marks first anniversary

A year has gone by since the European tourism
portal was given its worldwide launch
at the European Tourism Ministers’ Conference in Vienna on March 21st 2006.The portal, developed by the European Commission under its IDA Programme
(Interchange of Data between Administrations), has been run and managed by the
Brussels-based European Travel Commission (ETC).  Year one of operations has already
seen many new developments to this unique European web portal.  2006 saw the launch
of several versions to cover ETC’s target markets in The Americas - starting with
versions for the USA (English), Canada (English & French) and Brazil (in
Portuguese), followed by a Spanish version (launched in April) to cater for the rest
of Latin America.

While a principal focus of the ETC’s activities is marketing in the North American
markets, lively visitor interest in the new website quickly made apparent the need
for an English-language version of
catering to the needs of potential guests in Europe, Australia, South Africa, Asia
and the Middle East.  ETC plans to launch localised versions of the site in
Japanese, Chinese and Russian, starting this year.


“For the first time ever, 37 European National Tourist Offices are collaborating on
a daily basis to showcase Europe to the world. provides our visitors with all the information,
imagery and inspiration they need to get fully prepared for their next vacation to
Europe.” said Rob Franklin, ETC’s Executive Director.



Karine Bruère, Online Marketing Manager for the portal, revealed that ETC is
currently working on many new projects to further develop .  “You will soon be able to browse our brand new
interactive map of Europe, contribute to our new collaborative website, and discover
a wide range of ‘pan-European’ experiences on cross-border themes and regions such
as the Baltic States, the Danube, the Pyrenees, National Parks in Europe to name but
a few.  Every day we try to focus on making the visitor experience on richer and more enjoyable.” said


2007 has been designated as ETC’s ‘Year of Operational Excellence’ which includes
the vision of outstanding efficiency in realising NTOs’ mission. “In today’s world
this means managing change.  We are all confronted by the challenges of new markets,
new competitors, new tasks, new technologies, new skills, new structures, laws and
regulations. In other words: NTOs are faced with a new game and new rules.  The portal is a vital tool which can help Europe to meet these
challenges by extending its reach to new and expanding markets” said ETC President
Arthur Oberascher.


Currently more than 48% of the portal’s visitors come from ETC’s main target markets
(USA, Canada, Brazil and Japan) of which 34% come from the USA.  85% of the visitors
are new visitors to the portal, with 54% coming from search engines.  The average
page visit is 3.7 pages, with 67% of all visitors staying between 0-5 minutes on the