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ETC - European Travel Commission

International relations

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The European Travel Commission (ETC), founded in 1948 and of which Portugal was one of the founding members, brings together and represents the European Tourism Organisations and is the organisation responsible for promoting Europe as a tourist destination.

It is an international, non-profit making organisation, based in Brussels, which includes 33 national tourism promotion organisations from 32 European countries (Full Members):
_ from the European Union – Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, ​Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, ​Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,​ Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, ​Poland, Portugal, Romania, ​​​Slovakia​, Slovenia, Spain;
_ others - Iceland, Monaco, Montenegro (EU candidate), Norway,​ San Marino, Serbia (EU candidate), Switzerland.
The President of the ETC is Luís Araújo, President of Turismo de Portugal. The election took place on 8 September 2020 and the mandate is for three years. 

// Among its tasks, three areas stand out:

_ Advocacy to European and International Institutions representing the European tourism sector as well as awareness raising with the general public on the importance of the sector;
_ Promotion/marketing of Europe as a tourism destination in all non-European countries, with special focus on Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan and the USA​, and its role as a regular forum for meeting and sharing knowledge about tourism and market intelligence, marketing and tourism strategies of the 33 National Tourism Organisations;
_ Research, through the elaboration of studies and trend analysis in the tourism sector, which serve to detect new business opportunities, elaborate effective promotion strategies as well as support advocacy work.

// The ETC has partnerships with other important international entities, including the:

_ European Commission
_ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
_ European Tour Operators Association (ETOA)
_ EDEN Network (European destinations of Excellence)
_ International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals (CIFFT)​
_ World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
_ International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA)
_ International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT)
_ Europa Nostra​
_ Airports Council International Europe (ACI)
_ Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism (FEST)

As Associate Members, it counts with important companies in the sector such as Adara, Google, Sojern, Eurail, ​Airbnb, Emirates, HI Seas, CrowdRiff, Expedia, Value Retail, Travel Consul, Amadeus, Global Blue.

The VisitEurope portal is currently the most important tool for the promotion and dissemination of Europe as a tourist destination. The portal has received EU funding for its development as part of the Europe 2020 project.

// Turismo de Portugal’s role at the ETC

Turismo de Portugal has maintained an active presence in the management bodies of the ETC over the years, holding the vice-presidency of the organisation from 2007 to 2010, and again in 2015. Since September 2020 and for a period of three years, Turismo de Portugal ensures the Presidency of the ETC. Turismo de Portugal also chairs the Market Intelligence Group (MIG).

In operational terms, Turismo de Portugal ensures participation in the area of R&D and belongs to the working groups of the Market Intelligence Group (MIG), Market Intelligence Committee (MIC) and Marketing Group, monitoring their annual work programmes.

// Organisation and Working Groups of the ETC

_ General Meeting (GM)
General Meeting – the organisation’s decision-making body, meets twice a year, in spring and in autumn. The CEO or equivalent of each NTO/NTA is entitled to a seat at the GM and to one vote per member. The ETC’s operational and running costs are covered by an annual quota paid by the 32 full members. Associate Members do not have voting rights.

Board of Directors (BoD)
This is the General Meeting’s “strategic consultancy” body. It comprises a president, up to three vice-presidents (currently Italy, Switzerland and Croatia) and up to ten non-permanent members. The rotation of the non-permanent members is done by geographical aggregation; each of the groups appoints a representative, which alternates every two years.

_ Executive Director e Executive Unit
The Executive Director (remunerated position) is elected at the General Meeting for a period of two years. He/she is responsible for the Executive Unit and the day-to-day management of all the work done by the ETC and its operational subgroups. 

Overseas Operations Groups (OGs)
The GM decides on the Operational Groups in the intercontinental markets (they are currently Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan and the USA), appoints their Chairpersons, and approves their action plans and budgets. These OGs promote local marketing campaigns, including participation in fairs and other activities.

_ Market Intelligence Group (MIG)
The Research Directors of the 32 NTOs are members of the Market Intelligence Group (MIG). The group meets once a year, in February, and is responsible for drawing up the Market Intelligence Activities Programme to be developed by the operational group. 

_ Market Intelligence Committee (MIC)
This is a working group made up of volunteers from member countries. Created in 1987, the MIC is the operational arm of the MIG. In effect, it is an active forum for the sharing of market intelligence knowledge and a resource centre for commissioning research work in benefit of members and the ETC.
Active collaboration with partners such as the UNWTO and internationally renowned consulting firms enables maximisation of financial resources and quality outputs.
A particular highlight of this working group’s tasks is the TourMIS Project – a free-to-access online database (users must register) that allows access to recent and historical statistics on the flows of tourists, visitors, overnight stays, capacity and occupancy rates of the ETC’s 32 member countries, as well as of some 22 European cities. The application is being developed by MODUL University Vienna, in cooperation with the Austrian Tourism Board, and data is input into the database on a voluntary basis by the member countries. It also includes an area with information on the number of visits to attractions.

_ Marketing Group 
An active information-sharing forum focusing on best practices. This working group provides information on how to identify, use and exploit marketing techniques effectively, maximising their use and effectiveness, both in promoting Europe as a whole and each of the member countries individually.
In parallel, it promotes the development of a pan-European marketing strategy, identifying ways of systematising and disseminating content, namely through the European tourism portal VisitEurope that has been online since 21 March 2006.​


  • Cooperation
  • Institutional affairs
  • Turismo de Portugal
  • European Travel Commission
  • Market Intelligence Group
  • Market Intelligence Committe
  • Marketing Group
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