About 40 airline and tour operator executives and 70 top travel agency representatives were hosted by the European Travel Commission (ETC) in Toronto last night and briefed on the organization’s new Horizon 2022 strategy that moves the region away from its traditional generic (and geographic) approach to one that emphasizes the opportunities to explore its natural wonders, discover its cities and its immerse oneself in its history and culture.
Or more simply put, make Europe all about the experiences that today’s travellers are seeking.
On hand for the presentations was Miguel Gallego, head of marketing and communications for the ETC, who explained that new five year strategy to agents, operators and airline officials attending the Toronto event.
In material released by the ETC unveiling its Horizon 2022 strategy earlier this year, the organization makes it clear that its promotions of Europe will move from the traditional geographic segmentation approach to a thematic approach that will see product and experience come first.
The report states: “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.”
The timing of the ETC’s shift in strategy couldn’t be better as Europe is a hot destination — both globally and, in particular, from Canada.
Gallego, along with ETC Canada chair, Dana Welch and vice-chair, Pascal Prinz, pointed out that Canada is Europe’s third largest source market behind the United States and China.
In 2018, 6.2 million Canadians travelled to European destinations and the trend has continued in 2019, with Gallego telling Press Today that the ETC is projecting a 3.2% increase from its third largest source market.
And for those gains, Welch was quick to thank the ETC’s partners – agents, operators, airlines – for their continued support of all of the destinations in Europe.
In the photo
Seen here, from l to r, during an event in Toronto last night are Pascal Prinz, vice-chair, ETC Canada Chapter & Director Canada for Switzerland Tourism; Miguel Gallego, head of marketing, ETC; and Dana Welch, chair, ETC Canada Chapter & Manager Canada for Tourism Ireland.