"DESTINATION EUROPE 2020" : A LONG-TERM STRATEGY FOR EUROPE AS A TOURISM DESTINATION
In 2011, the European Commission's Vice-President Antonio Tajani made an important step towards strengthening the cooperation with the European Travel Commission by signing a Joint Declaration with the President of the organisation at that time, Ms Petra Hedorfer.
In 2012, the Commission materialised the cooperation with ETC through a first ad-hoc grant for the development of a long-term promotion strategy for "Destination Europe" in the horizon of 2020, based on research and consultations with the tourism industry. The grant covered a period of 18 months (October 2012 - March 2014) and the activities focused, in particular, on a series of start-up actions (i.e. pan-European content syndication to prepare the ETC's core marketing platform visiteurope.com for electronic distribution, MyPassport2Europe online consumer campaign), industry consultation (i.e. organisation of several European seminars and overseas workshops to gather first-hand industry input for the consolidation of a comprehensive strategy for the promotion of Destination Europe), the production of a new inspirational video to promote Europe as a tourism destination via the Euroshorts short film competition, as well as the development of an interactive VisitEurope application which aims to lead users through the overall experience of the trip planning, from the initial inspiration phase through the research stage and finally the booking.
Capitalising and following up on the results of the first grant, the Commission signed a second grant covering the calendar year 2014. The second grant activities ensured the continuity and follow-up to the activities carried out during the first grant period and focused in particular on the development of high-quality pan-European content to be presented in an appealing and informative way to visitors from long-haul markets; the update of existing content in the form of highly inspirational pan-European experiences; and technological renewal of the visiteurope.com portal to enhance the user experience of online visitors and make it become an inspirational tool for potential travellers to Europe, as well as on appropriate marketing and promotion dedicated activities both on the visiteurope.com portal, through the social media and via participation in travel and tourism fairs.
Furthermore, the European Travel Commission was also entrusted with the development, maintenance and appropriate advertising for a new tourism web portal with information on gastronomic events in Europe, tastingeurope.com, which should be connected to the visiteurope.com portal.
The third grant, covering the calendar year 2015, supports the long-term objective to bring new visitors from targeted third countries to Europe. With this grant, ETC continues focusing its efforts on the consolidation of a distinctive image, which differentiates destination Europe from other international regions through the following actions: the promotion of inspirational pan-European experiences and the positioning and promotion of the updated and renewed visiteurope.com portal as primary source of information about destination Europe for potential travellers from long-haul markets. Additionally, ETC further develops ongoing digital marketing activities and social media promotion campaigns in order to increase the visibility of Europe as a tourist destination.