Canadians love affair with Europe shows no signs of abating with nearly 5 million annual visitations and 15 per cent of outbound market share. Indeed, Canada ranks as the third largest out-of-region market for Europe and is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 2.6 per cent a year through 2021.


With this in mind, the European Travel Commission (ETC), an association of national tourism organizations (NTOs) created in 1948 to promote Europe as a tourist destination to the long-haul markets, has announced executive changes to the organization's Canadian chapter to help maintain the momentum.


The ETC's new chair in Canada is Dana Welch, replacing Laura Pena (Spain), who headed the organization for the past three years. Welch, who is the marketing manager for Tourism Ireland in Canada, has been vice-chair for the ETC.


Replacing Welch as vice-chair is Antje Splettstoesser, director of the German National Tourist Office in Canada.


"Together Welch and Splettstoesser will consolidate the activities of the ETC in Canada, whose role is to leverage European destinations' promotional activities by setting up effective platforms for cooperative marketing, access to market intelligence, exchange of best practices, cooperation and relationships between the Canadian and the European travel and tourism industry," says the ETC.


"Europe has huge appeal for all Canadians though Canadians have yet to make their mark on all Europe has to offer," says Splettstoesser. "There is still some incredible, untapped potential to encourage the Canadian trade and travellers to explore more of Europe, more often and in more ways than ever before."


The European Travel Commission is comprised of 32 national tourism organizations, though not all of them are active in Canada. Information is available at and


ETC chairs 2017

Welch and Splettstoesser


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