Call of panoramic mountain rides and Swiss watch-making tour

Call of panoramic mountain rides and Swiss watch-making tour

Best known as the land of spectacular mountain rides and panoramic trains offering great scenic views, Switzerland is a dream holiday destination for Indian travellers. Switzerland Tourism has been one of the premier European tourism groups to set its foot in the Indian soil and prides in having a presence of 15 years in India. In its latest efforts to woo a sizeable chunk of Indian tourists from the eastern region and other parts of India, Switzerland Tourism has rolled out its Summer Campaign 2014 to highlight the significance of the country as the ultimate destination for nature lovers and adventure-buffs.

Switzerland Tourism has declared 2014 as the “Year of Views” since there are panoramic trails, mountain trains providing incredibly exciting experience with grand views restaurants and cities offering spectacular views of snow-capped mountains. Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism said, “India figures among our top 12 source markets and we have plans to take our latest bounties to end-consumers. We are looking to create awareness and desire in the hearts of Indian travellers. Our tourism group has clocked a growth of 250 per cent over the last 10 years in the Indian market. MICE travel is on the rise among Indian business travellers and there would be a greater focus on MICE travel in the current period. We are working closely with Thomas Cook and Kuoni Travel (India) to impart training session for small travel agents on Swiss travel in the current year. We would go on with our tourism promotion in tier-II and tier-III cities of India like Nagpur and Chandigarh and emphasize on social media. Swiss destinations are much-in demand from travellers all over India but the demand from smaller cities is on the increasing trend.” The tourism group has hosted road shows in Kolkata and Guwahati in North-eastern region in the New Year.

Switzerland plays a powerful brand in the global tourist market. In an attempt to boost social media marketing, the tourism group has unveiled its website-MySwitzerland.com. Sharma added, “We are laying a special focus on two groups of Indian tourists including family travellers and the youth comprising school and college-goers in the age bracket of 12 to 24 years. Our target growth in India is around 10 per cent in the current period and this will take overnights beyond 550,000 marks. There were around 510,000 overnights from India last year. Incentive travel would rise up from India this year. Mumbai and Gujarat contribute a major chunk of outbound travellers to Switzerland. ” The most convenient travel period for Indian tourists to Switzerland is from April to June. India had around 90 per cent leisure and 10 per cent business tourists to Switzerland in the previous year.

There are a range of apartments at Lucerne that provide comfortable accommodation options for Indian travellers. Stephan Heuberger, Director, Switzerland Tourism informed, “Indian tourists are now travelling for longer duration to Switzerland and are including London or Paris in their itinerary. We have high-valued travellers from Kolkata and the tourist traffic from the city is growing in Switzerland. The most-loved destinations are Lucerne, Gstaad and Mt Titlis for Indian tourists. Besides, Swiss International Airlines flying from Mumbai and New Delhi and Gulf Carriers are increasing their frequencies from these Indian metros.”

In a friendly gesture to welcome more number of Indian tourists, Geneva Masala Map has been launched in English and Hindi for Indian visitors. Another tempting offer is Geneva Watch Tour that takes tourists on a tour of historical monuments and boutiques to discover the famed, 500-year-old watch industry in the city. Tourists can avail of Geneva Transport Card to access free public transport during their stay. Swiss Travel System is into offering Swiss Peak Pass to tourists to travel up to eight mountain summits, free public transport across the country and free visit to 470 museums. The pass is valid from January 1 to December 23, this year.

Snapshot:

Fresh initiatives of Switzerland Tourism in India :
• Launched its Summer Campaign 2014.
• 2014 declared as the “Year of Views”.
• Greater focus on MICE travel.
• Working with Thomas Cook and Kuoni Travel to impart training to small travel agents.
• Targeting family travellers and youth segment.
• Launch of Geneva Masala Map in bilingual Hindi and English.
• Geneva Watch tour on offer.
• Geneva Transport Card for tourists.
• Swiss Peak Pass offering a ride of fascinating eight summits.

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