“Routes Europe is an event that can really make a difference to both a region and an airport. This year more than 100 airlines will get first-hand experience of the wonderful city of Marseille and its modern airport. We expect over 6,000 meetings to take place in just three days, all with one objective: to establish new air services to, from and within Europe,” said Katie Bland, Director Routes, UBM Live.
Meetings will be organised at the Palais du Pharo Conference Centre, close to the Marseille Old Harbour from Sunday 6 to Tuesday 8 April.
Delegates will start arriving on Friday 4 April, keen to visit Marseille and the region. Free time for lunch and dinner on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 April will enable hundreds of delegates to experience local hospitality and gastronomy in downtown restaurants.
The congress is being produced by British company UBM and organised in conjunction with Marseille-Provence Airport (mp). Support also comes from Marseille-Provence CCI, the Provence-Alpes-Co^te d’Azur Region, the Conseil Ge´ne´ral des Bouches-du-Rho^ne, the City of Marseille, the Communaute´ Urbaine Marseille-Provence Me´tropole, several major local businesses and a range of players in the airport sector.
“Hosting the 2014 Routes Europe congress provides a wonderful opportunity to spotlight the region and show decision-makers how it has changed,” points out Jacques Pfister, President of Marseille-Provence CCI. “Over the past five years, almost 700 million euros have been invested in urban renovation and major infrastructures. Marseille has a new face. Its seafront has been metamorphosed with major commercial, tourist and cultural facilities including the MuCem which was inaugurated last June. Marseille-Provence is a tourist destination (30 million tourists visited in 2013) and Marseille-Provence lives up to its reputation (last year, 90% of tourists expressed their satisfaction). Marseille-Provence Airport is an important economic player, but it is also a vector for the development of tourism and business throughout the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolis.”
Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille, emphasises “jobs linked to tourism that cannot be relocated. In 2013, almost 50% of tourists arriving by air at mp Airport visited Marseille, compared to 22% in 2009. With its new hotels, revamped Old Port and new museums, plus the constant prospecting work carried out by the OTCM (Marseille’s Tourism and Congress Board), Marseille is now a real asset that adds a fresh touch to the Provence brand. It is therefore only natural that we extend a welcome to all of the airlines who already operate out of Marseille and those who will join us soon.”
The first delegates will fly into mp Airport from Friday 4 April for an amazing welcome programme compiled by the airport and its partners. Each arriving delegate will receive a tourism-driven welcome pack (Marseille CityPass, incentive programme, dedicated map highlighting partner hotels and restaurants) with gifts from world-renowned companies based in the region: L’Occitane will offer one of its worldwide best-selling products; Ricard (part of the world’s number one spirits group, Pernod-Ricard), a miniature bottle of a very local brew; CMA-CGM (3rd biggest ship builder in the world), a picture of its latest vessel (the biggest container ship in the world), etc.
“Tourism, and air transport in particular, are two important vectors of economic growth in our region,” explains Michel Vauzelle, President of the region. “A dynamic economy is totally compatible with tourism appeal. By associating the thoroughly positive image of Provence as a tourism destination with the high profiles of the major international companies based in the region we can stand out from our competitors, reinforce our appeal to tourists and businesses, and significantly contribute to boosting our reputation throughout the Euro- Mediterranean zone,” claims Michel Vauzelle.
On Saturday and Sunday, while delegates are exploring Marseille from the sea and on land, during visits organised in partnership with the OTCM, the most coveted airlines will be enjoying a VIP programme to Cassis and Aix-en-Provence. According to Jean-Noe¨l Guerini, President of CG13: “This event is a fabulous opportunity to show off landscapes that are as varied as they are nearby. Attractions such as the Camargue, the Calanques, the villages of Provence and Marseille can all be fully-fledged destinations in their own right. Showing airlines that they are all within a one- hour drive demonstrates the richness and the variety inherent in our destination compared to other rival destinations. This can be a factor that convinces new airlines to invest in us.”
A cycle of conferences will begin on Sunday afternoon at the Palais du Pharo conference centre, along with the meetings that will continue until Tuesday evening. On the evening of Monday 7 April, delegates will visit the MuCem museum before boarding sea shuttles for a dinner that will take place in the MPCT cruise terminal. More and more cruise passengers are flying into mp Airport to start their cruise.
The congress is also supported by many firms, including: Airbus Helicopters, L’Occitane, CMA-CGM, Ricard, Accor, Relay, Ae´lia, MPCT, JC Decaux Airport, MAP Handling, Europcar, Cafe´ Henry Blanc, Liligo, Obut…
Did you know?
Tourists who fly in are the most spendthrift, spending an average of €105 per day in our region.
Every new air route generates immediate economic spinoffs in terms of jobs – at mp Airport itself, plus indirectly throughout the region (hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, travel agencies, etc.).
In the space of 10 years, passenger traffic at mp Airport has increased by 54%, constituting the strongest growth in volume among French airports (excluding Parisian airports) with an additional 3 million passengers. Despite the increase in traffic, water and electricity consumption at the airport has been reduced.
Out of all France’s provincial airports, mp has the biggest network of long-haul flights (New York, Reunion Island, Mayotte, Madagascar, Dakar, Punta Cana, Montreal, Toronto…).
Thanks to progress in the aeronautical industry, emissions are constantly going down. Latest-generation aircraft consume the equivalent of approximately 3 litres per passenger per 100km, which is the same average consumption as the most recent hybrid cars!
Today, Marseille-Provence Airport is home to almost 200 firms employing over 5,500 people. mp Airport’s direct economic impact in 2012 was estimated at almost half a billion euros, up by more than 40% on the previous survey in 2009. Adding the indirect and induced impacts of business generated by the airport gives a total annual impact of over 4 billion euros (+38% vs 2009) throughout the territory.