Announcing the appointment at ETC’s General Meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland recently, Petra Hedorfer, ETC President and CEO of the German National Tourist Board said: “We are delighted to welcome Mr Santander to ETC. His background in international tourism marketing, and his business and marketing credentials are a perfect fit for ETC’s current tasks, and we look forward to working with him in our activities to reinforce the promotion of Destination Europe in the long-haul markets”.

Educated in Spain and Austria, Mr Santander is a native of Cádiz, Spain, and holds a PhD in Sports Science and an MBA degree. He has also been a guest lecturer on tourism marketing at International Business Seminars in a number of US Universities. In addition to his mother tongue, Spanish, he is fluent in English, German and Italian. He began his career in diverse companies from the tourism industry in Innsbruck, Austria and has a broad experience in marketing and sales. He comes to ETC from Mountain News - Vail Resorts Inc. (Innsbruck / Denver) where he was Managing Director for Europe.

Over the last year, in addition to promoting Europe in its traditional markets (USA, Canada and Brazil), ETC has embarked on a number of new initiatives to promote Europe in the emerging BRIC markets – notably in China, where the Chinese version of was launched, in collaboration with the European Commission, last autumn. This year a number of exciting new initiatives are planned under the banner ‘Destination Europe 2020’ - a new programme of activities to promote Europe as a tourist destination and strengthen its competitive image in the long-haul markets.

“We are currently in the process of finalising a long-term strategy for Destination Europe. This involves, inter alia, industry-wide consultation coupled with a series of campaigns designed to stimulate travel to Europe”.

These concerted efforts to reinforce the promotion of Europe on the long-haul markets, to be carried out in close collaboration with the European Commission will mean a shift in our traditional ways of working. I am looking forward to this challenge, which comes at an exciting moment in ETC’s history“, said Mr Santander.