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Best European Rail Tourism Campaign 2022

About the Award

Following a successful first edition, the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail are launching the Best European Rail Tourism Campaign awards for a second year.

Similarly to 2021, the award will be given to marketing campaigns that aim to create synergies between the rail and tourism sectors, and to effectively promote train travel as a sustainable tourism model throughout Europe. In the context of the 2022 European Year of Youth, the awards will also celebrate campaigns encouraging European youth to travel by rail, shining a light on how young generations can contribute to a better, more inclusive and greener future in Europe.


The awards aim to:

  • Contribute to the European Green Deal and its goals, particularly in its ambition to cut greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
  • Promote rail tourism among travellers as a clean, healthy form of transportation and as an alternative to reduce the often-heavy carbon footprint of tourism-related transportation.
  • Give visibility to European destinations and promote sustainable travel experiences, namely to:
    • Build a distinctive image of Europe by broadening perceptions of what the continent has to offer
    • Increase awareness of extraordinary travel experiences in lesser-known European destinations that can benefit from tourism and invite travellers to go off the beaten path
    • Restore confidence and stimulate sustainable demand for travel to and around Europe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Encourage cross-sectoral dialogue between the rail and tourism sectors to facilitate future synergies and cooperation towards a more sustainable tourism model.


The awards are open to NTOs, DMOs, rail organisations and other entities with significant operations in the tourism sector and based in Europe. Applications from consortia are also welcomed.

Types of action

Campaigns and/or campaign proposals must aim at contributing to the objectives defined above, particularly in promoting European rail tourism.

In that regard, promotional campaigns must use the right messages, channels and tactics to engage effectively the target audience. The following actions are examples of possible promotional activities:

  • Content marketing
  • Video
  • Native advertising
  • Social media
  • Referral marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Programmatic display
  • Email marketing
  • Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

Evaluation Criteria and Jury

Applications will be evaluated by an expert jury comprised of experts in the fields of rail and tourism.


  • Relevance.The nature and experience of the organising entity and the extent to which the (proposed) campaign is in line with and able to contribute to the achievement of at least one of the objectives of the award.
  • Rail travel at the core of the campaign. The ability to tie-in the rail experience in an organic and consistent way throughout the campaign, as opposed to highlighting the train as just a way to go from A to B.
  • Creativity and innovation of the campaign approach. The extent to which the proposal demonstrates an innovative and creative approach.
  • Measurable outputs. The campaign should have clear, measurable outcomes, and clearly defined metrics for success with evidence that the project is already making a positive impact.

Download the award concept note for more information here.

How to apply

Applications for Best European Rail Tourism Campaign 2022‪ are now closed.

Check out the 2022 winners here!


Elke Dens

Elke Dens was one of the driving forces to lead VisitFlanders into ‘Travel to tomorrow’, a vision on tourism that is based on regeneration. As a former chairwoman of the Marketing Group of ETC, she aligned the marketing directors from 28 countries in Europe around one and the same brand and strategy with a focus on a long term sustainable added value. After COVID-19 she decided to take a few years of leave from the government, and help other destinations as an independent freelance expert. As a rewarded place marketer, she has been assigned as expert of the COVID-19 tourism recovery program of the UN. She also does a lot of voluntary work, like helping FairBnB to launch in Europe. Recently she co-founded The Hive for place regenerators, and she currently is the Director of Global Programmes at The Travel Foundation.

Mischa Schreuder

Mischa Schreuder is a creative director with more than 20 years of experience in global advertising agencies such as Havas Worldwide, Imagine, Y&R, TBWA and Publicis. He has won more than 100 awards such as Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Pencil and Spin Awards for campaign spanning across various industries such as automotives (Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Renault, FCA), fashion retail (Hunkemöller, Van Gils, Wefashion, Hema), supermarkets (Albert Heijn), consumer electronics (Samsung, Philips), F&B (Lay’s, Danone) as well as for charities and public awareness campaigns. Over the years, Mischa has successfully launched integrated brand campaigns across different touch points from video, print, digital to product design. As the co-founder of Amsterdam-based agency Fitzroy, Mischa helps brands connect with their target audience in a rapidly changing world. In his free time, Mischa is a well-known speaker at art schools and universities like Amsterdam VU, Arizona State University, InHolland, The Solar Future and Endemol.

Susanne Kries and Nicky Gardner

Susanne Kries and Nicky Gardner are the directors of hidden europe, a Berlin-based publisher and consultancy company.  Nicky and Susanne established hidden europe magazine in 2005, and they still edit each issue. They are the authors of Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide, one of the best-selling English-language guidebooks. The 17th edition of the book was published in spring 2022. Apart from their writing and publishing interests, Susanne and Nicky maintain a rich portfolio of consultancy work with a focus on slow travel, sustainable tourism and European rail fares and ticketing. Their client-list ranges from small entrepreneurial start-ups to major legacy operators. For more on their publishing work see and

Marit Ruuda

Marit Ruuda is a journalist by training and holds a degree from the University of Tartu. She started her career working as a correspondent in Brussels, reporting on EU affairs. In 2006, she joined the European Commission and has since held various positions. Currently, she is a Deputy Head of Unit for Strategy and Communication at DG Mobility and Transport, European Commission.

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is a career railwayman who joined British Rail in 1987. He was the Station Manager at London Charing Cross in the early 1990s and later Customer Relations Manager for two privatised train companies. He has also worked for the UK’s Department for Transport as head of their UK rail fares and ticketing regulation team. In 2001, Mark set up a website called The Man in Seat 61, to help travellers plan and book train travel around Europe and worldwide. This became his full time job in 2007, and before the pandemic it received up to 1 million visitors each month.