Der Binnentourismus

post by : lisa.denoreaz



 

Binnentourismus als Nachhaltigkeitslösung

Binnentourismus beschäftigt sich mit der Zielgruppe von Leuten aus dem eigenen Land / der eigenen Region. Dies könnte eine Lösung sein um das so aktuelle Klimaproblem, bei welchem auch der Tourismus ein grosser Mitspieler ist, ein wenig in den Griff zu bekommen. Um dies genauer zu erläutern wird im folgenden Text über verschiedene Argumente darüber debattiert:

PRO

Reisewege

Wenn man innerhalb der Schweiz verreist, gibt es unglaublich viele Verkehrsmittelmöglich-keiten um von einem Punkt A bis zu einem Punkt B zu Fahren. Man braucht nicht unbedingt das Flugzeug zu nehmen, welches wirklich verschmutzend ist.

Je nach Bedarf kann man verreisen. Entweder ist man nah am Geld und kann zum Beispiel den Bus nehmen oder man hat keine Zeit und kann mit dem Flugzeug verreisen.

Stellen sie sich jetzt vor, sie fahren nach London. Sie haben keine andere Wahl als mit dem Flugzeug zu fliegen.

 

Zeitliche Verteilung

Das ist doch ein schönes Gefühl zu reisen! wenn man innerhalb der Schweiz verreist kann man jedes wochenende es machen, nichts ist zu weit Weg

Darüber hinaus, kann man sich in den Ferien Fühlen ohne zu den Malediven zu fliegen. In Kanton Tessin gibt es Palmen, in Genf gibt es Strände, in Bern gibt es blaue Wasser und so weiter.

 

Sensibilisierung

Man will immer weit weg fahren aber man kennt nicht das Land wo man lebt.

Man muss auch bewusst sein, dass wenn wir alle überall verreisen, werden wir diesen schönen Landschaften schaden. Die Touristen die in die Schweiz kommen, haben meistens auch kein Respekt. Wollen Sie das für unsere kleine Schweiz?

 

 

Contra

Geografische Verteilung

Wenn sich alle beispielsweise in den Winterferien in den Skigebieten befinden ist die geografische Verteilung innerhalb des Landes nicht sehr verstreut. Man kann es mit der Streetparade vergleichen, wo sich ca. 2.5 Millionen Menschen auf einmal treffen.

Keine Entdeckung (Kultur)

Bleibt man in den Ferien nur innerhalb der CH, so sieht man auch keine neue Kulturen, Sitten, Moral.

Keinen Geldfluss aus dem Ausland

Wenn die Schweizer nur in der CH Ferien machen würden, dann wären die Hotels schneller ausgebucht, was natürlich zu einer höheren Nachfrage bewirkt. Die Preise werden mit der Zeit selbstverständlich auch steigen, womit sich die Ausländer womöglich keine Ferien mehr in der Schweiz leisten können und wir auch keinen Geldfluss aus dem Ausland haben.

 

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Will the Aletsch Glacier disappear?

post by : florenti.daenzer



Aletsch Glacier

 

The Aletsch glacier was formed during the last ice age (around 18’000 years ago) and is the bigger glacier from the Alps. It is melting due to global warming but if the global warming can be limited to less than 2° the glacier will probably be shrunk to its half before 2100. Otherwise it will completely disappear before the end of the century.

Since the Aletsch glacier was the biggest European glacier and it has a unique landscape, it is protected and defined as an UNESCO world heritage. As Monika König, manager of communication of Aletsch Arena Tourism Office, explained: “The glacier is highly protected by guards in order that there is no damage due to tourism. Additionally, there is no mass tourism, we mostly have German or Swiss visitors which are very responsible.”

 

 

Comparison Iceland – Switzerland

 

In Iceland since 1995, the glaciers lost around 7% of their mass because of climate change and one of the most important reason for tourists to come to Iceland is to see the glaciers and do some winter activities (such as climbing, hiking, cave tours and snowmobile adventure). If they would not exist anymore, the possible activities would not be done anymore.

On the 18th of August 2019, a mourning ceremony was held to say goodbye for the Okjökull glacier (Iceland) where there is only 1 square meter remaining. Tourists said they felt more concerned about climate change after visiting Iceland where they can see the effects of it.

