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:
- often dissuade host from coming back in Switzerland and it is the most worrying subject for travellers.
- 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.