Airport and tourism authorities around the world have no choice but to work hand-in-hand to develop their cities as major destinations, says Sayed Mohammed Mehdi, director of marketing and promotion at Bahrain International Airport.
"We cannot operate independently, we must work together and cooperate to develop the business," he said at the second World Tourism and Air Services Summit. Their success also hinges on fully understanding three "whats" related to airport proposals and the route development process, he adds.
"We must know what and where the destination is, what drives traffic to that destination, and what are the economics of flying to the destinations," he says. Only by fully understanding this can they attract airlines and increase passenger traffic, he adds.
Tourism authorities must also spend more time to collect data on tourism, meet local airports, airlines and aviation stakeholders, and actively participate in proposals to airlines to help develop destinations and routes.
"People ask what came first - tourism or air services. Different people say different things when you ask them, but there is no correct answer. They ultimately go hand-in-hand," he adds.