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ETOA (European Tourism Association) celebrates 30 years

Dario Valsagna, Babylon Tours, Jean-Louis Lanzarini & Alexandra, Montibert Vedettes de Paris
The European Tourism Association celebrated its 30th anniversary year yesterday evening with its members and partners at a networking cocktail at La Bonne Franquette in Montmartre, Paris.
Founded by a small group of tour operators in 1989, ETOA has since grown to be the biggest pan-European travel industry network promoting Europe as the world’s number one destination.

Its 1100 members deliver more than €12 bn of business annually within Europe and include tour and online operators, intermediaries and wholesalers; European tourist boards, hotels, attractions, technology companies and other tourism and business service providers and span global brands to small local independent businesses.

ETOA runs many events throughout Europe including 10 appointment-based events where nearly 60,000 face-to-face contractual meetings take place. Recently ETOA has also delivered ‘Partnerships in European Tourism’ for the European Commission, with major events in China and the US. Jean-Claude Balanos, Vice President, Leisure Sales, Accor Hotels, is the newest member of ETOA’s Board of Directors, and co-chairs its Paris working group.

He said: “It is great to see many members and associates here – and to welcome some new friends too. For me, ETOA’s work in destination is increasingly important as industry evolves to meet operational and commercial challenges. The Association’s local knowledge and growing membership gives business a strong, credible voice in the big conversations about how tourism should develop in Europe.”

This networking event’s venue, La Bonne Franquette in Montmartre, joined ETOA when it was a new trade association for the European inbound industry, becoming one of its first members in France.

Luc Fracheboud, La Bonne Franquette’s owner, said: “My father saw the commercial opportunity in ETOA’s buyer network years ago and it continues to be a source of new business at B2B workshops and networking events like tonight. Clients are changing, and we continue to adapt, but the hospitality industry will always depend on personal relationships, and ETOA’s network keeps us all connected.”

ETOA’s membership includes large multi-nationals as well as independent business like La Bonne Franquette. It also embraces new forms of distribution, facilitating B2B collaboration between very 21st century businesses.

Said Nicolas Groelly, COO of Europass: Thanks to its partnership with Musement, Europass now sells hundreds of tourism products via its ‘We Chat Travel Experience’ platform. Rapid systems integration gave visitors and other stakeholders efficient access to a Chinese-language, RMB-based point of sale, giving maximum premium visibility at minimum cost. Encouraged by this initial success, we are already exploring further opportunities to collaborate with Musement.

Said Claudio Bellinzona, COO & Co-Founder of Musement: “Our team offered a complete solution for Europass: a direct link to a wide range of activities with live prices and availability, including those in high-demand from Chinese clients, whom Musement can now target thanks to Europass’s expert distribution platform. We are working towards growing our partnership in 2019.

ETOA’s Tim Fairhurst added:   “Paris will always be a priority for us: it is the quintessential European destination and is the capital of the most visited country in the world. Despite recent coverage of colourful protests on TV, Paris remains one of the safest cities to visit. We’re delighted to celebrate our first 30 years here. Thank you to all our members for their continued support.”

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