Chicago hands World Routes Congress Baton to Durban
Chicago has handed over the baton to Durban as the World Routes congress, the world’s largest commercial aviation event, heads to Africa for the first time next year. The record-breaking World Routes event in the US city drew the curtain yesterday, where the Chicago department of aviation officially handed the baton to Durban.
The 21st World Route Development Forum will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from September 19-22 2015. A KZN delegation that included MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu, Ethekwini mayor James Nxumalo, tourism KwaZulu-Natal CEO Ndabo Khoza and Philip Sithole, the head of Durban Tourism are in Chicago to receive the baton and woo airline operators to come to Durban.
Speaking from Chicago, Mabuyakhulu said that KZN is the most popular tourism destination for all South Africans and more international visitors are now sampling its attractions every year. This positive trend, he said, is carried through in the improvement of the province’s air transport logistics, particularly at Dube Tradeport to ensure convenient cargo movement.
“We believe that hosting World Routes 2015 will further assist the province in securing more direct air linkages with the rest of the world, which is essential for accelerating the region’s radical economic growth, especially in the tourism sector,” he said.
On Monday evening, Mabuyakhulu and Khoza addressed global airline and airport leaders on the reasons why they should do business with the province. They jointly argued that it was critical for the creation of investment and tourism opportunities that would have a butterfly effect across the African continent. Meanwhile, the event organisers have expressed an unwavering confidence in Durban and South Africa’s ability to be the best host. Katie Bland, director of Routes for UBM Live, the company that organises the congress, said they are very excited to be taking the congress to Africa, a new frontier for growth.
Durban is looking forward to welcoming the World Routes Congress to South Africa’s friendliest, coolest city next year.