Bristol Airport is showcasing the West of England to airlines from across the globe at the World Route Development (WRD) Forum, taking place from September 20-23 in Chicago.
The WRD forum – the world’s largest commercial aviation event – gives airports and tourism organisations the chance to meet with airlines to discuss new route opportunities.
The airport has teamed up with tourism organisations Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus to promote the West to the world’s established and emerging airlines. The move comes as the number of foreign residents using Bristol Airport has almost trebled in the last decade, with over a million journeys made by overseas visitors from 82 different countries in 2012.
Besides the one-on-one meetings with airlines, Bristol and Bath will showcase iconic images of the West of England at the VisitEngland stand to 3,000 delegates, including representatives of 300 airlines.
Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘World Routes is an important date in our calendar because it gives us the opportunity to meet with key decision-makers to make the case for new routes.
Inbound tourism is a vital part of the passenger mix for airlines, so having the support of Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus helps us to demonstrate the strong tourism offer we have for visitors to the West of England. We are confident we will be able to work together to secure new routes which will benefit the region and expect to announce details in the weeks following the Chicago event.’
John Hirst, Chief Executive of Destination Bristol, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to continue this partnership with Bristol Airport. World Routes offers an unrivalled opportunity to network with airlines, travel trade and airports from across the globe and we are working closely with the Airport and VisitEngland to ensure that the potential of regional airports to deliver new routes and visitor markets is achieved. International visits to Bristol grew by 8.5% last year, making Bristol the 8th most visited city or town in the UK and this partnership is critical to continuing growth.’
Meetings at last year’s World Routes in Las Vegas helped Destination Bristol in securing this summer’s twice-weekly Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) service from Stockholm, which brought large numbers Swedish visitors to the city, the airport noted.