Switzerland Tourism’s biennial Switzerland Travel Experience Roadshow (STE) took place from 8-16 September. Concluding on a high note, eight lucky agents are now counting down to their December visit to the alpine country, with countless more thoroughly inspired and geared up to assist clients with their Swiss travel bookings.
Nearly 400 advisors across Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland and Christchurch attended the in-person event. They connected with the Switzerland Tourism ANZ team and key Swiss partners to learn all about the country’s sustainability strategy, Swisstainable, be updated with the latest news and product experiences, and gather tips for seamless travel.
A major takeaway from the event is that sustainability in Switzerland is more than just a trend, with the Swiss people and businesses being fully committed and engaged in the process and leading the way to a greener future with all sorts of innovative initiatives, experiences and ideas.
In line with, and as part of, the Swisstainable effort, a city campaign called ‘Run the Swiss Cities’ was highlighted during STE. Featuring 12 scenic routes across Zurich, Basel, Lugano and Geneva, the campaign heroes the cities’ architectural, historical and cultural aspects while showcasing their short proximities to pristine nature. It also encourages the discovery of more of the country on foot.
While the recovery from ANZ is gradually recovering, visitor overnight stays for summer this year in Switzerland have rebounded well since the pandemic – up 41.5% on 2021. Considering the different challenges due to the pandemic and the economic and political crises, overnights for autumn are also looking positive at a 4% increase in visitation.
Switzerland Tourism shared that the Australia/New Zealand market is on track to reach 2019 numbers by 2024.
Hosted by Livio Goetz, Birgit Weingartner and Michele Steinegger from Switzerland Tourism ANZ, attendees also met with partners: Céline Deplazes, Lucerne-Lake Lucerne Region; Peter Niederberger, Mt Titlis; Isabelle Rapisarda, Jungfrau Region; Dario Gross, Jungfrau Railways; Renato Julier, Interlaken Holiday Region; Andreas Nef, Swiss Travel System; Alan Ramsay, Schilthorn; Patricia Huber, Matterhorn Zermatt Cableways; Gabriele Huber, Glacier Express & Gornergrat Bahn; and Eliana Martinez, Swiss International Air Lines.
For advisors who weren’t able to attend, key highlights from the partners include:
Jungfrau Railways: Visitors to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe can now cut travel time by 47mins with
the new Eiger Express.
Jungfrau Region: Two new hotels are now available for booking in Grindelwald (Hotel Fiescherblick & Hotel Bergwelt).
Interlaken: The direct train from Zurich to Interlaken will commence on 11 December 2022 and travellers can now enjoy the Goldenpass Express between Montreux and Interlaken without changing trains. Also, woodwork enthusiasts can check out the Trauffer World of Experiences in Hofstetten near Brienz.
Schilthorn: The new Schilthornbahn 20XX project is underway, which will reduce travel time to the peak to just 11.8mins.
Lucerne & Lucerne Region: Along with the opening of the Mandarin Oriental Palace tomorrow (on 24 September), the city will commence its winter experiences with Lucerne Live on Ice from 24 November and its Light Festival Lucerne on 12 January 2023.
Titlis & Engelberg: With 902 years of history, 54 restaurants and almost 2440 beds this is Central Switzerland’s only publicly accessible glacier.
Glacier Express & Gornergrat Bahn: All 1st and 2nd class carriages on the Glacier Express have recently been refurbished; and Excellence Class needs to be booked as early as possible due to popularity.
Matterhorn Zermatt Cableways: Coming in 2023 is the opening of the world’s highest border crossing, the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing between Zermatt and Cervinia; and Gran Becca, the first cross-border race in the history of the Ski World Cup.
Swiss Travel System: While regular Passes are available in 1st and 2nd class for 3-, 4-, 6-, 8- or 15-days, the Autumn Promotion 4-Day consecutive Pass from 19 September to 31 October 2022 is valid until the end of April 2023.