Europe's tourism pathway to further growth

Thursday 2, May 2013


Europe's tourism pathway to further growth


After a three-year pause in response to the global recession, the European Travel Commission (ETC), whose mission is to market Europe as a tourist destination in the U.S. and Canada for its 33 member countries, is bringing back its Transatlantic Conference on May 9, 2013


Keynoters are PBS host and adventure traveler Richard Bangs and actor turned travel writer Andrew McCarthy, with three panels by day at The New York Public Library followed by a gala reception in the evening at the Loft and Garden at Rockefeller Center.

The conference will present market analysis, explore trends and perceptions and focus on aspects of the ETC’s European Commission-funded “Destination Europe 2020” long-term strategy for sustaining Europe’s position as the world’s number one tourist destination by arrivals and expenditures. Both Bangs and McCarthy will present their personal perspectives on adventure travel, which was born in Europe, and is seen as holding one of the keys to future growth from the U.S. and Canada.


According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Europe tallied more than half of all international tourist arrivals in 2012, or 535 million foreign visitors. With 20.6 million from the U.S. and 4.2 million from Canada, Europe is expected to maintain its dominant status despite growing competition from emerging destinations. In 2012, also according to the UNWTO, six of the world’s “top ten” tourism destinations by arrivals were there – specifically, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Germany, France and the U.K.

The full-day Transatlantic Conference, held in the Edna Barnes Salomon Room of The New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue adjacent to Bryant Park, will include morning and afternoon sessions with three panels – leading up to a cocktail reception and networking event to be held that evening at the spacious Loft and Garden in Rockefeller Center at 620 Fifth Avenue.

Topics for the panels – two in the morning and one in the afternoon – are as follows:


  • U.S. Travel Market and Consumer Trends moderated by Eugenio Magnani, U.S. director, Italian Tourist Board, with panelists Jan W. Rudomina, chair of ETC’s U.S. Operations Group, Carlos Vogeler, regional director Americas, UNWTO, Tom Jenkins, executive director, ETOA, James Ruggia, executive editor destinations, TravAlliance, and David Bahlman, director of destination marketing strategy and suppliers, Orbitz Worldwide. Welcome remarks by Manuel Butler, president of ETC
  • U.S. Perceptions of Destination Europe: Opportunities and Challenges moderated by Geri Jacobs, director North America, Tourist Office for Flanders, with panelists Iuliana Alunas, policy officer, tourism unit, European Commission, Rochelle Turner, research manager, WTTC, Stefanie Gallob, project manager, research and development, ETC, Terry Dale, president, USTOA, and Steven Paganelli, head of destination marketing, TripAdvisor
  • Canadian Travel Market and Consumer Trends, Opportunities and Challenges moderated by Jose Manuel de Juan, chair of ETC’s Canadian Operations Group, with panelists David Redekop, principal research associate, Conference Board of Canada, Jeff Element, president, The Travel Corporation Canada, Brad Ford, president, Contiki Holidays Canada, and Adeline Piekham-Hsieh, general manager, Canada, Delta.

Each of the three panels will include a question and answer session with attendees. Breakfast and lunch will be part of the working day. Closing remarks by Eduardo Santander, executive director of the ETC, will segue into a closed session think tank focused on the U.S. and Canada, gathering the most thought-provoking insights from the day into actionable conclusions for the tourism board members of the ETC.


For more information on the ETC’s Transatlantic Conference or to attend, click on the Transatlantic Conference website:


The European Travel Commission (ETC), founded in 1948, promotes Europe as a tourist destination for its 33 member nations in its four major long-haul markets of the U.S., Canada, China and Brazil. For more information, go to The ETC’s consumer site is


For the complete list of National Tourism Organizations of the 33 member nations of the ETC, click here:



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