Europe Plans Matchmaking to Promote Itself to China and The USA

Europe is planning a programme of educational conferences and matchmaking events to promote itself as a tourist destination to some of the world’s most important outbound travel markets. The programme, named Partnerships in European Tourism, will see a series of eight conferences and business-to-business matchmaking events, taking place within the EU and in the target markets of China and the USA. It also includes dedicated stands at international tourism trade exhibitions. 

The launch event will take place in Venice on 19th January 2018. It will comprise a briefing for a delegation of Chinese tourism buyers on the European market, followed by matchmaking appointments with European suppliers. The second event will take place in Berlin in March, coinciding with ITB, the largest travel trade fair in Europe. The specific focus of the conference and matchmaking workshop will be Europe’s Culture, Pan European Itineraries: River Cruising and Group Tourism. The third event will take place in April in Beijing, where the emphasis will be on Family Travel and it will appeal to European companies seeking to tap in to this core outbound business from China. Subsequent events in China and the USA are to be announced in due course. 

Recognising that many intercontinental tourists see Europe as a unified destination, the programme will not focus on countries, cities or specific sights but instead on themes and routes of interest to the visitor, such as family travel, culture, film and TV, lifestyle and romance. 

EU-based companies keen to market themselves to the Chinese and American markets by participating in the Partnerships in European Tourism programme are invited to register their interest at Here they can identify their business with an initial list of themes and, in collaboration with other companies, propose additional themes.

The programme is being funded by the European Commission and delivered by a consortium made up of ETOA – the European tourism association, the European Travel Commission and ECTAA, the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators. 

Tom Jenkins, CEO, ETOA said: “The Partnerships in European Tourism programme is a bold and innovative EU-wide promotional initiative that recognises the high value of strong business relationships between supplier companies in the EU and potential customers in external origin markets. That’s why we are engaged in professional matchmaking – to help companies establish more valuable, long-term business relationships.” 

“The Partnerships in European Tourism initiative targets two of the most important source long-haul travel markets for Europe: China and the United States. The programme will also have a special meaning in 2018, the EU-China Tourism Year” commented Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission.

“This initiative provides a unique opportunity to strengthen tourism relationships with strategic partners in third country markets, with a view to increasing travel and tourism. It will also foster cooperation among European tourism companies, for the promotion of EU transnational products” said Michel de Blust, Secretary General of ECTAA.