WORLD ROUTES: Celebrating 20 Years in Chicago

After a successful World Routes in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport officially handed the event over to the City of Chicago Department of Aviation and Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism organisation ahead of next year’s forum, for a special 20th anniversary of the event.

Speaking at a press conference in Las Vegas ahead of the formal handover Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) told The HUB, she was thrilled that the event will be heading to Chicago in 2014.  “On behalf of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we are thrilled that Chicago was selected to serve as the host city for the 20th World Route Development Forum in September 2014.  The Forum will provide us with the unique and significant opportunity to showcase Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports to airline executives in charge of planning service to new destinations,” she added.

Her views were echoed by Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago who told The HUB that hosting World Routes was an important component of a strategy to increase arrivals, especially from overseas markets.  “Tourism is a vital, essential part of Chicago’s economic strategy.  Hosting the World Routes 2014 conference is an important component of our aggressive strategy underway to achieve Mayor Emanuel’s goals for increased visitation from across the globe.  Working together with the Chicago Department of Aviation, we intend to deliver a successful conference and memorable experience for attendees in Chicago next year,” he explained.

2014 will see World Routes return to the US for the second year in a row after this year’s event which was the first time any Routes event had taken place in the country.  The 20th anniversary event will be held at McCormick Place, the largest convention facility in the Western Hemisphere.  With the most diverse economy in the United States, and home to several of the aviation industry’s leading companies, Chicago makes the perfect home for the 20th World Route Development Forum.

Chicago is one of the most popular visitor destinations in the world. Its unique combination of bustling cityscape alongside beautiful parkland and stunning lakeside vistas saw over 46 million visitors in 2012.  Ranked seventh in the world in the 2012 Global Cities Index, Chicago has the fourth largest GDP in the world amongst metropolitan areas, ahead of both London and Paris. 

Chicago is also a major domestic and international transport hub and home of United Airlines and Boeing, as well as two internationally renowned airports.  Chicago’s main airport, O’Hare International, is the second busiest airport in the world for traffic movement and the fifth busiest in the world for passenger traffic, and Midway is the busiest airport in Southwest Airlines’ system - meaning Routes delegates can enjoy next year’s conference in a city that is rightly regarded as a true aviation landmark and at a time it celebrates the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, which has subsequently regulated air travel over the last eight decades.

“We are delighted to be bringing the 20th World Routes to Chicago next year, the North American Market is strategically important to UBM, not only due to its beautiful city and state-of-the-art meeting facilities but also due to its excellent central location within the region. This will enable World Routes 2014 to have an increased attendance from North America and will ensure attendance from all other worldwide markets because of the global flight accessibility that Chicago’s airports offer. “Adrian Newton, Group Director, Transport and Technology, UBM Live.

In an exclusive interview with The HUB at this year’s event in Las Vegas, Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), highlighted more about the city’s aviation strategy.

Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), highlights more about the city’s aviation strategy.

Meanwhile, Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago, revealed to The HUB what makes Chicago a great destination for visitors and what delegates at next year’s event can anticipate when they arrive in The Windy City.

Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago, reveals what makes Chicago a great destination for visitors and what delegates at next year’s event can anticipate when they arrive in The Windy City.

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