Frédéric Fussenich, director, Engelberg- Titlis Tourism, highlights what’s new in the region and the relevance of the India market to the region. By Reema Lokesh
What are the primary highlights of your destination?
We are very happy that we are so popular in India and every year more and more Indian guests visit our destination. I guess it is on every bucket list to visit once Mt Titlis and experience all the different activities. You will go up with our world famous gondola Titlis Rotair, the first revolving cable car in the world. On top, you can walk over the highest suspension bridge in Europe and enjoy a breathtaking view over the alps. Take the Glacier Express, a chair lift over deep blue crevasses to our fun park and can play in the snow with all kinds of sledges. Don’t forget to go in the glacier cave and touch 40, 000 year old ice.
What are the new aspects and elements that you wish to add to your product portfolio in the near future?
We are planning to rebuild the whole peak station with the world famous architects Herzog & de Meuron. Visitors will exit the gondala onto a concourse level with the glacier, with a sloping walkway leading to escalators and the exit. The previously obstructed view west over the mountains will be visable from a walkway below the cable car station. A selection of restaurants, which will be able to seat 550 people, will be located on the top floor of the station. Herzog & de Meuron will also renovate the underground tunnel that connects the station to the antenna tower. An “ice grotto” will allow visitors to view the glacier from the inside. The 50-metre-high beam antenna tower was built from industrial steel by the Swiss Post in 1980s. It was bought by Titlis railways, when new technology rendered it mostly obsolete, although the antenna remains in use. Two steel intersecting beams will turn the infrastructure tower into a landmark attraction. Stairs and lifts will run up the four vertical supports, reinforcing the structure. A lobby will be carved into the existing concrete base, giving direct access to the tower from the glacier. Up in the new levels, a bar, restaurant and lounge can seat 330 people with views south over the Alps and of Switzerland to the north.
Is accommodation during peak season a concern for tourism in your region? If yes any ways to tackle the same?
More and more individual tourists from India come with their families to Engelberg. We are very happy that we can offer a huge variety of apartments and hotels to cover this demand. If you travel during peak season you should book at least a month in advance in order to get the accommodation you prefer.
Can you throw some light on the forthcoming Swiss Open 2019 scheduled in August? Any plans to promote it in the India market?
We have some ideas but it is a bit too early to tell but for sure we will take up this great opportunity.
What are the hidden and unexplored aspects of your destination?
One of my favourite places is a hidden cable car station called Fürenalp. You go up with a tiny little gondola to 1800 m. On top you will find a cozy restaurant with authentic Swiss cuisine. The view and the atmosphere is fantastic!
Is there a message that you wish to share for the India market?
Drink the water from the tap while you are in Engelberg. It comes straight from the mountain, is crystal clear and the taste is better than any water from a plastic bottle. What’s more, it is for free.