Women should be able to achieve their full potential – even when on holiday in Switzerland. That is why Switzerland Tourism launched the “100% Women” initiative on International Women’s Day.
Women created this project for women to provide a different perspective on new experiences. It especially applies to outdoor activities and mountain sports, which will be particularly important after the pandemic.
As part of the 100% Women Peak Challenge, Switzerland Tourism is joining forces with the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), the Swiss Mountain Guide Association and Mammut to encourage female mountaineers to climb
all 48 4,000m peaks in Switzerland – in teams made up exclusively of women.
More than 230 tourism offers throughout Switzerland that are specially geared towards women with female guides, enable all women to be part of 100% Women.
One hundred fifty years ago, British mountaineer Lucy Walker became the first woman to conquer the Matterhorn. Switzerland Tourism says it’s high time for women to be given more prominence in Swiss mountain sports.
The 100% Women Peak Challenge aims to encourage women-only teams to ascend the 48 highest peaks in the Swiss Alps. The campaign will run from 8 March to 8 September 2021. It will be accompanied by an interactive landing page Peakchallenge.myswitzerland.com – and topped off by selfies of those taking part from the various peaks.
Together, Switzerland Tourism, the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC), the Swiss Mountain Guide Association and Swiss outdoor brand Mammut launched the campaign which is not about competing against one another – the focus is on experiencing the 48 4,000m peaks together.
One famous face among those taking part in the campaign is Swiss Schlager singer Beatrice Egli, who will be fulfilling a lifelong dream in July and climbing the Matterhorn. Another is the first Saudi woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, Raha Moharrak, who now plans to ascend Switzerland’s highest peak, the Dufourspitze.
The first group of mountaineers already finished their expedition on 11 March. Three athletes Chemmy Alcott (UK), Johanna Ratschiller (Italy) and Caja Schöpf (Germany), together with mountain guides and Mammut Pro Team Athletes Caro North (Switzerland) and Nadine Wallner (Austria), climbed the three 4000 metre peaks Allalinhorn, Alphubel and Strahlhorn in the canton of Valais successfully.
Offers by women for women
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a 4,000m peak. Together with the tourism industry, Switzerland Tourism has presented over 200 offers and events specially geared towards women and provide a female perspective of Switzerland at MySwitzerland.com/women.
All experiences – ranging from just a few hours to several days – are led by women to give them and their achievements a platform and provide other women with positive role models.
Around half of the experiences have been newly conceived, especially for this campaign. An expert jury selected the offers based on defined criteria. Its main focus was on offers taking place in the great outdoors – all as part of women-only groups.
One example of this would be the five-day mountaineering tour in the Monte Rosa massif, run by the Mammut Alpine School lead by professional mountaineer and mountain guide Caro North.
Men are also invited to discover Switzerland, but the focus would be on the women – eg. on more than 40 different city and cultural tours, the theme will be all about women and their achievements.
Women-only travel is booming
Why the focus on women? 80% of travel decisions are taken by women, regardless of who they are travelling with, according to Forbes. Among tourists booking adventure, cultural or nature holidays, 75% are women between 20 and 70.
National Geographic identified women-only trips as one of 2020’s top travel trends. Demand has shifted away from traditional wellness trips towards a broader spectrum of interests. In the outdoor segment, in particular, Switzerland Tourism sees great potential in attracting women as new visitors and encouraging those already keen on outdoor activities (such as hiking) to try something a little different (high-altitude hikes, mountain biking, etc.).
Women-only offers, led by female mountaineers or guides, can help inspire many women to get out of their comfort zone in the company of other like-minded individuals (to embark on a mountain tour they would never have dared to try otherwise).
In February 2020, Switzerland Tourism invited the tourism industry to a workshop to discuss women’s needs with respect to outdoor sports under female experts’ direction. The results were compiled in a set of industry
For more details, see MySwitzerland.com/women
All images supplied/Courtesy of Switzerland Tourism