NEW DELHI, India – As summer holidays beckon, Switzerland is wooing first time Indian travelers from smaller cities and towns offering the experience of snow clad mountains like Titlis and Jungfraujoch.
Switzerland Tourism, responsible for promotion of the country’s tourism, is looking beyond the affluent Indians from metros, as it looks to increase the number of tourists by moving to tier II and III towns to tap the potential there.
“For us the feedback from our partners in the travel trade are indicators of where we get clients. And from there we hear that sales in Tier II and II are going very strong. A good sign for yet another great travel season for India’s number one destination in Europe: Switzerland,” Switzerland Tourism India Director Stephan A Heuberger said in an e-mailed interview.
Explaining the reason for the strong focus on smaller cities, he said based on study of market research data, tier II and III will have Switzerland on the radar soon, “and so we started to be present there early“.
Heuberger said Switzerland Tourism will offer different kinds of packages depending on tourist profiles. For instance, for first time travelers, who have not spent time in Switzerland, “touching the snow on the unique mountains like Titlis and Jungfraujoch” would be an experience and “clearly, they travel in guided groups”.
On the other hand, younger, educated and experienced may tour on FIT (free independent travelers) basis allowing them to experience travel with public transport, which allows them to hop on hop off anywhere they want.
“For these clients, we must ensure a wide range of individual programs to be available in the market place,” Heuberger said. He, however, added that Switzerland Tourism is not shifting focus from tier I and metro cities.
“Keeping the pace in Tier I and adding an add-on pace for tier II and III is necessary,” Heuberger said.
Besides, in order to woo more tourists from India, it has also added meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) and Incentive travel to its offers while continuing to focus on the leisure area.
“More and more niche marketing can be introduced in mainly tier I cities. Soft adventures, for which Switzerland may have the most developed offers, are being more and more looked for by our young, dynamic clientele from mega cities,” he added.
Switzerland is looking for a 8% growth in overnight visitors from India during this year from 5,50,000 in 2012. For 2013, Switzerland Tourism is focussing on ‘Living Traditions’, showcasing the customs and way of life that reflects Switzerland.