BARCELONA: The world most popular tourism destination where overtourism is taking an ugly shape, Barcelona will be the center of global aviation when the annual World Routes forum (23-26 September) opens in the city this weekend.
World Routes brings together senior decision makers from airports, destinations and airlines to negotiate new air services. Around 2,600 delegates from 130 countries will meet during four days at Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via.
A record number of 275 airlines will be represented including the world’s top ten largest carriers. They will be joined by 610 airports and 90 tourism authorities from across the globe.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and a leading tourist destination. Nine million tourists and four million cruise passengers visit Barcelona every year, with the wider Catalan region welcoming 17 million tourists in total.
The Government of Catalonia is hosting the event with support from Barcelona City Council. One of their aims is to gain more long-haul routes for Barcelona El Prat Airport, just one third of its intercontinental traffic is direct.
World Routes is a brilliant opportunity to attract new airline partners and expand the airport’s route network.
Barcelona has recently gained some significant services, increasing the number of intercontinental routes to 44.
Sustainable tourism is an important issue for Barcelona and Catalonia which is reflected in World Routes’ conference programme. The event’s charity partner, The Travel Foundation, will explore how the aviation and travel industries can work together to manage tourism sustainably during a panel discussion and talk.
The Government of Catalonia’s Minister of Land and Sustainability believes that World Routes is an excellent opportunity to place Barcelona and Catalonia on the intercontinental transport map. It will also be important for its economic impact, including future alliances between local and international businesses through Barcelona El Prat Airport.
Steven Small, Brand Director of Routes said: “World Routes 2017 promises to be outstanding with record-breaking numbers of airlines and airports. I’m confident that our delegates will have an extremely productive event and take the opportunity to explore Catalonia’s charms.”