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According to the Tourism Monitor Switzerland (TMS) 2017 survey, the Swiss mountains are the main reason for Russian visitors to travel to Switzerland. The activity that Russian respondents most often cited as their favourite was hiking (for two hours or more).
To make even more Russian outdoor enthusiasts aware of what Switzerland has to offer, in July 2018 Switzerland Tourism ST organised a “familiarisation trip” (or “fam trip”). A total of 36 travel experts took part in the trip. They included tour operators and agents, along with experts from concierge service providers, fitness clubs and other providers specialising in outdoor experiences.
According to TMS 2017, what is the main reason for holidays in Switzerland for Russian visitors?
- General fascination for Switzerland
- City experience
Russian guests could select from 120 aspects when completing the TMS survey. The most frequent main reason to travel was the mountains (10%), followed a general fascination for Switzerland (7.1%) and a city experience (5.4%).
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ST divided the travel experts into four groups according to their interests, assigning them to different destinations and activities. Hiking, cycling, kayaking, stand-up paddling and wakeboarding in Davos, Zermatt, Leukerbad and Lucerne were all on the programme. Finally, all the fam trip participants met up in Andermatt and gave presentations in which they shared their experiences. They were also able to put together travel packages themselves, based on their experiences and learnings from the fam trip. The participants clearly enjoyed themselves, as all 300 of their posts on Facebook and Instagram showed.
For summer 2019, the Russia experts at ST are already expecting Russian visitors to the mountains to generate an additional 1,000 overnight stays compared with the previous year.