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The Swiss winter is a steadily growing segment in Australia – and one which Switzerland Tourism ST has been actively promoting since 2014. This is borne out by the number of overnight hotel stays by winter guests from Australia: in the winter season 2017/2018, these were up 10.3% compared with the previous season.
At the big Snow Travel Expo in Sydney in May 2018, ST presented its winter campaign “Upgrade Your Winter” for the 2018/2019 season. A total of 7,000 winter sports fans and snow enthusiasts visited the expo, which is positioned in the upper price segment and is crucial to this target group’s holiday decisions. A survey showed that 83% of the visitors selected the location for their next skiing holiday based on the expo.
Those were the five most popular tourism regions among Australian guests during the 2017/2018 winter season according to the figures for overnight hotel stays from the Federal Statistical Office.
The three Saint Bernard dogs at the Swiss stand, courtesy of the Saint Bernard Club of New South Wales, were a great crowd-puller, helping to break the ice and making it easier to forge new contacts. This in turn enabled ST to put across its messages: for example, that a winter holiday in Switzerland, which has the highest ski areas in the Alps on average and boasts an innovative experience offering, is an upgrade in itself. And that there is plenty for touring visitors in winter too – because those on a touring holiday make up a hefty proportion of Australian winter visitors (80% compared with 29% for all tourists). This can be seen in the latest Tourism Monitor Switzerland. The relatively new ski safari offering (the opportunity to visit various ski areas, for example as part of a journey on the Glacier Express) is in line with the trend among Australian visitors to take touring holidays. Major key partners from Switzerland have already indicated that they will be participating again, so ST is planning to have a larger stand at the next expo.