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Airport teams up with tourism partners at Routes Europe

Created: 10th May 2013

Bristol Mayor backs mission to secure new air services.

Bristol Airport is teaming up with Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus to promote the region’s attractions to airlines at the Routes Europe event in Budapest next week (12-14 May).

The aviation industry’s annual route development forum gives airports and tourism authorities the opportunity to meet with airlines to promote the case for new air services. Over 3,000 meetings take place over the course of the three day event, demonstrating the intense competition which exists for flights and the economic opportunities they create.

This year, representatives of Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus will attend in partnership with Bristol Airport, demonstrating the region’s potential for inbound tourism to airlines considering new routes to the South West. The delegation has the backing of Bristol’s Mayor, George Ferguson, who said:

“Bristol Airport is integral to the creation of a world-class transport infrastructure for Bristol. The city is the most successful economy outside London with strong international links to businesses across the world. Bristol is also the most welcoming city in the UK, acting as a gateway to the South West and Wales for millions of visitors each year.

“Bristol Airport offers a particularly attractive opportunity for new airlines wanting to benefit from our local economy. I welcome the recent decision of bmi regional to commence new flights to Germany from Bristol, including to our twin city of Hannover. I would urge more companies to do likewise and help play their part in our growing success.”

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said:
“Our tourism offer can compete on the world stage, and by teaming up with Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus we aim to demonstrate to airlines the huge potential for inbound tourists using Bristol Airport as a gateway to the region.”

John Hirst, Chief Executive of Destination Bristol, said:
“Bristol Airport is critical to the continued success of Bristol as a visitor destination for leisure and business travellers, and route development is core to our future growth plan. International Passenger Survey figures for 2011 show Bristol as the eighth most visited UK city by overseas visitors, and visitors from outside the UK were worth £139m to the Bristol economy. This research also demonstrated that over 49 per cent of visitors flying into Bristol spend at least one night in the city, a figure which we are keen to grow.

“The continued success of Bristol Airport has strong synergy with the growth of Bristol’s tourism economy. By working effectively in partnership with Bristol Airport, Bath Tourism Plus, Visit England and the airlines, we can help Bristol continue to grow as one of Europe’s strongest city destinations.”

Nick Brooks-Sykes, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus, said:
“Stays by overseas tourists are now worth almost £80 million to the local economy of Bath and the surrounding area, and we have set out our ambition to increase this by 12 per cent over three years. With an increasing number of flights arriving into Bristol Airport and direct bus connections, Bath is well placed to grow our share of inbound tourism.

“Working with colleagues at Destination Bristol and Bristol Airport means that we can meet key decision makers, introduce them to Bath and then hopefully new business deals will be made. This is all part of our plan to drive more overseas business out of London and we are delighted to be supporting Bristol Airport with this initiative.”

The number of foreign residents using Bristol Airport has almost trebled in the last decade, with over a million journeys made by overseas visitors from 82 different countries in 2012. Analysis of the latest data from the Civil Aviation Authority Passenger Survey shows that 18 per cent of the Airport’s 5.9 million passengers last year were resident outside the UK, indicating an upsurge in visits to the South West and Wales.

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