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The European Travel Commission and the European Commission have established a long-term strategic partnership in promoting Europe as a tourism destination. In 2011, ETC and the European Commission agreed to work jointly to maintain Europe’s position as the world’s leading tourist destination and to support the sustainable competitive development of the sector by exchanging tourism knowledge and research and promoting socially and environmentally viable models for tourism activity both in Europe and globally. Since 2012, the European Commission has entrusted ETC with yearly ad-hoc grants for the implementation of a programme of promotional actions aimed at bringing new visitors from targeted third countries to Europe.

Additionally, ETC also collaborates with other EU institutions such as the European Parliament in its efforts to further advance and improve tourism policies at EU level.


The ninth stage of the cooperation between ETC and the European Commission follows up with the previous actions, by monitoring the consumer confidence and by strengthening the recovery of the tourism ecosystem as well as reinforcing the image of Europe in the context of the war in Ukraine. In addition, the action focuses on ecotourism as the grant was financially reinforced by the pilot project “supporting European ecotourism in the context of the crisis created by Covid19”.

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Activities included:

• cooperative Marketing programmes to promote Destination Europe towards the travel trade and end- consumers with  a Global destination marketing campaign as well as co-branding promotional campaigns. A “Digital Out of Home campaign” in the USA is envisaged as part of this action.

monitoring and analysis of travel intention among long-haul and European travellers.

• providing insights into the performance of online marketing funded by the grant



The grant received during end 2021 – fall 2022, focused on monitoring and restoring consumer confidence as well as rebuilding the brand image of Europe as a distinctive, safe and secure travel destination. The scheme of the “Joint Promotion Platform” was adapted to support the recovery of the European tourism ecosystem from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The European Travel Commission (ETC), in partnership with its member National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) launched the Europe Invites the Curious Global Campaign.

The purpose of this campaign was to build a distinctive image of Europe as a travel destination in long-haul markets, maintain the European travel market share and better disperse traveller flows in terms of geography and seasons, all the while considering aspirations for sustainability in tourism and its growth.



The seventh stage of the cooperation between ETC and the European Commission focused on shifting from a traditional geographic consumer segmentation and generic marketing message to a niche thematic promotion around global passion communities of travellers, in line with EU tourism policy’s priorities. The design and objectives of the “Joint Promotion Platform” were amended to consider the lessons of the EU-China Tourism Year. The grant co-funded large marketing campaigns promoting trans-European tourism products, EU coastal & maritime tourism and EU cultural tourism.

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Within the framework of this grant and as a response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand campaign “We are Europe” and the co-branding campaign “Open Up to Europe” in particular, contributed to restoring consumer confidence and Europe’s perceived image as a safe and seamless destination.

The European Travel Commission (ETC) teamed up with Euronews creating the media campaign entitled “We are Europe”, designed to inspire people to get ready to travel again as travel restrictions across Europe were gradually being eased.


The #OpenUpToEurope campaign was a collaboration between the European Travel Commission, the European Union and the tourism industry to inform and inspire Europe’s citizens to travel once again.



During this grant (sixth stage), the pilot phase of the ETC “Joint Promotion Platform” to promote Europe as a single tourism destination was implemented.

ETC was designated as the official strategic partner of the European Commission for the implementation of the promotional activities in the framework of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year.

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Frantisek Reismuller, ETC Marketing Project Manager and Anna Athanasopoulou Head of Tourism Unit, European Commission at the China International Travel Mart, Shanghai, November 2018

Europe booth at the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market in Beijing, April 2018

ETC Executive Director Eduardo Santander with Eric Philippart from the European Commission, MEP István Ujhelyi, Tom Jenkins from ETOA and Jacopo Sertoli from Welcome Chinese at the European Union Lunch Presentation at the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macau, October 2018



The fifth stage of the cooperation between ETC and the European Commission was aimed at marketing and promotional activities of European and trans-European tourism products targeting Chinese travellers (‘Destination Europe’ pavilion at ITB China, use of digital technologies and audio-visual tools, preparing the EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY) logo and website and researching the behaviour of potential Chinese travellers to the EU & “opportunities to develop marketing strategies”. ETC also participated together with the European Commission in the New York Times Travel Show.

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Frantisek Reismuller, ETC Marketing Project Manager presents the EU-China Tourism Year at the Destination Europe Seminar for travel trade and media in Guangzhou, September 2017

ETC Executive Unit with representatives from the European Commission at the New York Times Travel Show at the Europe pavilion, January 2017

ETC participated at the High-level Conference on Tourism at the European Parliament in September 2017



In 2016, ETC was asked by the European Commission to work on designing a sustainable public private partnership (PPP) for the joint promotion of Destination Europe in overseas markets (through a specific pilot action in the United States). The scope of work included the consolidation of a common visual identity for Destination Europe that would add value to, but not compete with, the individual promotional efforts of the different European countries, as well as the definition.

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ETC communication on the Joint Promotion Platform, 2016



The third grant, covering the calendar year 2015, supported the long-term objective of bringing new visitors from targeted third countries to Europe. With this grant, ETC continued focusing its efforts on the consolidation of a distinctive image which differentiates destination Europe from other international regions through the promotion of inspirational pan-European experiences and the positioning and promotion of the renewed portal as primary source of information about destination Europe for potential travellers from long-haul markets. Additionally, ETC further developed ongoing digital marketing activities and social media promotion campaigns in order to increase the visibility of Europe as a tourist destination.

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ETC and ETOA Destination Europe Summit 2015



Capitalising and following up on the results of the first grant, the European Commission signed a second grant covering the calendar year 2014. The second grant’s activities ensured the continuity and follow-up of 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 inspirational pan-European experiences; technological renewal of the portal to enhance the user experience of online visitors and make it become an inspirational tool for potential travellers to Europe; marketing and promotion activities on the portal, through social media and via participation in travel and tourism fairs.

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Furthermore, the European Travel Commission was also entrusted with the development, maintenance and advertising for a new tourism web portal with information on gastronomic events in Europe,, which would be connected to the portal.

ETC at the Europe booth at the World Travel Market Latin America in Sao Paulo, April 2014


2012 - 2013

In 2012, the European 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 for electronic distribution, 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  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.

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Pedro Ortún, European Commission at the Destination 2020 closing conference


Destination 2020 closing conference



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, Mrs Petra Hedorfer.

© European Union , 2011 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Pawel Ulatowski