ETOA and ETC launch joint initiative on China
The European tourism association (ETOA) and the European Travel Commission (ETC) are delighted to announce their collaboration on the promotion of Europe in China in 2024.
On the 24th of May 2024 the China European Marketplace (CEM) will take place in Shanghai, organised by ETOA. This will enable European suppliers to have one-on-one meetings with Chinese outbound tour operators in a one-day workshop. On the 27th-29th of May ETC will host a EUROPE stand showcasing European destinations at ITB China in Shanghai.
This joint marketing initiative reflects the optimism both organisations have for the recovering Chinese market for Europe.
“For anyone who has invested in the Chinese market,” said Tom Jenkins CEO of ETOA, “the last four years have been lean times. But ETOA members are anticipating a recovery of nearly 50% of 2019 volumes by the end of 2023, and an acceleration of demand thereafter. Many are talking about seeing similar volumes to pre-pandemic by 2025-6. It is planning for this period that will form the basis of discussions at CEM.”
“China has now extended visa-free visits to nationals of The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, France and Italy. This is enormously helpful in attracting delegates to these events. While we wait for Europe to show reciprocity, it is our purpose to show how welcome Chinese visitors are. All markets are important, but new ones are particularly welcome,” said Jenkins.
“China is among Europe’s most important long-haul markets,” said Eduardo Santander, CEO of ETC. “The recovery of Chinese demand is a highly significant moment for the European tourism sector. For Chinese visitors exploring Europe, many choose to visit three or more countries during their trip. There is a lot of potential in a growing cohort of free independent travellers who are returning to Europe to explore lesser-known destinations and travel in a more responsible way”.
“Speaking for both organisations, I know that we regard the tourism ties between China and Europe as being crucial not only commercially but culturally. Building upon strong historical connections, tourism acts as a catalyst for fostering mutual understanding and future cooperation among Chinese and European partners”, added Santander.
ETOA was founded in 1989 as an association for tour operators who sold Europe as a destination in long-haul origin markets. It has evolved since those early days to embrace regional operators, online intermediaries, wholesale travel companies and any commercial player who is interested in selling themselves as part of a pan-European product. It now numbers over 1100 members, including nearly 400 intermediaries and operators and over 750 tourism suppliers, service providers and destinations.
ETC represents the national tourism organisations (NTO) of Europe. Established in 1948, ETC’s mission is to strengthen the sustainable development of Europe as a tourist destination and to promote Europe in third markets. Its 35-member tourism boards work together to build the value of tourism for all the diverse European destinations through cooperation in sharing best practice, market intelligence and promotion. ETC has had a strong presence in China since 2011 through its China Chapter, which includes all European NTOs offices in the country, serving as ETC’s eyes and ears in the marketplace.