Switzerland is the ultimate holiday and travel destination in the heart of the Alps, this was the theme in a recent event hosted by Swiss Ambassador H.E. Andrea Reichlin at her residence in Makati.
Urs Eberhard, Executive Vice President of the Swiss National Tourism Board was also present to convey to travel agents, corporate and media guests the advantages of travel to Switzerland.
“Switzerland is a dream destination for many Filipino travelers. Since Switzerland Tourism started with a ‘fact finding’ mission in late 2014 and intensified its activities in the Philippines thereafter, the market grew from 23,081 annual overnights to 38,772 overnights. This represents an increase of not less than 67%,” Eberhard revealed.
Among the advantages are unspoilt nature, majestic mountains with eternal snow and glaciers, tranquil lakes filled with fresh spring water and the air pure and crisp like nowhere else in the world. The medieval towns invite guests for a shopping spree, be it for a genuine Swiss-Watch or for some culinary treats like Swiss Cheese and Swiss Chocolate.
“Nowhere in the world will you have access with one single ticket. The Swiss Travel Pass covers the country’s 26,000 kilometers of rail, bus and boat routes. It includes rides on buses and trams of 75 towns and cities, trips on Swiss famous scenic routes including the glacier Express and the Golden Pass Line and free entry to more than 480 museums where all accompanied children up to 16 years of age can travel completely free of charge,” he added.
Philippine tourists travel independently and like to discover a destination more in depth. “Filipino Travel Agents cater to this trend and create Mono Switzerland Products. We see a big potential for incentive trips to Switzerland which highlights the combination of Swiss quality and prestige, Swiss hospitality and efficiency and hassle free travel within the destination that make Switzerland the ideal choice for a reward trip,” he said.
On the other hand, H.E. Ambassador Andrea Reichlin, thanked Philippine travel agents for contributing to the growth of Filipino tourists to Switzerland.
“Filipinos inspire us to innovate our smiles make it warmer and brighter. The same goes for the hospitality, we take it as a challenge and do as good as you do. Ladies and gentlemen, the bottomline is all present here in a way, or another, have contributed to the huge success of Switzerland tourism. This is indeed a huge celebration,” declared Amb. Reichlin.
Tourism trends and their significance for Filipinos travelling to Switzerland
Food tourism has progressively developed into an ever more powerful trend among travelers around the world. Switzerland, even though famous for its cheese and chocolate, offers one of the largest varieties of European “Cuisines” where every region has a wide array of specialties for all four seasons. Culinary sight-seeing tours with locals is also booming. For example, the Zurich Food Tour, a cultural hot spot of Zurich-West, features the background and history behind the city’s culinary revolution. Local delicacies feature different types of rich and organic vegetables, meat, seafood and local drinks.
Tourism gets more feminine with 80% of travel decisions are made by women. Whether married, single or divorced and regardless of the country of origin. Offers and itineraries are focused on the decision makers — women. The Geneva’s Girls Guide, for example, was compiled for women by women. The guide covered inputs from local female ambassadors who are passionate about their city and its incredible, cosmopolitan offering.
Alpine/Urban hybrid. Guests, especially from long-haul markets like to combine the urban lifestyle with the alpine/nature experiences. Combining trendy city hotels with traditional rural hospitality of a chalet hotel is now a trend. Experiences with eternal snow, a Swiss handy craft and a jazz or classical concert at happening at the same day is what the consumer of tomorrow is looking for.
Destination gathering. We become more and more global citizens. There are kids who study abroad and family members who live far away from each other due to work assignments. As many have to travel anyway, we see more and more of those multi-generation families who combine gathering with a vacation. They are looking for a place where all members of the group, and all generations will find their perfect holiday experiences.
Health & Beauty tourism. And last but not least, there is a strong revival of health and beauty tourism. At the very beginning of tourism in Switzerland, the guests came to Switzerland to recover from health issues. The magic of our crystal clear mineralized water combined with the fresh clean mountain air saved many lives and made people feel better again. No wonder that nowadays, many generations later, guests rediscover Switzerland as the must place to be for a healthy and beautiful vacation.