Voted for and judged by airline network planners, the Routes Marketing Awards are highly esteemed in the aviation industry and provide airports and destinations with the opportunity to be recognised for their outstanding marketing efforts.
Airports complete in three categories, depending on size: ‘Under 4 Million Passengers’, ‘4-20 Million Passengers’, and ‘Over 20 Million Passengers’. The awards also include a fourth ‘Destination’ category, awarding tourism authorities, and an Overall Winner award.
Airlines can nominate up to five airports and destinations that they feel have delivered exceptional marketing campaigns over the past 12 months by voting on Routesonline. Shortlisted organisations will then be contacted for their submissions, which will later be judged by a panel of airline judges.
Winners will be announced at the Routes Americas 2019 Networking Evening on Wednesday 13 February 2019, with the Overall Winner being automatically shortlisted for the World Routes Marketing Awards in Adelaide later in the year.
In November, Routesonline spoke to Kirk Lovell, director of air service and business development at Myrtle Beach International Airport, the overall winner at the Routes Americas Marketing Awards 2018.
He said the secret of its success was looking at alternate data. "Whether that consists of hotel data, by month, by zip code, second property ownership, golf rounds played by month, migration trends; it’s all about how many people are coming into the market," he said.
"We look at overall demand and have about a 10 percent sample of where people are coming from. Instead of looking at O&D data we look at the strength of our brand and identifying where our brand is strongest. We have almost 20m annual visitors to the destination, so we know the brand is really strong, but when you look at the historic O&D data we don’t have a good track record with many markets.
"So we started digging into the strength of the brand and saw commercial opportunities with airports that either did have commercial service or could have commercial service, and we started taking that message to airlines."