The European Travel Commission
Celebrates its 70th Anniversary

2018 marks the 70th year since ETC's initial formation in 1948.

In Norway in 1948, before the formation of the European Economic Community or the European Union, nineteen of Europe’s national tourism organisations (NTOs) joined forces to form the European Travel Commission (ETC). Their aim was to collaborate in order to promote the importance of tourism in rebuilding Europe’s economy after the devastation of World War II. With early help from the US-sponsored Marshall Plan, ETC played a pivotal role in the revitalisation of Europe’s tourism industry after the war. Since then ETC’s mission has remained largely unchanged; promoting Europe as a tourist destination in long-haul markets.

ETC delegation with President Eisenhower at the White House in 1954ETC delegation with President Eisenhower at the White House in 1954

This year marks the 70th anniversary of ETC’s formation. During the seventy years of ETC’s operation the organisation has carried out numerous campaigns marketing Destination Europe as well as undertaking extensive research projects, meeting with several US presidents, and working closely alongside OECD, UNWTO, and the EEC (later the EU) to advance the position of tourism in Europe.

In order to celebrate the occasion ETC has prepared some activities for this anniversary year. A book has been commissioned which will delve into the history of ETC. The book will examine all aspects of ETC’s fascinating history; from its initial formation in 1948, early promotional campaigns in the US, relations with other international organisations, as well its present-day activities.

In addition to the book ETC will also create an online exhibition, telling the story of Seventy Years of European Tourism. The exhibition aims to trace the origins of ETC and the regeneration and development of European tourism throughout this time period. It will feature old posters, promotional campaigns, photographs, and magazines both from ETC and its 33 members.

Both the history book and the exhibition will be launched at a special event in Brussels in November which will coincide with the ETC General Meeting #96.

ETC promotional poster 1955ETC promotional poster 1955

ETC promotional poster 1995ETC promotional poster 1995

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