Tourist arrivals from Canada to Europe grew by 5.6 per cent in 2017 compared to the year before, according to the latest findings by the Canada Operations Group of the European Travel Commission (ETC), which met this week in Toronto to review last year´s performance and discuss 2018 campaign initiatives.
According to the latest data from UNWTO, Europe welcomed 51 million more international tourist arrivals in 2017 than 2016 (671 million compared to 620 million, respectively), retaining its rank as the world’s most visited region. Growth was driven by the notable performance of destinations in Southern and Western Europe in particular, the ETC said.
With 5.3 million Canadian travellers, Europe accounts for a market share of approximately 15 per cent of all Canadian outbound travel. Canada ranks third among all out-of-region outbound travel markets to European destinations. The strong momentum is expected to continue in 2018 when Europe is celebrating the Year of Cultural Heritage.
“2017 was a very strong year for Destination Europe. European tourism recorded a remarkable eight per cent year-over-year increase in international arrivals, more than any other region”, said Miguel Gallego, the ETC’s head of marketing and communications, who was also in attendance at the Toronto meeting. “Europe is the place for culture. This year the region will see a series of initiatives and cultural events across multiple destinations to enable visitors and citizens to discover and engage with Europe's diverse cultural heritage and traditions.”
The Canada chapter of the European Travel Commission is chaired by Dana Welch, Manager for Canada at Tourism Ireland with Antje Splettstoesser, Director of the German National Tourist Office, as the Vice-Chair. Welch said “European culture and way of life has huge appeal for Canadians. We are working with our local partners to invite Canadian travelers to explore more of Europe and in more ways than ever before this year on the occasion of the Year of Cultural Heritage”.
ETC´s Canada chapter also discussed the implementation of its new long-term marketing strategy Horizon 2022. The new strategy puts a focus on global thematic promotional campaigns to build a connection between people´s passions and the destinations in Europe where they can live their own unique experience. The plan also aims to secure regional dispersion and sustainable growth. The 2018 focus on cultural heritage is a first step towards the realization of this new strategy.
Of the ETC: (from left) Pascal Prinz, market manager – Canada, Switzerland Tourism; Dana Welch, manager – Canada, Tourism Ireland; Miguel Gallego, head of marketing and communication, ETC; Antje Splettstoesser, director, German National Tourist Office; Laura Pena Alberdi, director – Canada, Tourist Office of Spain.