MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - The 21st World Route Development Forum converges in Durban, South Africa during 19-22 September, bringing senior leaders from aviation and tourism to address growth issues for an industry that generates nearly 10% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Approximately 2,500 delegates from more than 100 countries are expected at World Routes in Durban, which is hosted by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal.
The event formally commences with the World Routes Strategy Summit on 20 and 21 September at the International Conference Centre in Durban, which is open to all attending delegates. More than 50 speakers from over 20 countries are confirmed to speak at the Summit, including Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World; Nico Bezuidenhout, CEO of South African Airways; Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines; David Scowsill, President & CEO of World Travel & Tourism Council; Giorgio Callegari, Deputy CEO of Aeroflot; and Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism of Barbados and Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
"World Routes is a must-attend event for the industry and the Strategy Summit is the only forum where senior leaders and key stakeholders from airlines, airports, tourism and government come together to participate in discussions that will set the commercial and political agenda for the industry," says Katie Bland, Director of Routes for UBM.
"A new daily long-haul flight by an airline can generate more than £130 million ($200 million) in economic activity for a community," Bland notes. "New air service is an economic boon, and the negotiations for those flights happen at World Routes."
The speakers and themes of the conference highlight a growing industry that generates 9.8% of world GDP and supports 277 million jobs, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The Strategy Summit will bring together senior leaders and key stakeholders from aviation, airports and tourism under one roof to participate in discussions affecting aviation and travel today, such as route development, infrastructure, airport growth, security, visa restrictions, regulatory challenges and how new airline service will change a city's or a country's fortunes.
Additional speakers will represent IATA, Airbus, Boeing, Air China, Fastjet, Vueling, Tourism Australia, Visit Scotland, Malaysia Airports, China Business Network, Air Zimbabwe, VivaAerobus, Southwest Airlines, Brand USA, Condor, Kenya Airways, Visit Florida and SimpliFlying.
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa is a traveller's dream, with a perpetual subtropical climate and an average annual temperature of 21 C (70 F). In addition to its famous beaches, KZN province is known for its fishing, sailing, swimming, surfing and adventure activities at nearby wildlife parks.