To increase low season travel, the European Commission promotes an innovative collaborative project between South America and Europe aimed at having 50,000 additional tourists.
New promotional campaigns will encourage 25,000 South Americans to travel to Europe, notably between October 2012 and March 2013, and 25,000 Europeans travelling to South America, notably between May and October 2013. The project is launched today in Brussels when all partners involved in the process came together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding The Commission is working in collaboration with several European governments, the tourism industry and major airlines to better use the available spare airline and accommodation capacity. These campaigns will work together as national promotions aimed at residents of all EU countries and Argentina, Brazil and Chile. If this venture is successful, it will be extended to other international tourism markets and more tourists.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: “We are committed to promoting Europe as a tourism destination and to strengthening co-operation with countries of considerable tourism growth potential. Both the European and the South American markets will benefit greatly from this venture. I am very pleased for launching this innovative pilot experience that for the first time ever puts together different participants pursuing one same objective: extending the seasonal spread of tourism boosting jobs and benefitting the local host economies.”
The Memorandum of Understanding has been developed by the Commission in collaboration with governments, tourism industry representatives and major airline companies, these currently include :
•The governments of France, Italy, Lithuania and Spain;
•Air carriers as Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Iberia, the Lufthansa Group and TAP Air Portugal and open to other interested companies;
•The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) and the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators’ associations (ECTAA).
While helping local economies beat the offseason blues, the project is widening the target groups of travellers of all EU countries and Argentina, Brazil and Chile to spend holidays in another continent. Antonio Tajani will be visiting these countries from 9 to 13 June for an official visit and will, among others, also further develop the project with the Governments of the three countries.
The project follows the Commission’s commitment in its latest tourism communication (COM  352) “Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe”, to promote Europe as a tourism destination and to strengthen co-operation with countries of considerable tourism growth potential for Europe. Ideally, this scheme will allow citizens to visit more than one country. If this pilot scheme is successful, the European Commission intends to extend the project to other parts of the world. This pilot also strengthens cooperation between Europe and third countries on the basis of common roots, cultural, linguistic and educational links.
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