China and Switzerland want to work more closely together in the area of tourism. This collaboration was launched with Switzerland-China Year of Tourism 2017. This collaboration actually began 20 years ago, when Switzerland Tourism ST was the first European tourism organisation to open its own office in China. Today, China is one of the five most important markets for ST. At the end of the tourism year, the tourism offices of the two countries signed a declaration of intent at the Sino-Swiss Tourism Forum in Lausanne on 7 December. This agreement lays the foundation for the ongoing cooperation in tourism between the two countries

Doris Leuthard, President of the Confederation, and China’s President Xi Jinping flanked by the Chinese ski instructor Song Shuyao for the Davos Ski School (left), Doris Leuthard’s husband Roland Hauser and China‘s First Lady Peng Liyuan (right). © World Economic Forum / Destination Davos Klosters / Matthias Nutt

Huge potential for winter tourism

In 2017, Chinese visitors recorded 1.627 million overnight stays. That number should rise by 2022 to 2 million overnight stays.* About 60% of Chinese tourists visit Switzerland in the summer. ST has been promoting the Swiss winter for the last five years. After all, there is a growing desire among Chinese tourists for a genuine winter experience – driven not least by the Winter Olympics set for Beijing in 2022. The ST offer First Ski Experience perfectly fits this need. The national sports authorities of the People’s Republic of China want to boost the enthusiasm of 300 million Chinese people for snow and ice sports. With these developments in mind, ST is marketing Switzerland as a destination with special deals or targeted product training sessions in Key Account Management for Chinese tour operators.

*Estimate: Switzerland Tourism and Oxford Economics