Strategic Air Service Support and Community Tourism Organizations

Strategic Air Service Support and Community Tourism Organizations
The Role of Destination Marketing Organizations in Community Air Service Development

Most Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s) understand the critical role of airline service in expanding access to specific destinations which, in turn, increases the number of visitors and their overnight spending. They understand strategic air service support is important. DMO’s also seem to understand that they need to play a role in supporting community air service and being a part of community air service decisions. The 2014 DMAI’s Destination Next Study 2014 argues that this involvement is a cornerstone activity for DMO’s.

Strategic Air Service Support:
Broad Community Organization Support Helps Drive Community Air Service Growth

Broad Community Organization Support Helps Drive Community Air Service Growth

Broad Community Organization Support Helps Drive Community Air Service Growth

Supporting and growing a community’s air service is not just the job of the airport or the airlines. DMO’s, economic development organizations, government and individual community businesses also need to align their goals with, and take part in, the community air service development effort. Their strategic air service support is essential. It is this sense of community that will help and sustain successful air service development.

DMO’s and economic development groups should actively and effectively engage with local air services. This is accomplished through strong strategic planning and by leveraging the overlapping market goals of DMO’s and economic development groups.

Strategic Air Service Support:
The Destination Marketing Organization Role

The Role of a DMO: Includes  facilitating air service access to their region.

The Role of a DMO: Includes facilitating air service access to their region.

When the DMO and key tourism entities give strategic air service support and are actively engaged in air service support, they can help positively influence the growth and success of the community’s air service. One example is Orlando, Florida. The business in Orlando International Airport has grown exponentially from just 1.3 million passengers in 1971 to over 35 million passengers in 2013. While Disney World does account for a large part of this expansive growth, this is exactly the point. Tourism helped drive the strong and sustained growth of air service to and from Orlando which was to the benefit of other businesses and industries and the Orlando community at large.

“While Tourism Helped drive Orlando Air Service Growth – 27% of passenger air trips in 2013 originated in Orlando which suggests that close to 9.5 Million trips were by Orlando Locals.”

The impact of tourism on air service growth can also be seen in smaller markets that have developed through strategic air service support. The Vail Eagle airport served only about 540 commercial passengers in 1989; by 2013, they served around 335,000 commercial passengers. Vail is a world-class skiing destination and ski resort, but it is the cooperation between the local visitors’ bureau and community members that helped the Vail/Eagle County airport to grow and develop.

In 2013, a study commissioned by the Colorado Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division found that air services contribute a total of $636 million to the local economy. Moreover, the Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport created 6,294 jobs, which paid $218 million in local wages.

Strategic Air Service Support:
Airline Service Acquisition + Effective Airline Service Support = Airline Service Growth

Strategic Air Service Support: Airline Service Acquisition + Effective Airline Service Support = Airline Service Growth & Dynamic Communities!

Airline Service Acquisition + Effective Airline Service Support = Airline Service Growth & Dynamic Communities!

How did Vail get to develop this strong air service that has helped drive the economy, employment and the quality of life of Vail Valley? Vail was one of the first communities to recognize the benefit of investing in, and managing, airline revenue guarantee programs. Vail saw that these programs would help them capture air service and provide air access to the community that they would otherwise not attract. In the process, they successfully grew their local ski resort businesses and diversified their local economy through strategic air service support while improving their air access to the national transportation system which benefits all their residents.

Scott Stewart is the principle of Community Flights; an air service support, development and management company. Community Flights works with communities, organizations or businesses on leveraging the great economic asset that air service is for economic gain. Community Flights specializes in helping tourism dominant air service communities better manage their air service programs maximize the return on their air service investment. Scott formed Community Flights in January 2013 to help mobilize community support efforts and guide communities and clients in bridging the “air service understanding gap” with the airlines to create an airline and community win-win air service support and performance environment. You can find more info about Community Flights at www.communityflights.com. Contact Scott Stewart directly at [email protected]

Follow-up Article:     What Does it take for Community Air Service Success!…

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