 

On the 22nd of September 2019 a similar ceremony was done for the Pizol glacier (small glacier in the Glarus Alps of northern Switzerland) who also disappeared due to climate change. Some new projects in the region and in Switzerland were created; Suspension bridges (Trift Bridge in Bernese Oberland), via ferrata, educational nature trails are constructed and new landscape because of lakes forming which “add value to the landscape”.

 

 

The Impact of on Glaciers’ Melting on Tourism

 

Every year, it at­tracts thou­sands of vis­it­ors from around the world: as the largest ice flow in the Alps, the Great Aletsch Gla­cier is a ma­jor tour­ism draw in the Swiss re­gion of Up­per Val­ais.

The retreat of glaciers also has a major impact on residents:

The glacier attraction is an important source of income. Through snow deficient winters locals have financial problems because they heavily depend on snow availability and the weather and their villages are threatened by the natural hazards.

Since the melting of the glaciers results in mud flows, rock falls, soil slides, erosions and in other threats, the economy has to invest a lot of money to stabilize the soil, to produce artificial snow , to finance important measurements and researches to analyse the dangers of the glaciers for  glacier tours or skiing on the glacier and to analyse the risks for tourists and locals and finally to reconstruct hiking trails in order to fulfil the demands of the tourists.

The melting glaciers have an impact on both summer and winter tourism:

 

Winter

  • Declining profitability especially of the lower-lying winter sports areas, due to
  • decreasing duration of snow cover, shortening the ski season
  • increasing costs for making snow for slopes
  • declining number of guests at mountain railways and tourist accommodation due to uncertain snow conditions
  • declining motivation for winter sports when the Swiss Plateau lacks a winter landscape

Summer:

  • Increasing damage to tourist buildings, facilities and paths due to rock fall, rock avalanche, debris flows, landslides, floods and forest fires; increasing expenses for maintenance in recreational areas
  • Additional economic damage if the accessibility of a tourist destination is temporarily restricted due to a natural event
  • Increased negative perception of the mountain area as a recreation area / tourism destination after natural events with personal or major property damage

Summarized Climate Change has impacts on agriculture and on tourism industry like cable cars, sports activities which depend on the glacier and weather conditions.

 

Can Glaciers be saved?

 

Rhone Glacier has been covered in white sheets to protect it against the sun for 10 years. but “…the costs will soon exceed the economics benefits”, says Huss, a well-known researcher of glaciology. “The Aletsch glacier is too big to be saved with sheets or artificial snow machines, our methods are to make the people as well as the tourists aware of the climate change and its impacts on the glacier “, explained Monika König, the manager of the Aletsch Arena tourist office.

 

There was an Initiative to save the glaciers in 2019 by the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, the people’s initiative “for a healthy climate” contains the reduction of net emissions in Switzerland to zero by 2050 and is one of the objectives of the Paris climate agreement. Re­gard­ing gla­cier tour­ism in Val­ais, the best-​case scen­ario would be if global warm­ing could be lim­ited to less than 2 de­grees Celsius, as told in the Paris Agree­ment. If the Paris Agreement succeeds, the climate would stabilize by the middle of the century. This would save 40% of the Aletsch glacier’s volume by 2100.

 

 

Our Suggestions to the Aletsch Glacier

 

  • Instead of outdoor skiing, it could be introduced skiing halls which do not depend on snow conditions nor on the glacier.
  • Since some glaciers are too large to cover them or putting artificial snow on them, it would be good to make the people aware of the climate change and its impacts as Monika König suggested. The Aletsch arena already has trails on which explanations, demonstrations and suggestions of the climate change are shown.
  • A future thinking on questions like what alternatives to the glacier attraction and winter sports are, would be good in case the glacier disappears. Unfortunately, the Aletsch Arena does not have an alternative. In their opinion it is too far away.

 

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Cycle tourisme in Switzerland (focus on Valais)

post by : angeliqu.bise



What is cycle tourism?

“A participant or spectator in a cycling related activity that included an overnight stay or a day trip which is more than 50 kms outside their usual place of residence.” (http://www.beecoswebengine.org)

 

In Switzerland

On myswitzerland.com you can look up “national routes” and find 9 different cycling routes which go through the entire country. Wherever you live in Switzerland you’ll be able to reach at least one trail.

