The “no drama campaign” featuring our national ambassador Roger Federer and Hollywood guest stars like Robert De Niro or Anne Hathaway made a killing with millions of views worldwide. How much did that campaign cost? Figures are not public but probably a hefty line in the multimillions marketing budget of Swiss Tourism, the 100-year-old governmental corporation in charge of the promotion of Switzerland abroad. But it is for a good cause, and it seemed to work.
Yes, tourism is a key industry for our country. A 31.8 billion (revenue) one to be precise. Half of the revenues are generated by what we see on postal cards: Accommodation and food. But there is more than meets the eye.
- Incredible logistics behind it (transport services (Swissair) and 66’279 kilometers network of hiking trails).
- Ecosystems of companies and tour operators (Kuoni, Movenpick, etc.).
- Tourists also stop there for business and shopping. Switzerland is a meeting destination (private banks, watches and luxury sector, conventions, incentive trips, World economic forum, etc.).
Our currency your problem
“In the parts most frequented by tourists, the Swiss are certainly notorious for their efforts to obtain money from the travelers”. That sentence can be read in Thomas Cook’s Tourist’s Handbook for Switzerland, published in 1875, a guide published by the travel agency that contributed to making our country a popular destination. If today Switzerland is still one of the most expensive destinations worldwide, we, the Swiss people are not necessarily the ones to blame for that. “It is the economy, stupid!” could have said, Bill Clinton.
- Strength of the Swiss francs
- Relatively high living costs.
Price competitiveness remains our major handicap.
Some of the challenges and opportunities:
- 19 million air passengers. Is that really green? At the same time, Switzerland remains one of the most sustainable travel destinations worldwide.
- Still waiting for some tourists to return (Chinese).
- Ski resorts operating in an energy crisis (the sector consumes 0.34% of all energy in Switzerland).
- Toward more local tourism? In 2021, The record numbers of tourists in Switzerland were mainly attributable to domestic guests and visitors from German.
By the way, did you know?
20.1 million skier days recorded in 2020/21
Lands of meeting
One of the main objectives of Switzerland Tourism is to revive the city and business tourism. Switzerland is often not well-placed to host larger-scale conventions of over 2,000 people or corporate events and meetings of over 200 participants. However, the SCIB has in recent years observed greater demand for small meetings instead of large events.