‘Indian, Chinese tourists prefer Switzerland’

Monday, January 17, 2011

MUMBAI - Switzerland has emerged as the most favoured destination with Indian and Chinese tourists, a top official said here Monday.

Despite the economic slowdown, Switzerland recorded a 24.8 percent growth in total overnights (accommodation bookings) from India, Switzerland Tourism’s India unit director Michael Maeder said.

Speaking to media persons, Maeder said that after Switzerland became a part of the Schengen visa agreement (where the visa holder could visit all European Union member countries), both India and China have emerged as the fastest growing source markets for the country.

“Enthused by this growth, we have targeted a further 25 percent growth in overnights spent by Indians in Switzerland this year,” Maeder said.

Switzerland Tourism is introducing two new regions as partners - Ticino, the Italian speaking region in the south of Switzerland which has a Mediterranean lifestyle with Swiss quality and the French speaking Lake Geneva region, parts of which are known as the Swiss Riviera.

Switzerland Tourism India is also promoting the country as a leading MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) destination, he added.

The country’s nodal tourism promotion agency is also planning to spend an additional 35 percent towards marketing expenditure to boost growth in India.

The other popular destinations like Basel, Zrich, Geneva, and Mt Titlis shall make new offers for Indian tourists with more accommodation facilities, hotels, entertainment options and special packages for Indian families and honeymooners, he said.

Adding to the efforts is Swiss International Airlines, which now has daily flights from New Delhi and Mumbai to Zrich.

With a view to enrich the Indian travellers experience, Swiss Tours, a subsidiary of Swiss International Airlines in India, will offer 7,800 apartment options in Switzerland this year which can be booked on a weekly basis starting at Rs.2,000 per head per night.

In order to attract more tourists to that country, Swiss Tourism will participate in the road shows which will visit Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore this year together with 12 tourism partners.

It will also undertake specific sales tours to train travel agents in the tier II and III cities, launch an eLearning module, collaborate with the media, and tap online groups and communities to promote Switzerland as a must-see destination, he added.

Filed under: Economy

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