During the Forum, airline carriers met with representatives from airports and tourism organizations to discuss new air connections. The academic part of the Routes Europe conference was dedicated to the exchange of experiences and best practices through a series of "Keynote Arena" panels, addressing topics such as sustainable transportation perspectives, environmental challenges in the aviation industry, changes in travel post-pandemic, and aviation infrastructure financing issues.
Przemysł spotkań, lotniska i linie lotnicze
On the second day, the Poland Convention Bureau organized a panel discussion with experts representing airlines, the meetings industry, and destination marketing organizations. The panel raised questions such as: Is Poland an attractive destination for meeting and event organizers? How can airlines support international event organizers? Leading the educational session were Aneta Książek, Head of the Poland Convention Bureau, and Paweł Jurczak, owner of Creative Poland.
The following experts participated in the panel:
- Tomasz Koralewski, President of the Łódź Tourist Organization - Łódź Convention Bureau
- Paweł Kranc, Director of the Management Office, Deputy Director of the Sales, Marketing and Communications Office at the Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe „Porty Lotnicze”
- Krzysztof Steiman, Director of the Marketing and Communications Department at the Polish Tourist Organization
- Bartosz Staniszewski, Marketing Communication Manager at G2A Arena - Exhibition and Convention Center of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship in Rzeszów
- Agnieszka Szymerowska, Director of the Polish Conference and Congress Association (PCCA).
Routes Europe in Łódź
The Routes Europe event is not only a trade fair, often referred to as the "aviation, European Expo," but also features a rich program of accompanying events aimed at showcasing the culture and history of the host city. Over 85% of delegates, who are key decision-makers in the European aviation and tourism industry, indicated that they had the opportunity for the first time to see the Łódź Orientarium, the Łódź Louvre - the Izrael Poznański Palace, and to taste the charms of the famous "Piotrkowska Street."
Łódź is a city with character, boasting a 600-year history. It is a genuine city, with its bright and dark sides, but it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not, and multiculturalism is deeply ingrained in its DNA. Our city was shaped by citizens of diverse cultures, and we still witness this multiculturalism today. Łódź is home to almost 700,000 residents, and it has welcomed an additional 100,000 foreigners who have found their home, sometimes refuge, a place to grow, build their future, and pursue business opportunities here. Łódź owes its existence and development to business. Moreover, Łódź is the best-connected city in this part of Europe. With the completion of the highway ring around Łódź, the Łódź Airport will be within a two-hour reach of 16 million potential passengers. You have chosen a fantastic location for this meeting, and I sincerely thank you for that. I hope that thanks to the aviation industry gathering here, we will become a popular tourist destination on the map of Europe - said Hanna Zdanowska, Mayor of Łódź.
Delegates explored the city during the day and gathered in prestigious locations in Łódź in the evenings. The first evening was spent at the Andel's Hotel, where the grand opening of the Routes Europe 2023 Forum took place. Delegates enjoyed a fashion show prepared by students from the Academy of Fine Arts, inspired by the socks that the Łódź Airport has been producing for the past five years as a promotional gadget.
On the second evening, at the EC1 Machine Hall, the "Routes Europe 2023 Awards," European aviation awards, were presented. The highlight of the gala was the premiere of a performance organized by the Łódź Airport based on Władysław Reymont's "The Promised Land," presented in English under the title "Awakening." This specially written performance commemorated the 600th anniversary of Łódź.
Routes Europe in Łódź gathered over 1100 individuals who are influential in shaping air connectivity. For three days, they discussed new possibilities and negotiated agreements. Over 4,000 meetings and 20 panel discussions were planned. It was a highly creative event in Łódź. Our forum coincides with a significant occasion for the city, as Łódź celebrates its 600th anniversary this year. It is one of the last undiscovered places that must be explored. The city boasts a rich industrial heritage while cleverly combining history and the future through revitalization programs. The fact that Routes Europe 2023 took place in Łódź further highlights the city's path and potential as a great destination for a city break - emphasized Steven Small, Managing Director of Routes Events.
So far, Routes Europe Forum has only taken place in Warsaw and Kraków in Poland, and the selection of Łódź for this event's history indicates that Poland is the only country whose cities have hosted this prestigious event three times.
When we met with representatives of airlines at Routes Europe and Routes World in various parts of the world, we showed them photos and videos of Łódź. We tried to convince them that Łódź is a beautiful city, an ideal place for a city break. When faced with the statistics of our airport, which were not impressive, I saw disbelief on the faces of the people we talked to. We were looking for ideas on how to attract airlines to Łódź and convince them that it is worth launching air connections from Łódź. So, together with the city and the Łódź Tourist Organization, we submitted an application and participated in the competition with various European cities, and we won - we became the host city for Routes Europe. My dream came true. I believe that after three days of experiencing the beauty and hospitality of Łódź, a city located in the heart of Poland, it will forever remain visible on the aviation map of Europe. We are confident that our guests have experienced Łódź more than they could have imagined before their arrival - said Anna Midera, President of Łódź Airport.
Hanna Zdanowska, the Mayor of Łódź, took the honorary patronage of Routes Europe 2023. The event also received patronage from the Ministries of Infrastructure, Funds and Regional Policy, Culture and National Heritage, Sport and Tourism, as well as the Marshal of the Łódź Voivodeship. The event was also supported by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
Among the sponsors were: National Centre for Culture, Polish Tourism Organisation (and Poland Convention Bureau), Pomeranian Regional Tourism Organisation, Lagardere Travel Retail, Poland Convention Bureau, COMPER Fornalczyk and Partners, Orlen, Orlen Aviation, NVIDIA, ASBIS, Monopolis, Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (Polska Agencja Żeglugi Powietrznej), Welcome Airport Services, and Bank PEKAO SA. The city entities, Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacji w Łodzi (Municipal Communication Company in Łódź) and Zarząd Dróg i Transportu w Łodzi (Road and Transport Management in Łódź), showed special support and engagement.
source: press release