30% of digital natives consider influencers to be more credible than the traditional media. That is according to the latest annual study on the media use and information behaviour of the Swiss public (Media Use Index).

But what is the best way to interact with these influencers? How do you recognise a good influencer? And what are the expectations and needs on both sides? These are all questions that the tourism sector – and others – need to address.

Setting objectives and measuring success

Switzerland Tourism invited 29 highly regarded influencers with a total of 13.5 million followers to the Montreux Riviera for the first Switzerland Tourism Influencer Summit, part of ST’s influencer management strategy. The participating partners were Lake Geneva Region Tourism, Montreux-Vevey Tourism, SWISS, STS and the destinations Jungfrau Region, Gstaad, Flims, Zurich, Crans-Montana, Lausanne and Basel. ST’s objectives for this first summit were:

  • to establish high standards for influencer marketing in the sector
  • to strengthen ST’s position as an influencer expert
  • to achieve a high level of engagement among followers
  • to put the topic of influencer marketing in tourism on the media agenda and public agenda.

The summit in August 2018 was a great success, exceeding expectations: “The engagement rate was 5.2%,” said Anja Mosimann, Social Media Manager at Switzerland Tourism. “That’s significantly higher than for the influencers’ other posts. The target was 4.5%.” ST had agreed a total of 92 Instagram posts. The influencers created more than 238 posts, receiving just under 1.5 million likes and 26,000 comments.

Broad media interest

The international influencer summit attracted a lot of interest in the media. All the major Swiss media (“10vor10”, “NZZ”, “20 Minuten”, etc.) carried in-depth reports on the summit, which also strengthened ST’s positioning as an influencer expert. The project generated over 15 million media contacts altogether.