Manuel Butler, Director General of the Institute of Tourism of Spain, was elected President of the European Travel Commission at the 84th General Meeting held in Dublin yesterday, Thursday 11th April. Manuel succeeds Petra Hedorfer of the German National Tourist Board for a three-year term.
Also elected at the meeting were Gergely Horvath, Hungarian National Tourist Office, and Marios Hannides, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, as the organisation’s Vice Presidents.
Manuel told Irish Travel Trade News: “The main objective of the ETC is to promote Europe in long-haul travel markets, and to this end my top three priority issues – in order – are visas, connectivity, and promotion.
Manuel has been General Director of the Spanish Institute for Tourism since January 2012 and has acquired extensive experience in destination marketing over more than 25 years working in management positions, both in the public and the private sector, in Western Europe, North and Latin America.
“Europe is the world’s number one tourist destination. However, this leadership position should not be a reason for complacency. Europe has to contend with growing competition in the increasingly globalised international tourism market. In order to respond to this situation, the countries of Europe have to join forces, share resources and ideas and develop joint marketing initiatives to promote the excellence and diversity of Europe.”
ETC has been responsible for marketing Europe overseas since its foundation in 1948. At yesterday’s meeting in Dublin, the ETC embarked together with the European Commission on the initiative Destination Europe 2020, a programme designed to involve the entire tourism industry in defining a long-term strategy for Europe as a tourism destination.
“Spain was selected for the ETC presidency by the 33 National Tourism Organisation members, and it is an honour to represent Spain as President,“ Manuel added.
WTM Latin America
The importance of Brazil as an outbound market for Europe has prompted the European Travel Commission to take a stand at a Brazilian travel show for the first time in its 65-year history – the inaugural World Travel Market Latin America taking place in São Paulo from 23rd – 25th April 2013.
ETC will host a number of events at WTM Latin America, including a series of think-tanks that will explain the appeal of Europe as a long-haul destination for Brazilian travellers under the tagline ‘Discover Europe’. ETC is inviting senior speakers from key European travel associations, tourist boards and the private sector.
ETC members include France, Spain and Germany as well as emerging destinations such as Montenegro, Latvia and Estonia.