Daniel A. Tanner - Oct 21, 2013
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According to the industry experts, Europe needs innovative measure if it wants to remain on top of world tourism in future. For instance, it may teach petanque to Americans or pitch Alpine Air to the Chinese. According to WTO, Europe was still a major shareholder in the world’s overall tourism revenues last year. Its share was 43% amounting to EUR 356 billion or $457 billion.

However, during a recent Congress in Lucerne, industry experts said that tremendous success does not mean Europe can leave room for complacency. Most tourist businesses argued that the authorities had to make it easier for potential travelers to get the visas. Business organizations in the tourism sector believe that a lack of bureaucratic hassles could be a major factor in increasing sales and growing the market. Most importantly, they believe that there is scope for innovative measures.

In the past, many marketing campaigns have fallen short as they couldn’t account for real and valuable expectations of tourists. According to European Tourism Commission, it should be the other way around. As a result, ETC has decided to poll would-be tourists in their respective home countries before they leave for Europe. Since the ranks of middle-class have been swelling in China, it has become one of the world’s top emerging markets. Therefore, ETC has been focusing on China prominently.

When Chinese tourists visit Europe, they not only want to witness the Coliseum or Eiffel Tower, but also wish to see a clear sky. According to a research conducted by ETC, many Chinese residents living in major cities experience a lot of problems because of pollution. This enables the European travel and tourism industry to add Alpine stops to itineraries.

Moreover, most Chinese people don’t speak any European language. Therefore, they are always looking for safe destinations. Chinese tourists want restaurants and hotels to provide them with menus and brochures translated into Chinese. ETC also believes that focusing on social media can give a better idea about what tourists want.

According to industry experts, it is very important to understand the needs of tourists from emerging markets like China, Brazil and India. This is because competition has become a lot tougher in popular destinations like Las Vegas, Florida and Dubai.

As compared to other popular tourist markets like Dubai, travel agents in Europe find it difficult to book good places for their clients in major tourist destinations like Rome, Venice, and Paris since they are crowded. This has been a problem for both traditional and emerging tourist markets. According to the head of the U.S. company Tauck, there have been some major concerns over the itineraries in popular cities in Europe. For instance, Paris can be really difficult.

Since classic tourist hubs in Paris remain clogged, Tauck decided to use innovative measures and focus on a niche area of river cruises. This allows tourists from Europe to take a completely different take on France. For instance, a river cruise down the Rhone River can go across hidden treasures and medieval towns like Viviers. In such places, tourists can have fun in traditional French bowling games or make stops at the Chateau Neuf du Pape vineyards.

According to industry experts, travel agents need to think beyond big cities and focus on innovative measures and unpopular tourist trails. It is important to understand that an American who visits Europe for just three days does not want to spend 3-4 hours in a queue at the Eiffel Tower. Therefore, travel agents need to come up with something new, interesting and innovative.

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