We would like to thank everyone for attending the first Aviation Bridge conference! With your participation we were able to bring 2 industries of 2 remote continents together and discuss the very challenging aspects of today’s travels.
Over 70 representatives of leading travel organizations and major airports in Central Europe and North America got to know each other and after numerous presentations and panel discussions to map out the growth strategies together.
Stanislaw Wojtera (President of V4+ Airports Association) has introduced the organization to the new audience and described the primary purpose of the establishment – to connect the regions and industries ecosystems to streamline the operations and increase the passenger traffic between them.
His speech was followed by a warm welcome and inspiring presentation of Central European region by Adrian Kubicki, Consul Generel of the Republic of Poland in New York.
To continue the introduction of Central Europe, and Poland in particular, the representatives of major Polish airports and Tourism Board have shown bright-colored presentations with picturesque landscapes and breathtaking city sights, which aimed to break the stereotype of gloomy undiscovered regions of less popular travel destinations. They’ve also proven that Malopolska, Krakow, Wroclaw and Podkarpackie regions are becoming more and more appealing to the demanding tourist from overseas.
The “Off Beaten Path of European Destinations” panel was a pioneer of our lively panel discussions – together with Mark Meader (Senior VP of ASTA, USA), Amber Ritter (CCO of Chicago Department of Aviation, O’Hare Airport, USA) and Viktor Sober (CEO of Dubrovnik Airport, Croatia) we’ve covered post-pandemic travel tendencies, major challenges of air transportation field, as well as the latest trends of modern travelers. Lately, a voyager has been keen on traveling further from home and staying longer, even though it requires increasing their journey budget. This day and age tourists’ bucket-list has been filled up with not-so-long-ago called “undiscovered” destinations and Central European airports infrastructure has exceeded the expectations and now are ready to receive American tourists more than ever.
LOT Airlines Global Account Manager, Christopher Jastrab, has presented the airlines perspective on Central European network and their view on 2024 travel trends as a transatlantic carrier.
It was followed by an exciting and insightful presentation of Aziz Abu Sarah, MEJDI Tours founder and a National Geographic Explorer. He illuminated the importance of thinking outside the box in terms of our journeys, encouraged us to visit the undiscovered destinations and to seek knowing the traditions and everyday life of regions we travel to – diversifying itineraries and overcoming stereotypes are the way to meaningful and enriching travel experience.
The final panel threw light on ways of improving the traveler experience in such sectors as Individual & Group leisure, Business and Incentive trips. Jakub Wolosz (PNTO in North America) reasoned that Central Europe is prepared to welcome tourists from North America as well as revealed travelers expectations in terms of airports and hotels. David Farley (freelance travel & food journalist) walked us through reasons why Central Europe is able to effectively compete with overcrowded wonted regions of Europe. Kelley Louise (Head of Marketing, Fora Travel Inc.) talked about marketing means for travel advisors to build interest towards undiscovered destinations and personalized experiences for different travelers’ needs. Abu has navigated the conversation with Adrian Kubicki and Brett Scott (Government Affairs professional) towards discussing the role of government institutions in promoting the region and the importance of close collaboration with the people.
The PNTO presentation (by Jakub Wolosz) highlighted the selling points, value for money and demand for Poland as a trendy destination, once again proving it is in the modern traveler’s bucket list and is appealing to broader crowd these days. Also, the possibilities and perks of cooperation with PNTO were conferred to the USA partners from tourism sector.
The closing presentation wasn’t less fascinating – Joanna Bensz from Longevity Center has proven that future is near! Not a secret that medical tourism has become a large scope of travel purpose. Being located in most reachable locations (Switzerland, Germany, Poland), the Longevity Center combines state-of-art medicine, technology and person-centered care so the patients can live longer and healthier life, and yes – travel more!
The purpose of the Aviation Bridge conference was to map out the growth plan and road map to increasing of passenger flow from the North America to Central Europe, and by gathering such outstanding professionals in one room we were able to do so! Here are the main takeaways and starting points for further fruitful partnerships:
- Networking in silos to keep up the focus and not to lose the momentum – all the players are to make deeper analysis of where and why passengers are going, as well as what they are expecting at every point of their travel to better serve the passengers;
- Government institutions are open to tighter cooperation with Travel Agencies and Advisors for destinations marketing purposes and beyond – they are to offer streamlined processes to explain the voyagers that Europe has way more to offer than just trivial destinations;
- Increase the awareness – promote the region, its specifics, uniqueness, accessibility.
Aviation Bridge, a brand-new initiative of V4+ Airports Association, was created to provide space for all segments of transportation and travels to be able to interact efficiently, light out the challenges, share the experience and ideas to achieve the main goal – the dynamic and streamlined increase of passenger flow between North American and Central European regions.
Prosperity of aviation & tourism industries is a dependent system of equations, where partakers equally benefit from collaborating and moving forward together. V4+ accentuates the importance of this synergy and expands its effect by bringing further and further regions together.