GNTB Chief Executive Hands over the Reins After Two Years As ETC President

Petra Hedorfer stands down as President of the European Travel Commission (ETC)

German National Tourism Board Drawing a positive balance after more than two years at the head of the tourism organisation for Europe: in October 2012 Petra Hedorfer relinquished her post as President of the European Travel Commission (ETC). The Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has been at the helm of the umbrella organisation of 33 national tourist boards since 11 June 2010. Even  before  then  Petra  Hedorfer  had  been  active  on  the  European  stage  as Vice President of this leading European association. The European Travel Commission will make its decision regarding Ms Hedorfer's successor as president at its upcoming AGM. The ETC was founded in 1948 with the aim of promoting Europe as a travel destination in overseas markets and it has its headquarters in Brussels. 

During Petra Hedorfer's time as president, the ETC was restructured and a new Executive Director was appointed. In addition to its traditional activities in the USA and Canada, the European Travel Commission has in recent years begun to focus its marketing efforts increasingly on the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The visiteurope brand was launched China last year through the establishment of a China Chapter and the ETC extended the scope of its long-standing activities in Brazil. Petra Hedorfer was also successful in generating new funds and gaining approval for a €1 million budget from the European Commission. This budget from the European Commission is to be used in the  coming  18  months  for  further  ETC  marketing  activities  aimed  at  strengthening Europe's position in the BRIC countries (in particular China and Brazil). The ETC signed a joint declaration with the European Commission in October 2011. Another milestone in the Hedorfer presidency was the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations  World  Tourism  Organization  in   March  2012.   Under   its  terms,   the  two organisations  will  join  forces  to  set  up  global  think  tanks  and  will  work  in  close collaboration on trend analysis, market research, benchmarking, sustainability and crisis management.

Petra Hedorfer: "It was a great honour for me to serve the ETC for more than two years as president. Because the two roles are particularly demanding of my time, I have decided to stand down as ETC President this year. I would like to thank my colleagues from the European member states for the trust that they have placed in me. To my successor I hand over the reins of an organisation with an outstanding team that is well placed for the huge challenges that we as Europeans will have to overcome in the face of competition from travel destinations in the Americas and Asia."

The  national  tourism  boards  represented  by  the  ETC  run  the website,  carry out  joint  market  research,  organise  a  host  of  events  in  the  overseas markets and have put the training of travel industry employees in the respective source markets high on the agenda. The ETC sees its promotional work as complementary to the individual marketing activities of the national tourism boards in Europe. The German National Tourist Board is a long-standing member of the European Travel Commission and has permanent representation on its Board of Directors. 

About the GNTB

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It works on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) to represent Germany as a tourist destination and is funded by the Ministry in accordance with a decision taken by the German Bundestag. The GNTB develops and communicates strategies and products to promote Germany's positive image abroad as a tourist destination and to encourage tourists to visit the country. It has 30 agencies around the world to support its activities. More information can be found in our online press centre at

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