Barcelona is no stranger to international gatherings, having hosted the 1992 Olympic Games, which acted as the catalyst to the city becoming one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Between 1990 and 2014, the number of visitors increased from 1.7 million to over 7.8 million, and there is no indication that this will slow down. Antoni Gaudí’s famous architecture, the medieval Gothic Quarter, museums, restaurants and beaches bring tourists flocking to this fascinating city.

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, one of Spain’s richest and most highly industrialised regions, contributing 25% of the nation’s GDP. As Catalonia’s commercial centre, the city attracts a high proportion of foreign investment – the fact that locals only comprise 10% of Barcelona’s workforce reflects its cosmopolitan nature and outward view.

World Routes delegates will be excited to visit a major European city with a strong international presence. Next year’s event is expected to attract over 3,500 delegates representing 350 airlines, 1,000 airports and 300 tourism authorities from more than 125 countries.

Hosting the aviation industry’s top decision-makers at World Routes 2017 will put Barcelona El Prat Airport in a strong position to build its passenger numbers. The main base for Spanish airlines such as Vueling, and a hub for Iberia Express, Air Europa and Ryanair, the tenth-busiest airport in Europe has seen rapid growth since its third runway opened in 2004. Last year, it handled a record-breaking 39.7 million passengers – 5.7% more than in 2014.

Liner notes

The airport’s position is supported by Barcelona’s status as the busiest cruise port in Europe. More than 80% of cruise passengers fly to their embarkation port, so World Routes will offer delegates the opportunity to understand the opportunities that Barcelona offers as a multimodal transport hub.

Catalan Minister of Territory and Sustainability Santi Vila says: “Holding World Routes will be a huge boost in making Barcelona Airport the hub of southern Europe. Our location on the map is a huge advantage. It will be a magnificent platform for the economic promotion of the city, Catalonia and, above all, the businesses involved in the process of internationalisation and conquering foreign markets.”  

More information about World Routes can be found at