Switzerland focuses on increasing stays of Indian travellers
Kahini Chakraborty – Mumbai
Switzerland Tourism is introducing new products and destinations like Davos and Zermatt in the India market, with a focus on aggressively increasing the number of Indians coming to Switzerland and extending the number of nights spent. The well known destinations like Lucerne and Zurich are also adding new products to their portfolio to keep people revisiting the destinations. To celebrate the summers of Switzerland, the tourism board has introduced The Grand Tour of Switzerland which combines the highlights of the destination in one single journey. It also leads across five Alpine passes, alongside 22 lakes, and to 13 UNESCO highlights with access to three neighbouring countries via Basel, Geneva and Lugano. Speaking to Express TravelWorld on the sidelines of the press launch of the product, Ritu Sharma, deputy director, Switzerland Tourism India said, “The Grand Tour of Switzerland is a self drive route. We also offer a Grand Train Tour of Switzerland which basically covers all touristic regions of Switzerland with panoramic routes such as Glacier Express, Golden Pass and so on. The Grand Tour starts in summer 2015. Right now, we are celebrating 150 years of winter tourism in Switzerland and promoting Switzerland as the original winter destination.”
Besides this, the board is also offering ‘Swiss Outdoors’ targeting the younger Indians – which offers adventure sports such as paragliding, bungee jumping as well as mountain biking, hiking, etc. “We are also promoting our youth hostels for such travellers. ‘Swiss Cities’ which are more boutique towns and offer all the advantages of a city such as restaurants, art, nightlife with close proximity to nature are also being promoted this year,” she added.
When asked about the tourist arrival growth from the India market, Sharma informed, “Tourist arrivals are approximately 325,000, hotel overnights are 470,000 and apartment overnights are approximately 300,000 until November 2014. We are expecting a five per cent increase in numbers in 2015.” The tourism board will continue to focus on MICE and its specialised division – SCIB (Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau) has now started to look after this growing segment in India.