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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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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The importance of convenience for Swiss tourism

post by : amelie.siess



The importance of convenience for swiss tourism

What is a convenience in Tourism? 

According to Merriam-Webster,  a convenience, is “something (i.e. an appliance, device, or service) conducive to comfort or ease”. 

In tourism, a convenience can be an accommodation, a means of transport, a restaurant, etc.. and should be of excellent quality and suit the visitor as closely as possible. Every travel step, from planning to departure must be customer cantered.

Swiss Tourism Study, what does it show? 

According to a study conducted by Swiss Tourism in 2019,  a lack of convenience represents 40% of the weaknesses identified by foreign travellers in Switzerland. 

Problems experienced with convenience:

  1.  often dissuade host from coming back in Switzerland and it is the most worrying subject for travellers.
  2. mainly concern basic tourism services (accommodation, transportation, activities, …)

This shows that that convenience is a very important/worrying aspect for travellers during their stay, but also that it currently lacks quality as 40% of the weaknesses identified are linked to convenience.

They also show that if the client encounters a problem during his stay, it will dissuade him from coming back and this person will talk to his relatives about this experience, which can prevent more people to come in our country.

 What about France?

France faces an even bigger convenience problem, mainly with accommodation; Indeed, there is a huge lack in “medium level” lodgings, especially when compared to the offer in Spain. Another French issue is the welcoming of the guests; linked to the employment of seasonal workers, who are not properly trained, which result in a lack of quality for visitors. France is the most visited country in the world, but since 2009 the number of visitors almost didn’t change (stagnation). This could partly be a result of the lack of satisfaction regarding welcoming and accommodation and shows that these have a direct impact on the number of visitors.

Travel counselor opinion

According to Ms Rittiner, travel counselor at Lathion Voyage SA, convenience has an important impact on  client satisfaction and that is maybe why some still choose to reserve through an agency, and not by themselves online, as it decreases the risk of being disappointed once on-site. They can avoid all this little misfortune because travel agencies select and do research for them.

For the quality aspect, tourism professionals explain that they work with specialist partners who know exactly how the accommodation is. Of course, the level of convenience will vary according to the budget of the person.  

How can we improve convenience in Switzerland ?

To improve convenience in Switzerland, customer needs must be identified better (they may change according to nationalities and cultures) and targeted to respond to the traveller’s needs. Swiss Tourism has already made changes to raise levels of conveniences for tourists; for example, a special baggage transportation service has been developed with the national train company (SBB CFF) to ease the transportation of luggage, especially during winter. When using this service, hosts just travel to their hotel without anything and their baggages are transported to the hotel by the SBB CFF.

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Swiss Peak Resorts

post by : simona.sauter



Was sind Swiss Peak Resorts?

Die Swiss Peak Resorts sind ein neues Ferienkonzept, das dem Schweizer Bergtourismus «mit einem fortschrittlichen Wirtschaftsmodell eine neue Dynamik verleihen» soll. Die Gäste der Swisspeak Resorts bekommen eine mobile App zur Verfügung gestellt, mit der sie ihren Aufenthalt mit einigen Klicks organisieren können. Die Buchung der Unterkunft, die Miete der Ausrüstung oder die Reservation eines lokalen Restaurants kann mit der App organisiert werden.

Ursprung

Hinter der Marke «Swisspeak Experience» steht der Mountain Resort Real Estate Fund SICAV. Philippe Lathion, ehemaliger Direktor von Télénendaz, gründete 2011 diesen Investmentfonds, der den Bau von Ferienhäusern in den Alpen finanziert. Diese werden nun vom Swisspeaks Resort mit einem Anteil an Hotelservices verwaltet. Sie strebt eine jährliche Auslastung von 50% an, in einem Walliser Hotelmarkt, der sich um 40% dreht. Vermarktet werden die Unterkünfte durch Interhome.

