Austria kicks off football tourism campaign for Euro 2008

Now is the time to start strategising on selling the summer – 2008, that is, when football comes back to Europe. CLARK KELLY has the details
Stoalba with the UEFA Euro 2008 Mascots

THE communications campaign for UEFA Euro 2008, the European Football Championship being held in Austria and Switzerland from June 7 to 28, 2008, has just been kicked off – and with it, tourism marketing for the mega-event has just about begun.

With major sporting events such as igniting the excitement and passions of fans around the world, the championship is expected to generate value-added and purchasing power between nearly 275 million euros for Austria alone. Austria’s federal government has earmarked six million euros in marketing budgets.
“We will take advantage of the excitement generated by the games to position Vacationland Austria in the run-up to UEFA Euro 2008 as the world’s most charming vacation destination with special ‘best of’ offers in prime football markets”, explains Petra Stolba, CEO of the  Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO). The ANTO plans to focus its marketing offensive in thirty football-crazed countries.
Together with the host cities Vienna, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Innsbruck, and other stakeholders, the ANTO has established the Euro2008 Tourism Platform to manage all Euro 2008-related activities and develop synergies.
The global communications package comprises no fewer than 250 marketing activities from PR, e-marketing, participation at international trade fairs and workshops, to intensive liaison with and training for tour operators. A special theme channel, keeps the trade updated with information about Austria, host cities and matches, and bookable offers around the event.
Another component of the strategy is a joint collaboration at trade fairs with Switzerland and its four host cities Basel, Bern, Geneva and Zurich. This was rolled out at Austria’s premier tourism trade fair for professionals, the Austrian and Central European Travel Business (ACTB) in January. An innovatively conceived and designed fair stand with flexible modules to suit varying requirements at different events will also appear at ITB Berlin this month, and at the Switzerland Travel Mart from May 10 to 12 in Basel.
A brochure featuring ‘best of’ offers from both countries and the eight host cities has been produced in cooperation with Switzerland Tourism, Austrian and Swiss host cities and UEFA. It is issued in seven languages in a run of 400,000, and has been distributed since the end of January through the ANTO’s worldwide network of offices and tourism industry partners.