El Salvador was today named as the destination for the 7th Routes Americas event, which will take place in early 2014. The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Mr. Jose Napoleon Duarte Duran, signed the agreement during a signing ceremony which took place yesterday at FITUR in Madrid. Also present at the signing were El Salvador’s tourism business representatives; employees from CORSATUR; Katie Bland, Future Hosts Director for Routes; and David Appleby, Director Latin America & the Caribbean for Routes.
Speaking from Madrid Minister Duarte Duran said: “We are delighted to be announced as the Host of Routes Americas in 2014. We are beginning our efforts, from both the private and public sectors, to prepare for this important event. El Salvador will be pleased to welcome the region’s aviation industry leaders and show what the country can offer as a tourist destination as well as its great potential for business.”
“We are thrilled to be taking Routes Americas 2014 to El Salvador – a fast-emerging tourist destination, with growing air connectivity throughout the Americas and beyond, having added a new international air service every year since 2009,” commented Katie Bland continuing, “The air service development community will be able to experience the destination and the opportunities it presents through the modernization at El Salvador International Airport due for completion in early 2014, the exceptional facilities and its mix of ancient culture and modernity, nature, and adventure. We are very much looking forward to working with the teams of the Ministry of Tourism, El Salvador International Airport, and the Civil Aviation Authority to develop further air connections to El Salvador.”
El Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America, and transfer time from place to place does not exceed 30 minutes. The tropical climate makes this a green destination with warm and pleasant weather. It is a versatile country which combines ancient culture with modern life and mixes business with nature. Since El Salvador adopted the US dollar as its legal currency in 2001, it has become an international tourist destination for more than 1.6 million travelers due to the economic stability provided by this change in currency.
Tourism has increased steadily at an average of 5% year on year and as part of the Government Quinquennial Plan, the contribution of tourism to the nation’s GDP is expected to grow to 10%.
El Salvador Airport’s location, at only 27 meters above sea level, makes it one of the safest airports in the region with one of the longest runways in Central America. A renovation project costing US$32 million has been approved and works will be ongoing until January 2014, just prior to Routes Americas which will take place in February. This project will significantly improve passenger experience and assist airlines to improve their operational performance.
Every year since 2009, the airport has attracted a new international airline including Iberia, Spirit, Air Transat, and, more recently, Aeromexico. The airport is also a hub for one of the fastest-growing airlines in Latin America: Avianca-Taca connecting passengers to South, Central, and North America with more than 10 non-stop flights.
By hosting Routes Americas, the most important aviation networking event for the Americas Region, El Salvador hopes to show the world that the country is confident as a strategic business location and become a pioneer of hosting this kind of event within the region with a high capacity to develop markets. Finally, hosting the event will also integrate the three state institutions related to the national development of the airline industry (the Civil Aviation Authority, the International Airport, and the Ministry of Tourism).
Routes is a member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).