|VISIT FLORIDA & Partners Attend 2016 World Route Development Forum|
In 2015, Florida welcomed a record 15.3 million international visitors from 190 countries who spent approximately $15.8 billion in the Sunshine State. In order to keep up this momentum and attempt to break more records in international visitation, VISIT FLORIDA proudly exhibited at the prestigious 2016 World Route Development Forum.
The largest global gathering of the route development community, World Routes is a commercial aviation conference that attracts senior decision makers in the airline, airport and tourism industries on a global scale. The conference consists of four main components: meetings, networking, an educational conference and route exchange airline briefings. This format provides participants a chance to discuss new market opportunities and existing service during scheduled meetings. For the 2016 event, more than 3,000 delegates were in attendance, representing 300 airlines, 700 airports and 130 tourism organizations.
As part of this year’s Forum, held in Chengdu, China, VISIT FLORIDA and five Florida aviation/tourism industry Partners were able to schedule meetings with airlines such as Hainan Airlines and China Eastern. Meeting with such big players in the routing industry allows us to continue conversations to achieve our goal of creating direct air service between China and Florida. In addition to one-on-one appointments, Alfredo Gonzalez, VISIT FLORIDA Vice President of Global Sales and Meetings, moderated a panel discussion on Aviation and Tourism Partnerships – How Critical Are They For Travel Development?
Not limiting ourselves to just Chinese airlines, VISIT FLORIDA and our Partners scheduled more than 60 meetings with airlines and airports from across the globe who represent destinations including the United Kingdom, the UAE and more. The Florida delegation included Experience Kissimmee, Orlando International Airport, Orlando Sanford International Airport, Jacksonville International Airport and Tampa International Airport.
As a part of VISIT FLORIDA’s dedication to increasing international tourism accessibility to the state, we introduced the International Airline Co-op Program as a tool to support new air service to Florida with in-country marketing campaigns. This program is intended to help destinations market themselves across international airways in order to drive demand and stimulate the Florida economy.
Events such as the World Route Development Forum give VISIT FLORIDA and our Partners the chance to show the international travel industry all that Florida has to offer and why they should direct their business here. VISIT FLORIDA is dedicated to being a partner in showcasing Florida as a destination that offers ease of accessibility, affordability and value, making Florida an ideal destination for any air carrier.
For more information about our aviation programs, please contact me at aabney@VISITFLORIDA.org.
International Sales & Market Development Representative