Being ‘Swisstainable’

Switzerland Tourism is promoting a sustainable movement, ‘Swisstainable’, with an aim to connect with the tourism community. Misha Gambetta, Director India, Switzerland Tourism, shares why the movement is important for the country.

Hazel Jain

Why is sustainable travel important for Switzerland?

Switzerland has always prioritised sustainability and responsible tourism, which is what differentiates it; it is what shapes us and defines us as a destination. With ‘Swisstainable’, Switzerland Tourism is promoting a sustainable movement with which Switzerland’s entire tourism community can affiliate itself. Sustainability can only happen if we all work together, and it requires the support of the entire industry. All service providers, who are committed to sustainability, can use the ‘Swisstainable’ label. In addition to the Swisstainable program and Swisstainable campaigns, Switzerland Tourism also advocates for an even spread of visitor’s numbers, year-round tourism and longer stays. ‘Less often, for longer’ is the new ‘more often and shorter’.

How is Switzerland offering options for sustainable travel?

Our Swisstainable program aims to provide visibility to sustainable products. We also inform our guests and provide them with valuable travel tips. Travelling sustainably means experiencing the country and its people and culture in an authentic way, whether through travelling by public transport or emphasising our locally made products.

Switzerland is packed with planet-friendly experiences. The country encourages travellers to enjoy nature up, to experience the local culture in an authentic way, consume regional products and to stay longer and delve deeper, when they visit Switzerland. Two of the most important elements of Switzerland’s sustainable travel program are accessibility and freedom of movement in the country. The Swiss Travel System is one of the densest, most efficient and environment-friendly public transport networks. It connects the country with trains, boats, buses, cable cars, cycling and hiking routes, linked by Swiss Travel Pass.

The SBB (Swiss Federal Railways), is already 90 per cent powered by hydropower with a goal to reach 100 per cent by 2025. The Rhaetian Railway has been emission-free since 2013, and even Switzerland’s luxurious ship, MS Diamant on Lake Lucerne, is climate neutral.

Switzerland’s E-Grand Tour is the world’s first 100 per cent electric road route, with some 300 charging stations along the way. In addition, countless means of public transportation, from catamarans to cable cars, PostBus services, funiculars and scenic railways, are powered by hydroelectric or solar energy. At the destination level, for example, the village of Zermatt is completely car-free.

How can the travel trade help their clients have a green trip in Switzerland?

Agents can guide them towards booking sustainable experiences by informing them about the Swisstainable emblem they can find on hotels, restaurants and other tourism service providers. They can also continue to encourage travellers to buy Swiss Travel Pass to explore the country via public transport over private cars. Only pedestrians and bicycles are more ecological than Swiss trains! The Swiss Travel Pass also comes with multiple benefits like unlimited travel by train, bus or boat to more than 90 cities and towns and free admission to more than 500 museums.

100% recovery from India by 2024

  • Switzerland Tourism saw sustained growth in the number of overnights till 2019
  • There was a 9.6% increase in the overnights spent by Indians in Switzerland during 2017-2018
  • Overnights in 2017 stood at 739,185, in 2018 this went up to 809,940
  • In 2019, It saw 897,000 number of overnights by Indians
  • After reopening in 2021, Switzerland witnessed double-digit growth with overnight numbers reaching 380,164 in 2022
  • It hopes for a 100 % recovery to its 2019 numbers from India by 2024

 

 

 

 

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