ETC postpones Jan. marketing conference

NEW YORK -- The European Travel Commission here postponed its Trans-Atlantic Travel Marketing Conference scheduled for Jan. 16, pending further development and funding of a new marketing scheme for the U.S.

"We have developed plans for an 'Operation Recovery' promotion in major U.S. markets for 2002," said Einar Gustavsson, director for the Americas for the Icelandic Tourist Board and U.S. chairman of the 31-nation ETC. "The board wants to develop those plans further, so that we can announce them in detail at the conference."

A new date will be set following a board of directors meeting in Brussels, Belgium, in mid-January.

This is the second time the ETC has postponed the event, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 25 as a forum on the impact of European Union's common euro currency.

Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the conference was retooled -- under the theme "What Must Be Done to Rebuild U.S. Travel to Europe" -- to address an estimated 30% drop-off in transatlantic traffic.

"We are still very much in a crisis," Gustavsson said in a statement. "And we know that the transatlantic industry is looking to ETC ... for leadership and action."

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