 

In Valais

It appears that many things have already been put into place in Valais such as rental bikes, bike hotel, cycle guides and public transports. There are already 52 itineraries registered by Valais-Wallis Promotion and 7 by SwissMobile (2 new itineraries in 2019).

 

Comparison with Dolomites

Dolomites is an attractive region for cycle tourism, located in the Station of Alta Badia in Italy. It is known as a cycle tourism destination due to its international cycling event: The Dolomites’ Marathon. The strategy of Alta Badia was to create public events, develop infrastructures and call up partners. They also tried to keep the local culture and a warm atmosphere. Valais has today already a lot of cycling events, like Grand Raid, Verbier E-bike Festival, VTT World Championship and Cycling World Championship in 2020. These competitions are becoming more and more well-known. The strategy of Valais is to find emblematic routes and twin stations with foreign ones. The Canton of Valais is trying to help the development of cycle tourism but there are still some improvements to make. Valais is on the same model as the Dolomites’ one and is on a good way.

 

Our recommendations

  • More promotion around the idea of cycle tourism
  • Improvement of the security (cycling paths, alerting people about the increase of cyclists on the road)
  • Development of trails for every kind of tourists in Valais
  • New event: Greedy stroll by bike

 

Conclusion

Cycle tourism could be a great opportunity for the Canton of Valais (as well as for Switzerland) in terms of attractiveness and sustainability. It is getting better and better but there are still things to improve.

 

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Switzerland: Destination Wedding

post by : masha.fux



A Destination Wedding is a wedding held in an exciting or unusual place in a foreign country where all the people who travel to the wedding can have a holiday or a vacation. Although there is a big interest in Destination Wedding, it has not received a lot of attention from researchers and reporters.

 

The big Indian wedding which took place in St-Moritz in the beginning of this year shows us that this type of tourism - wedding and honeymoon tourism - has a big potential. Roberto Rivola, head of corporate communication of St-Moritz’s tourism office, told us: “The guests' social media activities have a value that we would never achieve with our marketing budget. And not only in India: the wedding guests from all over the world also served as multipliers. We can also assume that one or the other guest has discovered St. Moritz for the first time and that this type of wedding will become a recurring event.” 

 

Switzerland has the power to become one of the top Destination Wedding place thanks to its qualities; it provides everything newlyweds desire:

  • High quality tourism products
  • Excellent transportation and accommodation
  • Friendliness of locals and employees
  • Beautiful landscapes during all four seasons
  • Cultural and natural attractions
  • Security
  • Trilingualism
  • Etc.

 

Switzerland now has to start promoting those aspects. Our recommendations would be to start putting advertisements on foreign websites and get in contact with foreign wedding planner agencies, create attractive packages to make the wedding planning more convenient. Hotels, restaurants, transportation and other facilities should cooperate better in order to create unforgettable experiences for the newlyweds. Since Switzerland receives a lot of visits from celebrities all year long, tourism organisations should take the opportunity to run a campaign in order to attract newlyweds and tourists in general.

 

As we see, in promoting Switzerland as a Destination Wedding, the country could increase its profits in the whole tourism industry.

 
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Wedding Tourism

post by : eleonore.fouchaul



 

Swiss Tourism is trying to present Switzerland as a perfect wedding destination. A platform has been developed online early in the year (on www.myswitzerland.com) to attract potential lovers. They have grouped a list of hotels, wedding planners, and atypical or heavenly places where they have the possibility to celebrate this once-in-a-life event. According to an interview on CNN of Jessica Cindy (a designer based in Singapore), Switzerland is highly valued for wedding tourism thanks to its safety, ease of travel, winter weddings, and landscapes. Mostly for Asian people, celebrating a marriage under the snow is a fairy tale.

However, getting married in Switzerland is very expensive. That’s also one of the reasons why Swiss people themselves also enjoy getting married abroad. The wedding planning agency “Nuptia Wedding & Event Planner” has already organized numerous marriages on the Island of Mauritius, and states that it is one of Swiss people’s favorite wedding destination when they want to have a beach scenery and not spend too much money. They also enjoy leaving to close European countries such as France, Italy or Spain, for different reasons; they may have some properties near the shore, some family there or are just looking for an unusual landscape not too far from their home.

