The Honourable Minister of Tourism Mr. José Napoleón Duarte Durán signed the agreement during a signing ceremony which took place yesterday at FITUR in Madrid. Also present at the signing were, El Salvador's tourism business representatives, employees from CORSATUR, Katie Bland, Future Hosts Director for Routes and David Appleby, Director Latin America & the Caribbean for Routes.
Speaking from Madrid Minister Duarte Durán said: "We are delighted to be announced as the Host of Routes Americas in 2014. We are beginning our efforts, from both the private and public sectors, to prepare for this important event. El Salvador will be pleased to welcome the region's aviation industry leaders and show what the country can offer as a tourist destination as well as its great potential for business."
"We are thrilled to be taking Routes Americas 2014 to El Salvador- a fast emerging tourist destination, with growing air connectivity throughout the Americas and beyond, having added a new international air service every year since 2009," commented Katie Bland continuing: "The air service development community will be able to experience the destination and the opportunities it presents through the modernisation at El Salvador International Airport due for completion in early 2014, the exceptional facilities and its mix of ancient culture and modernity, nature and adventure. We are very much looking forward to working with the teams of the Ministry of Tourism, El Salvador International Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority to develop further air connections to El Salvador."
El Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America and transfer time from place to place does not exceed 30 minutes. The tropical climate makes this a green destination with warm and pleasant weather. It is a versatile country which combines ancient culture with modern life and mixes business with nature. Since El Salvador adopted the US Dollar as its legal currency in 2001 it has become an international tourist destination for more than 1.6 million travellers due to the economic stability provided by this change in currency. Tourism has increased steadily at an average of 5% year on year and as part of the Government Quinquennial Plan, the contribution of tourism to the nation's GDP is expected to grow to 10%.
El Salvador Airport's location, at only 27m above sea level makes it one of the safest airports in the region with one of the longest runways in Central America. A renovation project costing $32 million has been approved and works will be ongoing until January 2014, just prior to Routes Americas which will take place in February. This project will significantly improve passenger experience and assist airlines to improve their operational performance.
Every year since 2009 the airport has attracted a new international airline including Iberia, Spirit, Air Transat and, more recently, Aeromexico. The airport is also a Hub for one of the fastest growing airlines in Latin America; Avianca-Taca connecting passengers to South, Central and North America with more than 10 non-stop flights.
By hosting Routes Americas, the most important aviation networking event for the Americas Region, El Salvador hopes to show the world that the country is confident as a strategic business location and become a pioneer of hosting this kind of event within the region with a high capacity to develop markets. Finally hosting the event will also integrate the three state institutions related to the national development of the airline industry (the Civil Aviation Authority, the International Airport and the Ministry of Tourism).
- Routes organises world-renowned airline and airport networking events through its regional and global Route Development Forums. Each year, there is one global event and one regional event in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and CIS respectively. http://www.routesonline.com
- Routes was founded in 1995 as part of the Manchester UK-based ASM Ltd., a consultancy specialising in the field of route development for airports. http://www.asm-global.com
- Routes and ASM were acquired by UBM Aviation Worldwide Ltd in August 2010. From 1st August 2012 Routes, ASM and the Airport Cities Conference and Exhibition become part of the UBM Live division of UBM plc.
- UBM Live connects people and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets. Through premiere brands such as MD&M, CPhI, IFSEC, TFM&A, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show, the Routes portfolio of events, Airport Cities and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, websites and training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors. http://www.ubmlive.com