Europe as a Single Destination

Peter De Wilde – President ETC – underlines importance of consolidating global marketing efforts

Europe is one of the strongest travel brands in the world. The ETC is working on reinforcing Europe’s position as the number one travel destination by identifying and clearly defining the values of the brand Europe in order to translate them into pan-European themes and products that are attractive to certain target groups in key markets.

To explain more clearly why we are doing this, currently, half of all international arrivals to Europe are generated by only 8 markets – mainly intra-regional – with modest growth rates. This fact points to the potential to attract more visitors from a larger portfolio of markets, especially in the fast growing economies overseas.

Some emerging origin markets, such as China and Russia, have recently become much more important due to their strong growth in household wealth and spending power. However, these two markets combined still only represented 7% of tourism arrivals in 2014. It is therefore vital today to develop a clear roadmap for the joint promotion of Destination Europe, capitalising on Europe’s common values.

The “Destination Europe 2020” initiative, a joint program with the European Commission, aims to ensure Europe’s visibility as a unique destination based on market intelligence, industry consultation and a greater use of technology. The programme started in 2012 and the activities focused, in particular, on a series of start-up actions, online consumer campaigns and a broad industry consultation. The programme now focuses on the development of high-quality audio visual pan-European content to be presented in an appealing and informative way to visitors from long-haul markets, mainly through online channels and social media and via
participation in travel and tourism fairs.

ETC is working on reinforcing Europe’s position as the Number One travel destination.

Europe is a marvellous destination to promote to your clients. As ETC, we work together with key industry representatives who share with us a common goal in promoting Europe. We want to be the primary partner of all relevant public and private tourism bodies when it comes to promote travel to Europe.

We are focusing on issues that are crucial for strengthening the European travel industry such as travel facilitation, competitiveness of the tourism industry and increasing awareness amongst political leaders that the tourism industry is a guarantee for sustainable economic and social growth.

Together, we can raise the profile of and promote Europe as a destination, particularly in overseas markets where there is growing demand and perception of Europe as a single destination and not as a collection of individual countries.