A conference on how Europe is faring as a destination, with a particular attention on the most important origin markets, including China, Russia and the United States, will be held by the European Travel Commission/Visit Europe and the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) at the Barbican Centre in London on October 29.
“With the growth of visitors visiting multiple countries, the brand of Europe is more important than ever”, Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, European Travel Commission/Visit Europe, said.
“And the best way we can boost numbers, and so jobs, is by working with the private sector to understand what our potential customers want. This is a process of which this conference is the start.”
The summit will include a talk by Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times on how Europe is perceived by the rest of the world and a series of panel discussions on three source markets, the USA, China and Russia including leading operators from those markets.
There will also be original research featuring which destinations in Europe are doing well, and which origin markets are showing the most promise, and why. This will be released on the day.
It is widely said that Europe is “the world’s number one tourist destination”, but it is open to question if this assertion disguises complacency. How do private sector operators working in third countries think Europe is performing? How important is it for countries to sell themselves as part of a “Destination Europe package”? What can be done about the tax and regulatory problems that make Europe difficult to sell?
According to Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA, all panellists will be addressing the central questions: what can we do to make our destination more appealing and what can we do to make our customers feel more welcome?
“We need to see ourselves as our customers do, and understand what initiatives are needed and what faults can be remedied.”