Organizers look forward to PHL hosting of Routes Asia aviation event in March

January 29, 2016 7:53 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Jan 28 (PNA) — Organizers of the annual Routes Asia meeting — an aviation event that gathers all aviation-based companies under one roof — are looking forward to the Philippines as host of the event this March 6 to 8.

Routes Asia, organized by Routes business, will be co-hosted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in its Philippine edition in Manila.

Routes Director Katie Bland, in a statement said events such as Routes Asia 2016 will allow Asia Pacific tourism to benefit from a thriving aviation industry over the next 20 years

“Aviation’s growth will create many opportunities for tourism and travel professionals seeking new air routes for their destinations,” Bland said.

“This event is part of our strategic aim to increase their involvement in our forums while sharing the benefits of being involved in the route development process,” she added.

At present, over 60 airlines including Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, China Airlines, Hainan Airlines and British Airways have already registered for the 2016 event.

Expected to be tackled during the meeting is how the tourism industry can benefit from Asia Pacific’s aviation growth through the ‘Global Insights Impacting Tourism and Aviation’ panel discussion.

BBC World News presenter Rico Hizon will chair the debate, which will feature high profile speakers from a mix of relevant backgrounds.

Boeing’s Managing Director of Marketing Asia Pacific and India, John Schubert, will talk about how the demand for increased air travel in Asia Pacific will be met, including the need to build 13,460 new aircraft by 2033.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. earlier said that the event was vital to helping the country acquire additional frequencies on existing and new routes.

He pointed out that DOT was also looking at contracting a consulting firm to put together a data base on aviation that can be used to evaluate where the demand is and determine city pairing and what the underserved routes are.

“We need air connectivity more than any other country in Southeast Asia,” Bengzon said, noting that the Philippines did not enjoy the same cross border advantage as its neighboring countries Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

“Out of 4.8-million foreign visitors last year, 99 percent took planes. This is why air connectivity is important,” he added.

The aviation industry is crucial to the economic development of Asia Pacific. Currently worth around USD 500 billion, it is set to expand rapidly over the next twenty years.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that Asia Pacific will have overtaken North America and Europe in terms of passenger numbers by 2030.

IATA said that nearly half of all air travel or 2.9 billion journeys will touch the Asia Pacific region by 2034. (PNA)

RMA/ANP

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