The European Quartet – One Melody
The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have joined together to promote tourism to the four Central European sovereign states, to overseas visitors. The promotional name for this joint marketing initiative by the national tourism head offices, is the European Quartet.
The Quartet, otherwise known as the Visegrad Four (V4), has been working together to ensure long-term success in fields of common interest, through continued and reinforced internal co-operation.
The Visegrad initiative is an expression of the effort to develop the region of Central Europe within the wider framework of Europe-wide integration. All four countries share both historical roots and cultural traditions. At the same time however, each of the member countries has its own unique identity, be this in the field of architecture, art, religion, folklore and traditions or landscape.
It is because of these unique characteristics that visitors to the V4 region are surprised to find new and intriguing surprises at every step of their journey and are most certainly not bored.
The Visegrad area offers several unique UNESCO monuments, world famous spas, authentically preserved historical towns and places of stunning natural beauty.
The Visegrad Group was officially created in 1991 when the declaration of co-operation on the path to European integration was signed with the aim of preserving cultural coherence and strengthening the stability of the European region through the support of shared values in the fields of culture, science, education and the exchange of information.
In 2003, the member countries confirmed their decision to promote themselves as one tourist destination – the region of Central Europe. A working meeting of representatives from the national tourist head offices of the V4 countries has been held every year since.
The topic of these meetings is the creation of a joint marketing strategy, which is represented by the promotional slogan “European Quartet – One Melody”. The basic instruments for tourist promotion of the V4 countries include presentations at trade fairs, workshops, fam and press trips, printed brochures and promotional websites (www.european-quartet.com).
The basic binding document for the implementation of European Quartet activity in the given year is the marketing plan, in which the specific promotional events are set out for individual target markets including the budget. Tourist promotion of the V4 countries on global markets is primarily focused on distant and overseas countries – the USA, Russia, China and Japan, to which India and Brazil were added in 2010.
All of the V4 countries have been members of the European Union since 2004 and in 2007 they became part of the Schengen Area. As an alternative to Europe-wide integration and an example of the successful functioning of international cooperation, the Visegrad Four joint initiative, is highly praised as an example of “good practice”. It does not try to separate itself from the rest of Europe, but on the contrary seeks to establish links with other European countries.
The basis of this connection is getting to know different cultures and promoting them – a goal which this website also serves. It tries to capture the unique nature of the Visegrad Area and also that of its individual countries and to present its tourist potential. Simply put, the V4 tourist region is a European Quartet, which plays the same melody, even though each of the instruments is unique.
More information about the history and activities of the Visegrad Four association can be found on the official website www.visegradgroup.eu.