With the years 2019 and 2020 fast approaching, we are heading towards the very important momentum of the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. 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 will be unique in its scope and will target both B2B and B2C, aiming to reach +25 million (potential) visitors. This project will operate in all the countries already connected to the Liberation Route Europe, which are the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, 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!

Project activities
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 will provide different layers of information to the different target groups (businesses/organisations and individuals). All content will be available in English although, ideally, we aim to present this website in six different languages: English, French, Dutch, German, Polish and Italian.
The online portal aims to inspire and inform the public and will thus include the following content:

  • A European calendar of events
    Hundreds of commemorative events will be organised in Europe in 2019-2020. These events help the public learn more about the impact the war has had on Europe and the world and understand its long-lasting consequences. It gives them the chance 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. We would like to offer visitors (national and international), as well as press, tour operators etc. one platform to give them just that.
  • Historical information
    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 a simple and brief historical outline from the war’s origins to the liberation. Next to the historical context, the platform should provide an overview of  historic places to visit, such as museums, cemeteries, historical sites, audio spots etc. that will add to the historical understanding of the visitors.
  • Touristic information
    As we want to attract an international audience, we also need to offer touristic information. Visitors should be able to find hotels, restaurants, and information about transportation in all regions. In this area, we would like to work together with tourism partners such as Expedia, who already developed a successful, international and bookable database.
    The portal also creates an opportunity for tour operators to create their own tours and packages related to the anniversary and promote it on the Europe Remembers portal.
  • Extranet
    An extranet for B2B partners to upload and download content, and connect to the extensive WWII related network.

2. An international awareness campaign
This campaign stands for strong communication to all target groups, with preferably a distinction between a general campaign and campaign specifically aimed at youth. This strategy is being developed as we speak. The communication strategy of this campaign will include the following elements:

  • Adaptability
    The campaign can be applied on different levels, meaning that the campaign can be used globally as well as for national, regional, or even local and personal use.
  • Strong project identity
    Europe Remembers 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. The logo will be specially designed for other organisations to be able to adapt/co-brand it easily.
  • Consumer travel guide
    The ‘Liberation Route Europe Travel Guide’ gives a complete overview of all the Liberation Route Europe has to offer in the countries that are part of the international remembrance trail. It highlights museums, memorials, tours, 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 will also pay attention to touristic organisations, like best restaurants, hotels and so on.

Goals
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 reduce fragmentation in the WWII remembrance sector and connect all actors in one large, international network.

Click here for the full project outline.