Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Mon September 21 2015

To Grow Tourism, Boards And Agencies Must Share Airlines' Risk

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | September 21, 2015

To Grow Tourism, Boards And Agencies Must Share Airlines' Risk

You’ve heard of sharing the wealth? Tourism directors and agencies are now being asked to share the risk if they want to grow and attract more airlines.

That was the basis of one of the presentations today at the World Route Development Forum in Durban, South Africa, a three-day event that attracts the heads of major airlines, airports and tourist boards to discuss the key elements affecting aviation and tourism development globally.

“Airlines today are in the risk management business and we need to match their thinking if we are to attract their business,” Alfredo González, vice president of global meetings, trade and market development for Visit Florida, said in a panel discussion. “The risks facing airlines are immense and diverse, from operational and financial to political and procurement. Tourism bodies and airports need to step up their partnerships to create better risk sharing and risk mitigation deals that will help airlines achieve their own goals.”

Gonalez said that having the infrastructure in place at a destination, a strong economy, and a brand reputation are great, but not necessarily enough to grow.

“Airlines globally have taken a multi-billion dollar bet in their latest fleet orders, with thousands of new aircraft entering service in the next several years,” he said. “These aircraft can be deployed anywhere, so it falls to destinations and airports to make a convincing case to airlines that we can help offset their risks. Perhaps more than any other factor, a destination’s sophistication in risk management will determine how successful it is in attracting visitor traffic in the coming decade.”

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