coming decade.”
Katie Bland, director of Routes, said: “Once again, the World Routes Strategy Summit is where many big issues come into focus for industry leaders. With tourism bodies attending World Routes in increasing numbers, we welcome the chance to highlight where destinations, airports and airlines can increase their collaboration for mutual benefit.”
The Strategy Summit is open to all delegates attending the 21st World Route Development Forum taking place at the Durban International Conference Centre in South Africa on 19 – 22 September. Additional speakers at the summit are representing Airports Council International, the World Travel & Tourism Council, Ethiopian Airlines, IATA, Airbus, Boeing, Air China, Fastjet, Vueling, Tourism Australia, Visit Scotland, Malaysia Airports, China Business Network, Air Zimbabwe, VivaAerobus, Southwest Airlines, BrandUSA, and Kenya Airways.