BEIJING INTERNATIONAL HOTEL, BEIJING, China – Petra Hedorfer, President of the European Travel Commission (ETC), joined by Pedro Ortún, Director for Tourism, CSR, Consumer Goods and International Regulatory Agreements at the European Commission (EC), announced the launch of Travel Destination Europe and the visiteurope.com portal in China at their inauguration ceremony in Beijing.
This launch marks the first step in the recently-strengthened cooperation between ETC and the EC to promote Europe as a travel destination in long-haul emerging markets and the recognition of China as one of the most important opportunities for outbound travel to Europe in the coming years.
“We are incredibly excited about the huge potential for growing the number of Chinese visitors to Europe, so much so that we have made the decision to focus on China as one of our most important markets in our new ETC strategy,” said Petra Hedorfer, “With the launch of our new Chinese web portal, visiteurope.com, today we declare our common initiative to focus on the Chinese market promoting Travel Destination Europe and inviting the people of China to come and discover the wealth of culture and diversity that our beautiful continent has to offer.”
The inauguration ceremony was attended by China’s travel industry, including leading airlines, tour operators, and suppliers alongside Europe’s national tourism organizations and visiting delegations from ETC and the EC in Brussels.
Introducing recent initiatives from the European Commission, Pedro Ortún said: “Our common efforts with ETC seize the opportunities of the Chinese market potential and reflect the European Commission’s strong commitment to supporting the European tourism industry by promoting Europe as the world’s most sustainable, responsible, and high quality set of destinations.”
Mr. Ortún also added that the approval of the visa code for the Schengen area and the recent adoption of a harmonized list for supporting documents to be presented by visa applicants in China will certainly help in attracting more Chinese visitors to Europe.
Promotional activity will begin in China through the visiteurope.com portal, with a series of campaigns initiating in 2012 focused on “Europe’s Ultimate Journeys,” designed to promote the most relevant pan-European tourism products to Chinese visitors. The campaign strategy for 2012 compliments the work of the national tourism organizations by promoting Europe as a multi-destination experience through European regions such as cultural routes and cultural corridors and UNESCO World Heritage sites, promoting Europe’s natural beauty, cultural diversity, historical heritage, outstanding shopping facilities, and world-class food and wine. The launch of ETC’s portal and marketing activities in China brings the excitement of Travel Destination Europe closer than ever and is the first step towards developing the market for travel to Europe.