During the most critical phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Travel Commission (ETC) played a key role to coordinate and harmonise the work of national tourism organisations. With new demands being placed on these organisations, it was important to learn lessons and give solid guidance on how to use the pandemic as an opportunity to embrace more sustainable models of tourism development across Europe. The ETC asked us to bring all of this together into an engaging, practical Handbook.
Identify and map measures taken by NTOs to respond to the pandemic
Understand NTOs different capabilities and mandates for addressing the challenges facing the hospitality sector
Gather first-hand insights from CEOs of European NTOs on their evolving role and agenda
Provide strategic recommendations for NTOs on short to medium term planning
Firstly, using primary research (a quantitative survey of ETC members) we examined the mitigation policies that European NTOs adopted to soften the impact of the pandemic on the local tourism sector and the ambitions and concerns they have for the future.
We also carried out interviews with the CEOs of four European NTOs (in the Czech Republic, Iceland, the Netherlands and Portugal) which were particularly revealing. These interviews gave contextual insights on the future role of NTOs, together with contemporary shifts in consumer behaviour as well as the post-COVID-19 opportunities that their organisations are addressing. Finally, we addressed the tricky question of the imperative for growth vs. the need to reduce the negative impacts of tourism, and set out a clear agenda to guide NTOs in planning their own recovery strategy in the coming years.
Design and analysis of survey of European NTOs
Interviews with CEOs of four national tourism boards
Mapping of national tourism policy responses across Europe to the pandemic
Development of recommendations around NTO recovery agenda, and transition towards adopting more sustainable tourism models.
In line with our project objectives and key elements, we reached these outcomes:
Analysed and interpreted NTOs’ changing role in the field of adopting sustainability strategies.
Mapped the issues which NTOs have direct control, or may influence policy formation.
Developed high-level guidance for NTOs on organising their operations across marketing and promotion, research, business support, partnerships and strategic development.