Even though wedding tourism is quickly developing in Switzerland, there is still a long way to go to become one of the most prized wedding destinations. Some juridical factors also influence on wedding tourism. Since its legalization in some countries, same-sex marriages are being celebrated in various countries around the world, having a huge impact on the economy of these places.  According to the Journal of Economics and Finance, in the United States, the “federal income tax revenue would increase by up to $1.3 billion following same-sex marriage legalization.”[1]. Legalizing SSM in Switzerland would then probably have a big social and economic impact on the wedding industry in Switzerland.

 

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Unusual accomodation in Switzerland

post by : caroline.blanc1



Who has ever dreamed of spending a night under the starry sky ? Being able to see the stars with a see-through ceiling over your head or sleeping just right in front of one of the highest summits in Europe, doesn’t that sound appealing ?

It is a trend going on for a few years now driving more and more places lucky enough to have the perfect environment to offer unique experiences by building accommodations exploiting the nice setting they are given.

 

An unusual accommodation can be defined as a place where you can stay and that provides you an unique and out of the ordinary experience regarding its location or the service it offers.

 

You can have a range of experiences in different places like mountains, near the sea, in the nature, in the air and so on. It is more like an adventure than if you just spend a night in an ordinary hotel. 

People using that kind of accommodations are mostly seeking for a new experience involving nice scenery, tranquility, originality and uniqueness. Even though the price is quite high, people choose to not take it into consideration focusing more on the experience than money. Most of the tourists are staying only for one night or the weekend. The clients are mostly couples (57%) and groups of friends (23%).

Valais

 

The market in Switzerland is still growing and not as evolved as in other countries like France, where unusual accommodations are easy to find.

A lot of places in Valais are offering those kind of experiences, mostly because the landscape and the scenery are a big selling point and attract a lot of people.

 

For instance Iglu Dorf in Zermatt, where you not only sleep in it but also have to construct it.

The Chetzeron in Crans-Montana located at 2112 meters in the mountains boasting its incredible view over the Alps or the Gornergrat in Zermatt built just right in front of the Matterhorn are also well-known examples included in what Valais has to offer in terms of unusual places to stay.

 

Since many chalets can be found in the mountains of Valais, locals are restoring theirs and turning them into accommodations for tourists. As we can see in the small village of La Forclaz, where they restored six agricultural chalets and named it “Anako Lodge”.

 

Moreover, the canton of Valais shares a tiny piece of Lake Geneva and this is interesting because over there are various offers such as spending a night on a boat floating on the lake. 

Comparison with France

 

Started about fifteen years ago, the business of unusual accommodations appeared in France quite early compared to some of her peers. The french market is mostly focused on treehouses, allowing several booking websites specialized in that kind of service to be created. The main purpose of this new service was to provide a place away from the city, where its guests could rest quietly and connect with nature.

In France, the unusual accommodation market covers 6.5% of the total turnover of the hotel business in 2016. (2.5 billion euros). For 2020, they expect an increase of 20% per year. 

 

While in France various experiences are offered such as spending a night surrounded by animals in a zoo or in the middle of a forest in their many treehouses, Switzerland still has room for improvements. The market here is mostly concentrated on places set in the mountains, bringing landscapes to the front scene. But Switzerland is not limited by mountains and breathtaking views, therefore she has many ways of expanding her offer. Restoring more chalets or huts to provide an unique experience to live like a local back in the day or combining the swiss wildlife with tourism by offering experiences with animals outdoors or even in a farm are some ideas to explore.

Nonetheless, Swiss tourism is already thriving regarding its success in the ski resorts field and by operating many sightseeing spots, attracting every year plenty of tourists from all around the world.

 
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Ecotourism in Switzerland

post by : thea.villard



Ecotourism in Switzerland

 

What is Ecotourism and its principles?  

First, we are going to introduce you to Ecotourism. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines it as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of local people, and involves interpretation and education”.   

