The US market is the most important long-haul market for European incoming tourism. Due to close cultural links and a highly developed airline infrastructure, European holidays were both desirable and affordable for many Americans. The market remains very significant, but it is changing. What does the US market need? What can European destinations do to maintain or attract US business?
The US market has proven to be more resilient in terms of responding to perceived risk of travel. It remains a market that responds quickly to fear and fashion. Perceptions, real or imagined, of coach tourism have become an issue in some quarters. The consumer has become much better informed, from ratings websites to travel guides to companies’ own online presence. Some sectors, such as river cruising, walking tours and bicycle tourism have seen strong growth. Traditional group coach tourism continues to evolve; its core value proposition remains strong.
The market has seen great innovation, diversity of product and a renewed commitment to service; the challenge is to regain growth. Whether this will be primarily through success in developing interest in ‘new’ parts of Europe for the US market or through innovation in existing destinations markets remains to be seen.
We believe that the US will remain European tourism’s most significant non-EU market for the foreseeable future. Therefore, in addition to the focus on developing markets, we should ensure we respond to the needs of operators working in the US market.
1. Continued product innovation across all US outbound sectors
2. Improved perception of EU competitiveness, service, welcome and value
1. Support the US outbound market to Europe across all sectors
2. Work with Americas Interest Group (AIG)
3. Develop links with USTOA
4. US market featured in ETOA’s October 2013 tourism summit in Lucerne
How ETOA members get involved
1. Join working group