SWISS International Air Lines (SWISS) has started offering its travellers a variety of destination packages to explore Switzerland’s iconic sights and cities at no extra cost.
The new Stopover Switzerland programme is a collaboration between SWISS, Switzerland Tourism and Switzerland Travel Centre, and offers an initial range of eight different tourist packages covering all Swiss regions and with all accommodation and public transport included.
Both leisure and business travellers can extend their stopover in Switzerland by one to four nights with a range of eight customised single (and multi-destination) travel packages, which all include accommodation in a three- or four-star hotel plus all public transport.
“Wherever you go this summer, make a stop in Switzerland,” Matthias Albrecht, director GCC, Switzerland Tourism, tells the readers of TTN. “Stopover Switzerland will be one of our key messages this ATM, along with the Grand Tour of Switzerland. Wherever you go on the network of SWISS International Airlines, a stopover in Switzerland is free of charge: the flight rate is the same, with or without a stop in Switzerland. Bookings can be made under swiss.com/stopover, the trade should book it via eXperts of Lufthansa group to receive 8 per cent commission on the stopover package.”
Apart from the twin foci of its stopover programme and grand tour, Switzerland Tourism will have several destination partners on hand at ATM 2019. “Geneva, Lake Geneva Region, Interlaken, Jungfrau, Zurich, Lugano, Swiss Travel System, St. Moritz and Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne will all be exhibiting alongside us.”
Switzerland’s Clinic Genolier, on the other hand, is participating at the co-located ILTM Arabia. There is a perceptible increase from the Arab market travelling to Switzerland for medical tourism, says the GCC director. Hospitals report growing figures from the Arabs, but there aren’t any figures to prove this just yet.
“Additionally, we will promote our Switzerland Academy as well as the Swiss Travel Pass Superstar Promotion, together with Swiss Travel System and RailEurope.”
Within the Middle East, the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia, have been the strongest markets for inbound travel into Switzerland. Qatar has improved a remarkable 37.2 per cent in overnight stays from 2017, Oman has dipped 8.2 per cent but the six countries of the Gulf did move 2.9 per cent closer to almost a million overnight stays (946, 259 to be exact) in 2018.
“We see a continuation of the big trend of touring in the Arab market as well. The tourists move from one destination to another more often than they did before, but the length of stay in the same hotel has decreased a bit.”
Switzerland’s biggest event this year will likely be the Heart of Europe workshop that takes place just before ATM. “Early September we will have our GCC workshop in Switzerland, where we will welcome around 55 GCC buyers and end of October we will invite another 20 GCC buyers to its Switzerland Travel Mart which will take place in Lucerne.”
* Find Switzerland Tourism on EU5630 & ILTM Arabia
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
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