The principle of Ecotourism is to travel without damaging the nature and surroundings. Some of the main principles are to build environmental and cultural awareness, minimize physical, social, behavioural and psychological impacts or generate financial benefits for visitors and hosts.  

We started caring about the well-being of the earth in the 70s and 80s and that is how this movement started.  

 

Trends of Ecotourism in the world  

We are becoming more aware of the impact our travels have on the environment and local communities we interact with, meaning that ecotourism has exploded over the last few years. 

The first questioning travellers have when looking for destinations is: if I visit this place, will it have a negative impact on its inhabitants? According to a survey conducted by Booking.com, 60% of travellers would choose not to visit a place if doing so would have a negative effect. Moreover, lesser known destinations are chosen instead of overcrowded places, such as Athens, Venice or Rome.  

The second point is about the environmental impact of stay.  A study found that of the 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic produced across the globe, 6.3 billion tonnes have become waste. Counteracting this has become one of the main sustainability issues of the moment.  

 

Ecotourism in Switzerland  

To illustrate Ecotourism in Switzerland, we choose to talk about Zermatt, famous all around the world for its amazing resorts, hotels, restaurants and especially the Matterhorn. 

Zermatt started this tendency in order to have the less impact possible on the environment. Nowadays, more and more people are concerned about the environment and their impact on it.   

Zermatt developed then a few things to contribute to the Ecotourism. For example, there are only electric cars permitted in the area. Also, they have been protecting the natural areas around Zermatt and they even got a price for it. Furthermore, they created an underground funicular railway in order to keep the landscape untouched. 

To conclude, Zermatt is considered as an Ecotourism destination and, as mentioned above, does a lot for sustainable development. If Zermatt can do it, why not others?  

 

Ecotourism in another country

Denmark is one of the greenest countries in the world. They reached this position in raising the costs on petrol and cars. The reaction of the inhabitants is to walk and ride bicycles. For that, the city of Copenhagen built cycling zone and made the traffic easier and secured. Private taxi companies also invested in carbon neutral taxis and taxi-bikes, and hotels are participating in improving the ecology and achieve goals to get the eco-label.  

 

How Switzerland can improve ecotourism? 

First of all, the big ski resorts present in Switzerland should think and act as Zermatt does. That means that more cities should have an “electric cars only” policy and care more about the environment itself and keep it as untouched as possible.  

As for cars, we could also improve our bike and pedestrian paths to make it accessible for everyone. In some city, they already began to invest in bikes and rent them for free for everyone.  

 

Conclusion

There are still a lot of improvements to make although we can notice that it becomes more popular. For example, on myswitzerland.com, a whole page about Ecotourism in Switzerland is dedicated. We can see that there are quite a lot of possibilities such as wildlife watching, discover Swiss nature in all its purity, swiss parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites, mountains and glaciers or even short hikes.  

 

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Summer tourism development in ski resorts

post by : renaud.lugon



As time goes on and all the news about the subject, we cannot deny that the climate is changing. Global warming is hitting the globe all over the world and inevitably also here in Switzerland. With winters passing by, we can see that snow is often missing at crucial periods like school holidays (Christmas, February and even Easter) and this has a direct impact on ski resorts. As they mainly depend on these periods to earn money, when there isn’t enough snow to open every slopes or even open the resort at all, it causes a huge deficit at the end of the season, not only for the resort but also for the village itself and all the tourism activity that goes with it.

But still, in the years to come, there is few chances that the situation will get better, therefor, resorts need to renew their offer in order to keep running. One solution would be to develop summer tourism in order to make their lift more profitable as they can’t count on only winter season anymore and this represent a huge part of their spending.

A good example to show how the transition is going in Switzerland is Verbier. Verbier is one of the Switzerland’s most visited ski resort. It is considered worldwide, as one of the best places to freeride. In the first place, Verbier was only active during winter. People used to come here to ski. Nowadays, the resort has changed its horizons. Of course, during winter it is always possible to ski, but to avoid losing money, they had to imagine some activities for summer. That’s why they put activities in place, such as mountain biking, hiking, scooter riding, yoga at altitude or many others.You can also enjoy more and more festivals in Verbier during summer (as E-Bike festival, Verbier festival Open Air concert).

