Cape Town to host International Airline Conference in 2013
After a controversial week for the topic of air travel, it was announced today that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has chosen Cape Town to host the 69th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS) from June 2 to 4, 2013.
The event will draw top leadership from the global air transport industry to Cape Town’s International Convention Centre next year. “South Africa will be a great location for the 2013 AGM and WATS. Air connectivity is key to South Africa’s economic success, contributing 2.1% to the country’s GDP,” said Tony Tyler, director general and chief executive officer of IATA.
“Along with supporting South Africa’s strong tourism sector, air connectivity plays a critical role in maximising growth opportunities arising from South Africa’s BRICS membership and the burgeoning African economy,” Tyler said.
This year’s AGM and WATS, in Beijing, attracted some 750 airline industry leaders representing IATA’s 242 member airlines. It drew a further 350 journalists representing major media outlets from around the world.
South African Airways is set to be the host airline to the conference and hopes to address, among other issues, air travel safety in Africa.
Says Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, “Direct air access to and from key source markets and developing markets remains a critical issue for Cape Town. Ease of entry to our destination is essential to stimulate and sustain Cape Town’s tourism sector and this is a conversation that needs to happen in tandem with airline partners. The hosting of this conference is an excellent opportunity for Cape Town to showcase our multi-faceted destination, whilst also contributing to our reputation as a 365-day [a year] business destination.”