The Horizon 2022 marketing strategy is a bold move and a necessary one. The plan aims to build a distinctive image of Europe as a travel destination in long-haul markets, secure regional dispersion and create sustainable growth, not just for tourism but for all sectors in Europe.
The new strategy implies a transition towards a new global thematic promotional approach, creating leverage for partnerships and digital focus. As opposed to a traditional geographic segmentation, a thematic approach means that product and experience will come first rather than destinations. Destination Europe shall, therefore, promote itself first and foremost as a collection of meaningful experiences that connect with people’s passions and secondly shall refer to the places in the continent where it all happens. It starts from the visitor perspective, rather than the destination.
Although destinations continuously need to invest in their quality of place, potential visitors will only respond if we relate to them and their passions. Strategy Horizon 2022 envisions a psychographic segmentation -as opposed to a traditional demographic segmentation- that shall allow Destination Europe to appeal and engage with a global audience of interest-driven communities. A thematic approach in a globalized world will allow Destination Europe to attract visitors from across a broader range of niche markets than ever before.
Horizon 2022 is an ambitious strategy because it stands for a big increase in marketing funds, people and commitment to work for European tourism. It creates a common ground between national aspirations and the ones of other sectors in Europe.