With the years 2019 and 2020 fast approaching, we are heading towards the very important momentum of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. With the number of living veterans getting smaller every day, it is more important than ever to honour their sacrifice before they pass away. We expect only a few veterans to be alive in the next jubilee year (2024-2025).
“Therefore, the significant milestone of the 75th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to renew the collective commitment to continue sharing their legacy, reflect on it, and fully appreciate the peace they fought for.”
Numerous commemorations and related events will take place in the different countries concerned, to remember the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. We expect large numbers of visitors will be willing to travel to and within Europe to attend this milestone. The Liberation Route Europe Foundation has the ambition to coordinate, facilitate, and organise an international awareness and remembrance tourism campaign to honour, remember, reflect, and inspire. This project is called: Europe Remembers 1944-1945.
The campaign is unique in its scope and targets both B2B and B2C partners, aiming to reach +25 million (potential) visitors. This project operates in all the countries already connected to the Liberation Route Europe, namely the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, the United States of America, and Canada. Of course, all other countries are more than welcome to join us in this global initiative!
The activities within the Europe Remembers project can be grouped into two separate, but connected pillars:
1. An informative WWII portal
An online one-stop-shop which provides different layers of information to the different target groups (businesses/organisations and individuals). All content is available in six different languages: English, French, Dutch, German, Polish, and Italian. The online portal aims to inspire and inform the public. It includes the following content:
A European calendar of events
Hundreds of commemorative events are organised in Europe in 2019 and 2020. These events help the public to learn more about the impact the war has had on Europe and on the world, and to understand its long-lasting consequences. They give an opportunity to remember what happened and to keep that memory alive. Up until now, there has not yet been a comprehensive overview of all commemorative activities. Therefore we want to offer visitors (national and international), as well as the press and tourism organisations, one platform to give them just that.
It is important to provide the target groups with essential historical information to better understand what happened during the Second World War. The platform should provide visitors with a simple and brief historical outline from the war’s origins to the liberation. Next to the historical context, the platform should offer a clear overview of the different historic places to visit, such as museums, military cemeteries, points of interest, audio spots, and other sites.
As it is destined to an international audience, the online portal also includes touristic information. Visitors should be able to find hotels, restaurants, and information about transportation in all the regions of the Liberation Route. In this area, we work together with tourism partners. In addition, the portal gives the opportunity for tour operators, travel agents, and tour guides to create their own tours and packages related to the anniversary, and to promote them via the Europe Remembers portal.
Finally, the online portal includes an extranet for B2B partners to upload and download content, especially events and tours, and hence connect to the extensive WWII-related network.
2. An international awareness campaign
This campaign stands for strong communication to all target groups, including the following elements:
The campaign can be applied on different levels, which means that it can be used globally as well as for national, regional, or even local and personal use.
Strong project identity
The Europe Remembers portal will have a project identity with a strong and recognisable look and feel: it needs to make a statement and convey the campaign’s message. At the same time, the logo will function as a quality label. It has been specially designed in order for other organisations to be able to adapt and co-brand it easily.
Rough Guides Travel Book
The ‘Travel the Liberation Route Europe’ Rough Guides travel book gives a complete overview of everything the Liberation Route Europe has to offer in the countries that are part of the international remembrance trail. It highlights a series of museums, memorials, itineraries, and special points of interest along the Liberation Route. The aim is to create a travel guide of about 400 pages, which does not only pay attention to the history of WWII and promote the main locations along the route, but also pays attention to personal stories and experiences. The Liberation Route Rough Guides is planned to be released and available in book stores in July 2019.
Europe Remembers aims to call attention to the important years of remembrance and to create the awareness that freedom should never be taken for granted. In addition, the project will stimulate remembrance tourism in Europe and consequently increase visits to WWII heritage locations. It will inspire visitors to learn about history and motivate them to get on the road to come face to face with history. Lastly, the campaign Europe Remembers will connect all actors of the WWII remembrance sector in one large international network.