As European destinations have been welcoming back travellers over recent weeks, the European Travel Commission (ETC), the association uniting the National Tourism Organisations of 32 European countries, has welcomed the France Tourism Development Agency, Atout France, back as a full member with the shared ambition to work together to further support the competitiveness of Europe as the world’s leading tourist destination.
With ETC working tirelessly over the past months to build on the strong pent-up demand for travel to Europe and boost the sustainable recovery of the sector, Atout France’s membership will allow both parties to pool their resources to further support the attractiveness of Europe for those planning to travel once again. As well as this, Atout France’s membership will foster the sharing of best practices, market intelligence and in designing new promotional activities to further build the value of tourism in Europe.
Atout France’s membership of ETC comes at an exciting time for France as Paris officially became the proud host city of the next iteration of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, and as France will in the meantime also host Rugby 2023 and the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship. In a welcome move in line with many of ETC’s objectives of promoting sustainable tourism in European destinations, Paris 2024 will demonstrate creativity and inclusivity in terms of venues, favouring not only the capital cities traditional sports venues but also its beautiful landmarks, as well as cities in other parts of France. As preparations begin, ETC and Atout France plan to work closely together to promote France and its destinations, champion global French destination brands, and support the development of regions around the country.
ETC’s membership will also support strategic objectives of Atout France such as encouraging European coordination to accelerate the recovery, promoting and supporting progress towards more sustainable, resilient, innovative and digital tourism, developing access to data and insights. Atout France’s membership also precedes by a few months the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (H1 2022) and will enhance ETC and its member NTOs voices on the path to recovery.
Speaking earlier, Caroline Leboucher, CEO of Atout France: “Atout France is delighted to join the European Travel Commission and to have the opportunity to exchange views and best practices with national organisations from all over Europe as the path to recovery needs further coordination and harmonisation. It is extremely valuable to be able to count on this solidarity and collective mobilisation to build an ambitious recovery plan for tourism in Europe”.
It is an exciting time for ETC too, as the organisation is running a major “Open up to Europe” campaign which is co-funded by the European Union with the support of more than 30 destinations and travel brands. This joint industry campaign aims to reassure Europeans that safe and seamless travel is possible again and to provide them with clear and comprehensive information to plan their next trip. At the same time, ETC is also strengthening its ties with ITB China as a Strategic Partner in 2021, which will see ETC showcase a multitude of European destinations to those tourists from China interested in travelling to Europe once the situation allows. This is one of many ETC’s efforts to prepare for the international recovery of travel and tourism as vaccination campaigns across Europe and the world are gathering pace.
Following news of Atout France’s membership, President of ETC Luís Araújo noted: “We are delighted to welcome Atout France back on board as a full member of our organisation at a time when ETC’s role in promoting European tourism and supporting its recovery is more important than ever. A significant announcement for the European tourism sector as destinations welcome back tourists, Atout France’s membership will allow us to work together towards a brighter, stronger future for travel in Europe, for the benefit of all Europeans. Atout France joins a long, strong list of the National Tourism Organisations from across Europe, with a joint vision to strengthen the sustainable development of Europe as a tourist destination. This announcement will allow both organisations to work better on this common objective.”