Sandra Moffatt, Tourism Ireland and Marco Frank, Visit Flanders take on the leadership of ETC’s Canada Chapter to foster Canadian travel to Europe
The European Travel Commission (ETC) announced the appointment of Sandra Moffatt, Market Manager for Canada at Tourism Ireland as the new Chair of ETC’s Canada chapter. Marco Frank, Trade & Partnerships Manager at Visit Flanders has been appointed as the new Vice Chair.
Sandra and Marco’s commitment to ETC operations for the past years earned them the support of ETC members to lead the promotion of Destination Europe in Canada in the upcoming two years.
With over twelve years of experience in travel and tourism strategy in international markets, Sandra has served as Market Manager for Canada with Tourism Ireland for the past two years, leading advertising, media, partnerships, and publicity initiatives to restore visitor growth from Canada to Ireland. Prior to this, she held the position of trade and business partnerships executive within Tourism Ireland, working with carriers, agencies, and operator partners to drive demand for both business and leisure travel. Sandra has also led a variety of tourism and technology programs in Centennial College in Toronto.
Sandra said: “Travel and tourism is a huge contributor to the global economy and European GDP. After a difficult couple of years in our industry, I am thrilled with this appointment. I look forward to working together with my colleagues and partners to rebuild the demand from Canada. A renewed focus on sustainability is also increasingly important, and Europe could not be better positioned to address this as we enter this next phase of tourism recovery.”
An experienced marketing and business development leader who has worked for over twenty years in and around travel, media and technology companies, Marco has been the Vice Chair of ETC’s US Chapter for over four years, promoting Europe as a travel destination for North American travellers. Within his role as Trade & Partnerships Manager of Visit Flanders North America, Marco is in charge of marketing, promoting and selling Flanders-Belgium through the travel trade network in North America. He has been working closely with the North American Travel Trade press, tour operators and travel agencies.
Marco said: “Travel creates lasting physical and emotional relationships among people, places, and events that will make the world a better place.”
Sandra Moffatt and Marco Frank are taking over the Canada chapter Chairmanship from Pascal Prinz, Director Canada at Switzerland Tourism, who coordinated the association’s operations in the market for the past two years. They will lead ETC’s activities to enhance Canadian travel to Europe post-Covid-19 and strengthen the cooperation between the Canadian and the European tourism industry.
Canadian travel to Europe has been recovering steadily as the pandemic fades. In 2019, 6.7 million Canadian travellers visited Europe, accounting for almost one-fifth (17.2%) of all Canadian outbound travel. In 2021, Canadian arrivals were still down 80% from pre-pandemic levels, while the latest data for 2022 shows a 41% decline in arrivals from 2019. Canadians are motivated to return and explore Europe’s unique diversity of landscapes, history, culture, and gastronomy. A total of 4.4 million Canadians are expected to arrive in Europe over the year, ranking it as the third largest long-haul source market for European destinations. Total arrivals are foreseen to reach up to 97% of pre-pandemic levels by 2025.
The path to a full recovery of travel between Canada and Europe will be further boosted by the re-opening of flight routes between Canada and Europe. Moreover, the recent announcement of the Canadian government that travel restrictions will be eased, removing vaccination requirements to enter Canada and random Covid-testing at Canadian airports, is a key positive factor.