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European Travel Commission Elects New President

Mr Peter De Wilde, Toerisme Vlaanderen (Belgium), has been elected at the 86th ETC’s General Meeting held on 30 January in Brussels, as President of the European Travel Commission. The appointment of Mr De Wilde will be for a three-year term and follows the unexpected resignation of Mr Manuel Butler as Director General of Tourspain last September and ergo as President of ETC. Mr Roberto Rocca, Director General for Tourism of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, acted as ad-interim President during the transition time.

Peter De Wilde has been CEO of the Tourist Office for Flanders-Visit Flanders since 2009. He has a PhD in Arts, Romance Language and Literature and has been assistant professor at the University of Antwerp. “ETC markets one of the strongest brands in the world: Europe. Our marketing activities are crucial for the strengthening of Europe’s economic and symbolic capital. We must increase the awareness amongst political leaders that the tourism industry is a guarantee for sustainable economic and social growth” said Peter De Wilde.

Mr. De Wilde takes on the significant responsibility of leading the portfolio of research and marketing activities of the European Travel Commission towards implementation of the Destination Europe 2020 strategy. The development of the values of the brand Europe into creative pan-European products and the set-up of active task forces with major stakeholders -such as the European Commission, UNWTO, OECD and travel industry-  to co-define a global agenda for tourism knowledge are some of the priorities to be addressed under the leadership of Mr De Wilde.