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Supplement: Bright lights, big cities
EUROPEAN CITIES MARKETING FOCUSES ON BRIC COUNTRIES posted on: 11/6/2012 10:16:15
EUROPE - European Cities Marketing (ECM), a network of tourist offices and convention bureaus in Europe, is building the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries into its forward strategy.
The network says the BRICs present great opportunity for the leisure and meetings industry.
Garry White, the incoming CEO of ECM, who has spent the last five years working in the Asia Pacific region as Regional Director for Visit Britain said: “BRIC markets and in particular Russia, India and China are already important source markets for European cities. The economies are strong and they never really felt the impact of the global economic crisis as we did in Europe.
“You have a huge middle class segment emerging together with a significant high net worth, luxury segment and there is a lot of interest in travel to Europe. From a Chinese perspective Europe fascinates, but a lot of their perceptions are shaped by the film industry and European consumer brands. The challenge and the opportunity is to present a product that is more tailor-made to a Chinese/BRIC audience.
“My belief and experience indicates that Europe is more attractive as an 'idea”' than a set of individual countries and that cities are far more interesting than the countries they belong to. Chinese buyers and consumers would be far more attracted by the idea of visiting a number of European Cities than visiting any one country in Europe and that presents us with a tremendous opportunity at ECM,” White added.
The ECM Benchmarking Report 2012 indicates that member cities are achieving an average year on year growth of 6.2 per cent domestically and eight per cent internationally. It also revealed that the fastest growing source markets were Russia (up 36 per cent) and China (up 30 per cent).