World Routes will return to the US in 2014 for the second year in a row – this year’s event was the first time any Routes event had taken place in the country – when the 20th World Route Development Forum takes place in Chicago, Illinois in September.

The event promises to help its hosts, the City of Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism organisation, deliver its objectives to increase international air services for the destination, and to showcase everything the city has to offer to the global air service development community.

"On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Department of Aviation is thrilled to host the 20th World Route Development Forum in September 2014," said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino. "Chicago is striving to make the 2014 conference the best to date. We look forward to showcasing our magnificent city and our world-class airports, O’Hare and Midway International, to thousands of aviation industry decision-makers from around the globe."

"Tourism is a vital part of Chicago’s economic strategy," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. "The investments we have made in the global marketplace are delivering positive results for our city. We intend to meet Mayor Emanuel’s goal in elevating Chicago to among the top five US destinations for overseas travel. Hosting the 20th World Route Development Forum is a critical component to achieving such goals. We look forward to showcasing our incredible destination to all attendees in September."

The American dream

Chicago is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; it is the original home of the skyscraper, with two of America’s tallest tower buildings standing amongst its iconic skyline. Its unique combination of bustling cityscape alongside beautiful parkland and stunning lakeside vistas saw over 46 million visitors in 2012.

The city is also a major domestic and international transport hub, and home of United Airlines and Boeing, as well as two internationally renowned airports. Chicago’s main airport, O’Hare International, is the second-busiest airport in the world for traffic movement and the fifth busiest in the world for passenger traffic, and Midway is the busiest airport in Southwest Airlines’ system – meaning Routes delegates can enjoy next year’s conference in a city that is rightly regarded as a true aviation landmark.

"The North American market is strategically important to UBM, not only due to its beautiful city and state-of-the-art meeting facilities, but also due to its excellent central location within the region," commented Adrian Newton, group director, transport and technology, UBM Live. "This will enable World Routes 2014 to have an increased attendance from North America and will ensure attendance from all other worldwide markets because of the global flight accessibility that Chicago’s airports offer."

The 20th anniversary event will be held at McCormick Place, the largest convention facility in the western hemisphere. With the most diverse economy in the US, and home to several of the aviation industry’s leading companies, Chicago makes the perfect home for the 20th World Route Development Forum.

Alongside a fantastic calendar of meetings, speakers and networking events, organisers of the event have
some exciting plans to mark the event’s anniversary and, of course, there’s the opportunity to find out how Chicago manages its own massive network infrastructure, as well as experience everything the ‘Windy City’ has to offer.