In Norway in 1948, before the formation of the European Economic Community or the European Union, nineteen of Europe’s national tourism organisations (NTOs) joined forces to form the European Travel Commission (ETC). Their aim was to collaborate in order to promote the importance of tourism in rebuilding Europe’s economy after the devastation of World War II. With early help from the US-sponsored Marshall Plan, ETC played a pivotal role in the revitalisation of Europe’s tourism industry after the war. Since then ETC’s mission has remained largely unchanged; promoting Europe as a tourist destination in long-haul markets.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of ETC’s formation. During the seventy years of ETC’s operation the organisation has carried out numerous campaigns marketing Destination Europe as well as undertaking extensive research projects, meeting with several US presidents, and working closely alongside OECD, UNWTO, and the EEC (later the EU) to advance the position of tourism in Europe.
In order to celebrate the occasion ETC has prepared some activities for this anniversary year. A book has been commissioned which will delve into the history of ETC. The book will examine all aspects of ETC’s fascinating history; from its initial formation in 1948, early promotional campaigns in the US, relations with other international organisations, as well its present-day activities. The history book will be presented at a special event in Antwerp in November which will coincide with the ETC General Meeting #96.