According to the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), 52% of all international arrivals arrive at their destination by air. Therefore, it does not require a giant leap of faith to identify the airlines that bring tourists to a destination as the most important customer.
To illustrate the power of this single customer, if a new daily route was launched using an A320 NEO (165 seats), this would mean it could bring an additional 60,000 tourists per year. If we assume a tourist spends an average of $1000 per stay this equates to a maximum impact of $60 million per year.
Of course, many new air routes are not always as profitable in their first few months as might have been predicted. Successful destinations partner with airlines to run marketing campaigns and share the cost burden of this promotion. Communication before, during and after launch is vital to ensure longevity and success. Ultimately, the relationship must operate as a partnership, which is more likely to endure in tougher times.
AviaDev Africa 2018 will focus on the role destinations play in attracting and retaining air services and how all stakeholders can collaborate for the benefit of all.