An international communication campaign is currently highlighting the diverse cultural heritage and natural beauty that Europe has to offer at any time of the year. The ‘Europe – Whenever you’re ready’ campaign, which will run from the end of 2012 until December 2013, reminds tourists to discover the old continent and enjoy the travel experience of a lifetime.
‘There is a lot to discover in Europe’, said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, who oversees industry and entrepreneurship. ‘Thematic packages and itineraries covering all four corners of the EU will be offered. These include pan-EU and regional tours on religious, cultural heritage and gastronomic themes — such as wine and olive oil routes — as well as tailored packages incorporating historic and natural UNESCO sites. 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’.
With contributions from well-known travel writers, journalists and bloggers, the campaign aims to showcase the wide variety of unique opportunities that Europe has to offer international tourists. Contributors’ first-hand experiences, spread through videos, blogs, magazines and websites, will unlock the not-to-be missed sights as well as a number of ‘roads less travelled’ throughout Europe.
Financed by the European Commission, the ‘Europe – Whenever you’re ready’ campaign will be organized in partnership with the European Travel Commission (ETC), the umbrella organisation for national tourism boards in Europe. The campaign is designed to add value to promotional activities of Member States and the European tourism industry.
Tourism has an important role in restoring economic growth in Europe. EU countries account for more than 39% of global arrivals, making the EU the world’s No. 1 tourist destination.
In 2011, the EU tourism industry recorded positive growth rates in most Member States, compared with the same period in 2010. This trend is confirmed both by the number of nights spent in hotels and similar accommodation, and by the net occupancy rates of these establishments. Comparing the monthly figures for the 2011 summer season with the previous year, nearly 35 million more nights (+4.8 %) were spent in hotels and similar establishments in the European Union. The highest increases were recorded in Bulgaria (+21.1%), Romania (+17.5%) and Lithuania (+16.8%). The EU tourism industry generates more than 5% of EU GDP, with about 1.8 million enterprises creating about 9.7 million jobs.
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