ETC, Delta join forces for fall travel promotion

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NEW YORK -- The European Travel Commission (ETC) here teamed with Delta Air Lines to promote autumn travel to the Continent, producing a joint television ad that began airing in the New York area Sept. 16 and adding links to Delta's online

air and vacation booking engines from the ETC's Visit Europe Web portal.

The 30-second TV spots, which are slated to run for five more weeks on CBS' New York affiliate, highlight www.visiteurope.com -- which also features travel-agent locator functionality -- and the airline's flights from Kennedy Airport to Athens, Brussels, Frankfurt and Istanbul.

The Belgian, German, Greek and Turkish tourist boards also are partners in the promotional push.

Asked if the direct links to Delta would siphon Web surfers from the agent locator and leave travel professionals out in the cold, Levent Demirel, director of the Turkish Tourist Office in New York, said the ETC's primary goal is to increase air traffic to Europe by any means.

"But almost 70% of travel decisions are still made through travel agents, so I don't think [the direct links are] going to be [detrimental]" to the trade, said Demirel.

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