Strengthening tourism flows between South America and Europe

“50.000 Tourists” initiative

How to promote Europe as a tourism destination? How to extend the seasonal trends of tourism?

The European Commission (EC) is facing these challenges through an initiative called “50.000 tourists” aiming at developing tourist flows between South America and the European Union by making use of available spare airline and accommodation capacity during the low seasons.

This innovative project builds upon a cooperation between the EC and several European governments, the tourism industry and major airlines. The current partners of the initiative are:

  • 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)

Under the pilot phase 25,000 South Americans will be encouraged to travel to Europe between October 2012 and March 2013, and 25,000 Europeans to travel to South America between May and October 2013.

Applications will be open to residents of all EU countries and Argentina, Brazil and Chile with a motivation to travel on the basis of family ties, educational and cultural links, or an interest in gastronomy or religious tourism. In future, the initiative may be enlarged to other countries, both in Europe and worldwide on the basis of common roots, cultural, linguistic and educational links.

The project follows the Commission’s commitment in its latest tourism communication “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.

On October, 4, during the 5th European Union-Brazil Summit in Brussels, the European Commission, represented by Vice-President Antonio Tajani and the Federative Republic of Brazil, represented by Minister Patriota signed the “50000 tourists” Joint Declaration.

They agreed to: facilitate tourism flows between Brazil and the UE by promoting travel in low seasons, using the available spare airlines and accommodation capacity; promote a better seasonal spread encouraging journeys between Europe and Brazil; involve and work in cooperation with airlines that offer fair concessions, travel agencies and tour operators for the development of travel packages.

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