Tenerife forges ahead with plans to be stepping stone to África
Routes Africa, the only route development forum for the African region, will be hosted by Tenerife Tourism Corporation with the support of the Canary Islands Government this summer.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Routes Africa has brought together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa since 2006. Around 250 route development professionals are expected to attend.
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands with a population of 888,184. It was the last of the Canary Islands to fall to Spain in 1496 and subsequently became an important trading centre. Although part of the European Union, the Canary Islands are physically closer to Africa, with Tenerife lying just 300km off the coast of Morocco.
Historical trade links to Africa were strengthened by the creation of a common economic development area between the Canary Islands and neighbouring African countries.The project is supported by the European Union and has led to trade agreements with Morocco, Mauritiana, Senegal and Cape Verde. There are over 200 Canarian companies operating in Africa and 224 euros million worth of goods were exported to the continent between January 2015 and November 2015.
Aviation is vital to Tenerife’s economy, transporting over 12 million air passengers to the island every year. Tenerife’s long-term aim is to become a logistical stepping stone to Africa, connecting the continent to Europe and the Americas through the expansion of its air route network.
Routes Africa is an important part of Tenerife’s activities to achieve this aim. The event will provide the opportunity to showcase the year-round sunshine and stunning beaches, mountains and national park that attract six million tourists to Tenerife every year, making it one of Spain’s top destinations.
The event will also highlight the island’s potential for investment as a hub for passengers, goods and data thanks to its special fiscal advantages.
Tenerife’s thriving tourism industry will grow over the coming years as develop-ment projects upgrade the island’s infrastucture. A new cruise terminal will open at Santa Cruz Port in September 2016 and there are plans to invest 120 euros million in the construction of a new terminal at Tenerife South Airport. Five new five-star hotels will open over the next two years and there is also a drive to renovate existing hotel stock on the island.
Katie Bland, Director of Routes, said: “West Africa is an important trading partner for Tenerife due to its geographical position, and there is huge potential to develop more air service to the African continent. Hosting Routes Africa will support Tenerife’s strategy to become an aviation hub connecting West Africa to Europe and North America.
“The team at Tenerife Tourism Corporation are hugely proactive in air service development and a key partner of Routes. We look forward to working with them even more closely towards Routes Africa 2016 and to uniting the route development community from across the African continent and beyond in a stunning destination.”
Carlos Alonso, president of the Tenerife Government, said: “We are delighted and very honoured that Tenerife is hosting this prestigious event.
“Routes Africa is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our island to key aviation industry leaders from across the world as a business hub for Africa and a gateway to four continents.”
For more information about Routes Africa 2016, go to the event website: www.routesonline.com
Routes Africa 2016, Grand Hotel Bahia del Duque Resort, Costa Adeje, Tenerife, 26-28 June 2016.