Latent demand for travel to Europe is strong, ETOA discovers as it launches first online B2B event, City Fair, 20 July 2020

Ahead of the launch of ETOA’s first online B2B event, City Fair on 20 July 2020, a series of member surveys found consistently that between a quarter and a third of travel companies believe that the market will start to return to normality in the last quarter of 2020 and another two-thirds that recovery will take place in 2021.

ETOA – the European Tourism Association – has over 1,200 members including tour and online operators, intermediaries and wholesalers, European tourist boards, hotels, attractions, technology companies and other tourism service providers of all sizes, serving 63 origin markets.

In the member surveys all markets – and in particular the US and Japan – are reporting almost the same levels of interest as there was this time last year, and customers who have had to cancel their 2020 plans are waiting to rebook.

City Fair has been a longstanding annual event that brings buyers to source suppliers from cities across Europe. The event normally has purchasing managers from the major inbound companies meet with delegates according to prescheduled and self-selected appointments. In 2020, the event will see meetings take place via video link and driven by ETOA’s own appointment system.

Tom Jenkins, ETOA Chief Executive said: “Now is the time for optimism. We are in the midst of the deepest and most savage crisis the industry has faced for seventy-five years. Yet national commands that currently govern the service economy will end. Everything points to robust demand the moment there is availability of product.”

“Our members believe this summer is the best time to work on contracts to maximise recovery in 2021 and to see what can be made of the second half of the year. The new survey has encouraged us to launch our first online networking event for European tourism product.

“What is interesting is the enormous demand from the buyers: registrations from buyers are coming in at a ratio 50% more than sellers of product. There is clearly business to be done.”

Confirmed ETOA member buyers for the event, so far include Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC, Tuniu, Goway Travel, Europe Incoming, Hotelbeds, Kuoni Tumlare, Tauck and Miki Travel.

City Fair will see a range of product developers and contractors from throughout Europe, China and the USA with direct purchasing responsibility meet with representatives from global tour operators, wholesalers and online intermediaries.

Buyers can attend the event for free and registration for ETOA member suppliers is £650 for the day of scheduled B2B meetings and delegates can register here.

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