Due to these activities, people started coming during summer. It was not just a place to ski anymore. All of this had a great impact on the turnover of the resort. They earned more money so they could pay the fees of the resort. More people stayed overnight during summer and it was also a good thing for the stores of Verbier, simply because they had more customers.

In order to get ideal representation of where swiss resort should head in the next years, we analyze the case of Whistler, Canada. Whistler is known as a world-class mountain resort and has hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic games and has also been the first ski resort to open a mountain bike resort, as an alternative revenue during summer.

The resort is incredibly well developed not only for the activities but also for its infrastructures. Whistler do have a village with plenty of shops and restaurants, arts and culture scenes, health and wellness infrastructures. From the resort, you can enjoy many hiking and biking tracks, have fun during an activity such as zip lining or else do some golfing. Whistler has been able to exploit every inch of the field it possesses in order to maximise the number of entertainments it can offer to the client and make sure that everyone, regardless of his age, can have fun during his stay at Whistlers. Nowadays, Whistler is working financially as well during winter than during summer.

Of course, the resort has been able to put all these features into place thanks to its successful revenue and, if we compare Whistler to Verbier it would not be a fair comparison since the North American resorts is known all over the world.  But Verbier has also made some progresses regarding summer activities to keep a revenue during the summer. For instance, they keep themselves up to date by offering mountain bike and hiking activities, as well as yoga classes and school outings.

To conclude, we can see that there are alternatives and it can be worth the investment now to anticipate the future seasons to come if we want to keep Wallis attractive for tourists. Developing new activities in summer will gather new customers and may create a trend is summer sports that will gather even more people. Therefore, resorts would depend much less on winter seasons, which could lead in a terrible disaster in case of a winter without snow.

 

 

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Cohabitation between inhabitants and tourists in Lucerne

post by : kim.verly



Around 25,000 tourists visit Lucerne every day and there are 81,600 inhabitants (in 2017). The majority of tourists doesn’t stay overnight. There are not as many tourists as in other places in Europe, but it seems to be too much for a part of the population. The main problem for the inhabitants is tourists travelling in groups and being all at the same place, at the same time because of that the inhabitants cannot walk peacefully in the city. One other problem is the rubbish management, tourists are not always respectful and put their rubbish everywhere. However, local merchants appreciate tourists because they need them to make a better profit.

Recommendations

One of the solutions to mass tourism in Lucerne would be to introduce a tax for all buses stopping in the city centre. This would reduce nuisances and help with infrastructure costs. Another thing would be to build an underground bus parking lot outside of the city, linked to the centre by a metro. This would help contain this influx of vehicles outside of the centre. Furthermore, an additional solution would be to involve the city’s inhabitants into the tourist offer. For example, these people could be able to advise tourists about unknown places that deserve to be visited.

Another idea would be to open an information place for the inhabitants, like the Evreux’s tourist office (France) did. This place includes display screens announcing upcoming events; a map of the region; a relaxation area and a shop selling local products. This would improve the inhabitants to visit a tourist office and encourage them to highlight the tourist’s side of their city.
Currently unknown, solidarity tourism could be another solution. This refers to trips organized for the purpose of exchange between tourists and the local populations, allowing populations to benefit from the resources generated by tourism. Concretely, this represents a short stay with the locals or an immersion in an unexplored ethnic group.

Competitive advantage

In France, the City of Paris has decided in 2017 to ban tourist coaches from travelling on certain streets of the city to deal with mass tourism and reduce traffic. For example, this is the case for the Latin Quarter and the Quai des Orfèvres. The municipality also wishes to create parking spaces outside the city. It also encourages travel agencies and tour operators to choose small vehicles. In addition to mass tourism, the city hopes that these changes will reduce pollution levels which are also a big problem in the capital.
In addition, the city has decided to limit housing to a few weeks per year and imposes taxes on landlords, to fight against housing saturation and prevent its inhabitants from finding more housing at decent prices.

Short explanation of the possible general application to tourism

In general, some cities may be the victims of their own success due to an excessive influx of people wanting to visit them. The main solution to this is to attract tourist groups outside the city centre. 

