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There is a growing trend for discovering nature on foot. Hiking is very popular, particularly among younger people too. Almost 60% of Switzerland’s summer visitors take at least one hike during their stay. Switzerland Tourism ST kicked off the 2019 summer campaign with a countrywide survey on hiking.
Switzerland’s population feels stressed
The central question of the survey was: what is the importance of nature and what activities do the respondents enjoy that involve nature? The study was carried out by Sotomo, a research institute particularly renowned for its Swiss election forecasts. Almost 5,000 people from Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland responded to the survey. The most important insights: despite minor country-specific variances, the picture in North-Western Europe is fairly consistent. People are getting stressed out by today’s highly competitive digital society. It seems that the Swiss in particular are experiencing pressure: three quarters (76%) of people in Switzerland have experienced stress. The reasons given were the demands of work (75%), expectations of constant availability (64%), and keeping up with technology (53%).
Nature as a place of refuge
In today’s hectic lifestyles, nature is a place where we find refuge. Two thirds (65%) of Swiss people even say they prefer nature to their own home as a place to relax and unwind. Also – to the surprise of many – relaxation happens almost automatically. Thoughts about performance take a back seat. Respondents said they prefer to explore nature by hiking, and only 11% set themselves ambitious performance goals.
Opinion poll triggers discussion
ST used the hiking survey as a specific PR tool for the summer campaign. This proved to be a success: the report based on the study achieved 11 million media contacts, mainly in Switzerland and a number of neighbouring countries. In Ticino, for example, “20 minuti” reported on Switzerland as a country with a highly stressed population. “Blick” (German) newspaper carried a report on the health-promoting effects of nature. “Le Nouvelliste” reported on how hikers handle stress.
Facts and figures
|Share of total budget||%||49.9||43.2|
|Page views MySwitzerland.com*||million||4.9||2.7|
|Top advertising and marketing contacts||billion||1.6||1.6|
|Media contacts (readers, viewers, listeners)||billion||7.3||8.5|
|Participants on ST press trips||1,021||1,146|
|Top Media Articles||1,795||1,633|
|Views summer clip on YouTube||million||7.3||17.5|
|Overnight stays influenced by KAM||million||2.9||2.9|
*Only views to pages with specific content for the summer campaign are counted.