Quito BacilicaQuito prepares to host more than 800 members of the aviation industry after being designated the official host city of Routes Americas 2018, the most important event in the aviation industry in the continent.

After an extensive selection process and competing amongst numerous cities around the globe, Quito was selected due to its strong connectivity to the world, extensive tourism and cultural offering, including being named a World Heritage Cultural Site by UNESCO, and its convenient geographical positioning.

“As the gateway to Ecuador, we are very proud to have been selected to host this important aviation event,” explained newly appointed General Manager of the Quito Tourism Board Veronica Sevilla. “Quito has been investing in new facilities and services of high quality standard over the past years and this presents an important opportunity to promote our city and the entire country.”

It is estimated that more than 800 people will arrive in Quito to participate in this summit of over 80 airlines, 300 airports, and 50 tourism boards and destinations that will participate in approximately 200 pre-established meetings. The conference brings together these influential members of the aviation industry under one roof, providing unique opportunity to network and participate in on-on-one meetings.

Quito is well known in the aviation industry. In 2013, the city opened a new state-of-the-art international airport, which has seen a solid increase in passengers year after year. Currently, the airport serves 14 airlines and almost 136 daily domestic and international to 27 different destinations. The airport’s infrastructure permits larger capacity aircraft, and its geographical location also allows for more direct nonstop flights from more distant destinations, opening up the possibility of more international connections. Hoisting Routes Americas 2018 presents a big impact on the airport, as well as city hotels and the transportation industry.

This week, Quito participated in Routes Americas 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, a conference that has experience a spike in attendance of more than 800 attendees, an 80% increase since 2015. Quito’s main objective is to continue expanding the city’s connectivity through meetings with airlines as they seek to open new routes to the Ecuadorian capital as well as expand existing routes. During the 2017 edition of Routes Americas, Quito Tourism Board participated in 35 meetings with various types of airlines and airports including low-budget, standard and charger carriers to establish commercial relationships.

Quito is no stranger to hosting events of this magnitude. In October of 2016, the city hosted Habitat III, the global summit of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, as it successfully hosted 30,000 visitors from all over the globe. The conference made an important economic impact to the city and further positioned the capital as an emerging option for the meetings, incentives, conventions, and events segment.

As the first city to be named a World Heritage Cultural Site by UNESCO in 1978, Quito boasts numerous treasures spread throughout a diverse and alluring landscape. Recently awarded South America’s Leading Destination by the World Travel Awards for the fourth consecutive year, Quito boasts a diverse offering including authentic culture and rich indigenous and Hispanic traditions, exquisite gastronomy, art, museums, theaters, architecture, boutiques and more. Additionally, the city offers top accommodations including 44 five and four-star hotels, 42 three-star properties and 627 lodgings made up of rental homes, hostels, and hotels on the outskirts of the Metropolitan District.

The designation of host city for Routes Americas 2018 presents a tremendous opportunity for the city of Quito to further positioning itself as an important bucket-list destination within the global arena.