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Europe sets up tourism campaign

Posted on Jan 24 2014 | IBNS

Kolkata, Jan 24 : The European Commission (EC) in an effort to raise the international profile of Europe and enhance its visibility as a tourist destination, will continue with the 'Europe - Whenever you're ready' communication campaign.

The communication campaign, earlier had helped improve tourism relations between India and the EU by highlighting the diverse cultural heritage and natural beauty that Europe has to offer at all times of the year, officials said.

"There is a lot to discover in the old continent", said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, in charge of industry, tourism and entrepreneurship.

Tajani said, "Travelers can enjoy unforgettable tourist experiences in Europe, discover its hidden treasures, travel along interesting cultural itineraries and taste its rich and varied cuisine. And it is easy to travel to Europe with its single currency, open borders, well-designed infrastructure and passenger rights. Indeed, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to discover Europe's rich heritage and stunning beauty."

The EC is striving to create the most favorable conditions for the future of the European tourism sector.

"We are promoting initiatives to help tourists from third countries to easily come to Europe. We are improving the business environment and identifying challenges, opportunities and appropriate actions to shape a flourishing future for the European tourism," said Vice-President Tajani. "The cooperation with third countries in the tourism sector is an essential part of our vision of the European tourism future".

With contributions from well-known travel writers, journalists, and bloggers, the 'Europe - Whenever you're ready' campaign showcased the wide variety of unique opportunities that Europe has to offer international tourists.

First, the 'Europe - Whenever you're ready' video, which was awarded a silver Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards in October 2013, invited travelers to dream about Europe and its destinations.

Then, six inspiring and richly illustrated thematic travel reports and twelve lists of the top destinations beckoned travelers to come discover Europe.

Last but not least, dedicated social media websites encouraged travelers to plan, experience and share their European tourist dreams and vacations with each other, the EC asserted.

Data from the European Travel Commission, a partner organisation of the campaign, shows strong performance in the tourism sector for 2013, with an estimate of 5 percent year to year growth.

This is well above Europe's long-term trend and close to the level of growth seen in the world's fastest growing regions, the officials noted.

In 2013, 1,5 million tourists from India travelled to Europe (representing 14,4 percent of the total Indian long haul outbound market).

When asked about Europe's strongest point from a tourist's point of view, the campaign Blogger, Harshvardhan Kumar, said, "Travelling to Lithuania, Poland and The Netherlands isn't an everyday affair, as you can imagine. Indeed, I was prepared to encounter a myriad of rare obstructions."

Kumar added, "However, I had grossly underestimated the European Union's resilience and fortitude. Perhaps the best part about Europe from a traveller's point of view is how beautifully it segues into every territory; from the Old World Charm of Vilnius, to the more modern-yet-quaint Krakow, with a dash of Amsterdam's unique delights, there's never a dull moment, no matter where you choose to set sail."

He said, "This seamless transition is what quells any fear a tourist might have. Everything is homogenous, everything is simple."

"Case in point: before I left India, I had only a slight idea of how I wanted to travel from country to country. The moment I landed, I knew my plans would drastically change, considering my schedule. It was enough to make me panic, but Europe's indelible gift to mankind--that of simple solutions to every possible situation -- made life so simple, it's actually difficult to recall if anything went wrong at all," Kumar said.

"They say magic doesn't exist; if you're looking for spells and Abracadabra's, I will have to agree. But if your idea of magic is being charmed in unexplainable ways, then Europe is the place to be," he said.

According to the EC, European destinations are indeed enticing tourists with appealing travel experience opportunities, magnificent sceneries, diversified attractions and various traditions.

The officials further informed that, it is no wonder that the World Economic Forum (WEF) listed Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom as the top five countries in the world when it comes to attractiveness and the ability to develop their travel and tourism industries.

"It is also no surprise that the Lonely Planet travel guide gave Europe top positions in their world lists for 2014: Top Cities [3] (ranking Paris, France, as #1 and Riga, Latvia as #4); Best Value for Money [4] (listing Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Portugal); and identifying Sweden and Belgium as two of the Best Countries [5] to visit in 2014," the officials noted.

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