In over 20 years, ETOA has achieved a level of authority and expertise in the tour operator and incoming European tourism sector
Origin markets and market sector development
E-commerce and online marketing have transformed the travel and tourism business. Services provided online have changed consumer and business behaviour in a way that, inevitably perhaps, has overtaken regulation. A significant part of sector growth has been in e-travel. Online intermediaries see ETOA’s membership as an opportunity, and have become valued members themselves. Selling services online in a way that currently avoids the terms of the package travel directive (either through selling single services priced separately or by being established outside the EU) provides a competitive advantage that adversely affects EU tour operators. ‘Best available rates’ have recently become the subject of legislative scrutiny.
Online commerce and marketing continue to grow. Most traditional operators have a presence and can sell online. There is no clear cut divide within the sector, though some companies specialise in services that are only available online – for example, vertical search for products and services. There should be a level regulatory playing field between online and offline operating that recognises the border-free nature of the online marketplace. The impact of the proposed replacement for the Package Travel Directive will be very significant if it is adopted unchanged: its scope increases to include transactions and business models currently unaffected.
Increased awareness of online opportunities and their regulatory context.
Increased awareness of impact, e.g. offshoring
Regulation that ensures neutrality of purchase channel that does not penalise EU establishment.
Share expertise among membership about online marketing
Best practice guidelines on buying and selling travel products online
Maximising online presence as a travel company
How to work with review site
Explore merits and feasibility of sector specific event for 13/14
Develop and promote ETOA partnerships and expertise in e-marketing
Attend related events
See Package Travel Directive (PTD) and the potential for more online commerce falling within its scope.
Educational travel is a valuable sector with huge growth potential. It capitalises on Europe’s cultural richness and diversity. Its benefit has political recognition but as yet insufficient practical support.
Educational travel associations with which ETOA is developing links:
Speak at luxury tourism event in Saint Petersburg, June 2013
Develop in-house knowledge of luxury market
European tourism’s success largely depends on two things: Europe’s appeal as a destination in origin markets; how easy it is to travel to Europe.
The competitive pressures on European tourism are: the development of other destinations; a marked recent increase in production costs; persistent deterrence in the form of visas and regulatory load.
Markets such as the USA and Japan remain vital, and should not be overlooked as interest develops in the economic potential of emerging markets. New markets may require different products and certainly encounter different challenges in promoting Europe as a destination.
ETOA seeks to identify the opportunities and challenges, promote high-level awareness and convene interested stakeholders to explore the issues and make policy recommendations.
How ETOA members get involved
Further information and commentary
The sector has its own logistic challenges: rivers and canals have locks and limited berthing facilities. Tides, seasons and weather affect passage. There are symmetric and hard-to-manage land-based accommodation requirements before or after cruises whose itineraries may not match readily available hotel capacity. River boats can bring a large group of visitors to a destination that may be easily overwhelmed. Bookings must generally be made far in advance.
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Interested members of the public are welcome to browse the open areas of etoa.org the contents of the website have been drawn from a number of sources and so its accuracy is not guaranteed.
And please be aware that ETOA is an Association whose primary purpose is to campaign for a better regulatory environment. It also provides an information and contact network between its members. ETOA is not a bonding Association. In no way does membership of the Association imply that a member is solvent, or that the services they supply are of a particular standard. Consumers seeking these reassurances should look elsewhere.