The most harmonious method remains a cohabitation between these tourists and the local population: on the one hand, by involving the inhabitants more in the tourist offer, and on the other hand, by including the travellers into the local economy. However, care must be taken to ensure that these measures are not too extreme and do not scare tourists away by discouraging them from travelling.

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Wine experience : the new website of Swiss Tourism

post by : karina.cardosoc



 

 

Switzerland has a lot to offer within its diversity of hidden treasures. Indeed, the penultimate season of the year comes with its winegrowing heritage and ensures an experience not to be missed. Besides several lodging offers, the different themes around wine are a medium to increase the new concept named as “wine tourism” during Fall. The raising trend is to combine an activity with an experience around wine. Therefore at the beginning of last September, Swiss Tourism launched, for the first time, on a national scale, a website gathering together several key destinations throughout six regions of the country. The Valais was considered the first ranking region.

 

Whether you are a sport addict or enjoy a Sunday walk with your dog, Autumn has something to offer for everyone. In Valais, grapevines are a part of the dominant feature of the landscape. Did you know the highest vineyard in Europe finds itself in Visperterminen (VS) with an altitude between 650 and 1150 meters? On the other hand the smallest one is situated in Saillon (VS) and made of 3 vine stocks belonging to the Dalaï Lama.


If you have a deep interest in wine, you will love wandering through one of the 13 vineyards hikes in Switzerland where info boards mark out the trails. While the younger ones will know more about their surroundings, adults will learn some facts about winegrowing. The vineyard trail between Salgesch and Sierre (VS) is a walk in an open-air museum where you get a chance to immerse yourself in the world of wine. Those cultural and educational paths reveal either history or secrets of winemaking. 

The route named “Castles of Sion and surroundings” (VS) is appealing thanks to the variety of landscapes it passes through: terraced vineyards, orchards, forests and panoramic alpine views. Less effort and more pleasure are highlighted in the e-bike guided tours in the vineyards. Leave your mind floating and taste the newest wine experience on electric bike. 

 

   One of many options are the numerous events organised during Autumn, such as Foire du Valais taking place this year in Martigny, a wine walk throughout wine-tasting cellars of wine-growers or even the Valais Wine Pass, which consists in ten tickets for CHF 49 (from which CHF 4 are given to wine-growers’ establishments) and allows you to go to wine cellars in Valais for a wine tasting. For those who want to taste some wine in a more typical way, during grapes harvests, the most popular way to try some local wines is at the Fête des vendanges (grape harvests celebration fair) organised throughout all wine regions in Switzerland, which can give younger and older ones a lot of entertainment. 

 

Although with a brand new website, Swiss Wine tours might be lacking on rates, comments and multilingual guides. Compare to neighbouring countries, Switzerland’s wine tours are in the beginning of their potential. In fact, Swiss Tourism aims to register 200’000 overnight stays during September and October until 2022, which is an increase of 3% with regards to autumn 2017. Including comments and rates could provide more information to other customers about what kind of tour or lodging they might want to experience while in Switzerland. As for multilingual guides, it could improve the general activities and ideas of wine, as 94% of interviewed hosts during their stay are interested in wine, some of them (23%) even wish to experience a dinner among vineyards. The level of interest of tourists from North America, Australia and New Zealand is at 7.5/10, which could be beneficial for Swiss Tourism if multilingual options are offered during their experience.

 

But being in the 20th position on the worldwide wine tourism chart (2018), Switzerland is still a little behind with its wine tourism which could be improved by more transparency of the wine’s origins by creating an approval label. This could be easily identifiable by people and might give some acknowledgement to Swiss wine (giving that only 1% of it is exported internationally).


If wine tourism wants to catch a larger public’s attention - such as families - what about children and their experiences? Although kids can harvest the grapes and taste grape juice during a culinary walk, they may be interested in a creative activity in relation to wine. A similar event took place in Cologny (GE) where children had the opportunity to learn about nature and grapes before cooking a meal for the parents. This experience gathers the family around an experience from which everyone can learn something. 

 

The new Swiss platform for the wine tourism made it easy to suggest the customer with choices of an experience by one click away, the rates and comments could therefore have a great influence on his decision. Moreover while it is well known families are one of the most important target, wine tourism has to catch this public attention as well. So what are you waiting for? Join the experience with a cheer.

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