Europe officially launches travel Website

The European Travel Commission has launched its new global online portal, blasting off into cyberspace after extensive planning and development. Funded by the European Commission and powered by specially designed cutting edge software, the new website makes planning travel to Europe easier than ever before.

While the new portal will keep the same URL, online travelers will find a whole new world of functions and capabilities.

American Express Travel (, which is prominently featuring Europe in its 2006 programs, is teaming up with the European Travel Commission to launch this new portal and encourage consumers to visit the site as they plan their European vacations. As part of the partnership, American Express Travel is launching a “More Reasons to Visit Europe” campaign including giving away 10 trips for two to Europe.

Beginning April 2, visitors to can enter for a chance to win one of 10 complimentary American Express Travel trips to Europe for two, covering roundtrip air and hotel accommodations. Winners’ names will be drawn every two weeks beginning May 26*. Additionally, American Express Travel has an exciting 2006 line-up of European travel offers and packages that can be booked both on its website and through American Express Travel consultants (with special added benefits for American Express Cardmembers).

“We are delighted to introduce this new online resource now, when people are planning and booking their summer vacations, “said ETC chairman Conrad Van Tiggelen. “Like Europe itself, the portal packs a lot of rich and robust material into a compact space. We are also very pleased to partner with American Express Travel in launching the portal, one of the most trusted names in travel and a natural fit for the ETC in promoting Europe’s never-ending journey.”


“European travel continues to increase in popularity among consumers. American Express Travel has seen a significant rise in travel to Europe over the past number of years and for 2006 we are offering special packages that showcase the splendors of Europe, said Audrey Hendley, Vice President Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, U.S. Consumer Travel Network. “Our partnership with the ETC enables us to highlight for consumers all ‘the more reasons to visit’ Europe, and we are very pleased to be part of launching the ETC’s new portal with its exciting new features.”

Cover More of Europe

First time visitors to Europe and seasoned travelers alike will open a new door at that swings even wider in welcome to 34 diverse ETC member countries. A unique access point to Europe, it will provide a travel planner, lifestyle content and comprehensive coverage of major events by country and category in an interactive database, as well as a flight connection search engine covering more than 500 airlines.

Indeed, with the portal’s flight search engine, travelers can learn how to use Amsterdam Schiphol or Frankfurt Airports, for example, to pack many kinds of European vacation into one trip. Savvy travelers know these airports as versatile hubs for hopping all over Europe. An art and music tour this June, for example, might start with important art exhibits such as Brueghel in Brussels, Rembrandt in Amsterdam and Picasso in Malaga, Spain, and continue to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Mozart in Austria, celebrating his 250th birthday all year long, and the Hultsfred Rock Festival in Sweden. The site also offers a weather channel, currency converter and links to the official websites of the ETC’s 34 member countries.

Future plans for the portal include grouping countries around experiential themes, such as skiing in the Alps, following art and architecture from one country to another, fishing in Scandinavia, cruising the Danube. Like Europe itself, the possibilities are endless.

The ETC is a marketing organization whose role is to promote Europe as a tourist destination and provide a range of information, research and electronic distribution services to its members. Members include Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.