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The Meaning of Travel and the Perception of Europe as Travel Destination

Today’s travellers unquestionably desire unique experiences, and destinations respond to this request by designing and promoting experiences to add value to their goods and services. In line with global trends, the European Travel Commission (ETC) recently switched to a new marketing approach, where experiences and stories are at the heart of its promotional activities.

ETC commissioned a study to gain new and meaningful insights on consumers and their response to ETC’s new communication approach. Findings summarised in this report shed light on the meaning of travel among target groups from two long-haul markets – Japan and USA – both in its ideal dimension and in terms of factors that urge them to book a holiday. The study also investigates the perception of Europe as a travel destination and provides recommendations on what type of online media content proves most effective in inspiring consumers.


Results are meant to feed into ETC’s promotion of the VisitEurope.com portal and its long-term strategy ‘Destination Europe 2020’. The wish is that this report also provides meaningful information to the ETC members.


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