Vorteile

Für Roger Müller, Country Manager von Interhome Schweiz, hat dieses Resort gleich mehrere Vorteile. "Es befindet sich nur zwanzig Meter neben dem Skilift. In den Ferienwohnungen ist alles integriert. Der Gast kann einfach kommen und seinen Aufenthalt geniessen. Über eine eigene App hat er zudem die Möglichkeit, Zusatzleistungen in der Region zu buchen."

Standorte in den Schweizer Alpen (bestehend und geplant)

Das erste Resort wurde im Dezember 2017 in Vercorin eröffnet. Es zählt rund 450 Betten in Schlafsälen oder Wohnungen. Es handelt sich um Standard-Wohnungen mit 2 bis 8 Betten und einer Küche. Ausgestattet ist das Resort mit Kids Club, Gaming Room, Weinbar, Kaffee-Corner, Wellnessbereich, Sportgeschäft, Ski- und Veloräumen und einer Verkaufsfläche.

Zehn Swisspeak Resorts sollen bis 2024 in den Schweizer Alpen entstehen, in Vercorin, Zinal, Brigels, Grimentz, Morgins und Champéry. Bis heute ist ein Swiss Peak Resort eröffnet nämlich in Vercorin. Das Resort in Zinal wird in diesen Tagen teileröffnet werden. In Meiringen ist die Eröffnung für nächste Wintersaison geplant. Und das nächste Resort ist schon vorgesehen.

Endfrage

Ist das wirklich die richtige Lösung um leerstehende Betten zu kompensieren, wenn man immer neue Resorts baut?

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Overtourism and its consequences

post by : leonie.biba



The tourism industry grew from 25 millions international arrivals in 1950 to over 1.3 billion in 2017. By 2030, the UNWTO expects to reach 1.8 billion travellers. The impacts of this growing tourism industry may already affect various famous places. In the last few years, the term “overtourism” became quite common.

The Responsible Tourism Partnership refers to ‘overtourism’ as “destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area or the quality of the experience has deteriorated unacceptably. It is the opposite of Responsible Tourism which is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit. Often both visitors and guests experience the deterioration concurrently.”


The fact that the roads may be packed with tourist vehicles or that the wildlife is scared away are typical proof of overtourism. The cases where tourists cannot view landmarks because of the crowd would also be a good example of overtourism. For example, at the Machu Picchu in Peru, the degradation of the rocks due to the visitors walking over the archeological site is such, that a law has been applied to restrain the number of visitors per day.

 

It is known that Venice, Barcelona and other big cities suffer from overtourism, but is it the case in Switzerland? Because of its geographical situation, and the competitive prices with its neighbours Germany and France, Switzerland is not able to welcome mass tourism. This is why Switzerland Tourism focuses on individual and quality tourism. However, Lucerne is one of the few places in Switzerland that suffers from overtourism. In terms of proportion, Lucerne has more tourists per inhabitant than Venice.

 

Overtourism is now a significant issue in the tourism industry. It occurs in a lot of countries, including Switzerland. As mentioned previously, several cases of overtourism exist throughout the country, despite what people may think.

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Schleuderpreise im Skigebiet Saas Fee

post by : charlott.dumas



Die Schweizer Bergbahnen kämpfen seit Jahren mir grossen Probleme. Die Konkurrenz im Ausland ist gross und der starke Franken schwächt die Skigebiete ebenfalls. Saas Fee gehört besonders zu den Sorgenkindern des Schweizer Wintertourismus. Seit dem Jahr 2010 mussten die Saastal Bergbahnen AG intensive Sparmassnahmen in Kauf nehmen. Um das zu ändern lancierten sie für die Wintersaison 2016/2017. ein Crowdfunding, bei welchem alle Teilnehmenden das Saisonabonnement für CHF 222 erhielten, sofern insgesamt 99'999 Karten verkauft werden. Die Aktion war ein Erfolg. (Erfolgszahlen in der Studie zu finden). Im Winter 2017/2018 haben sie das Angebot erweitert und auch im nächsten Winter startet das Angebot in die dritte Runde.

 

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