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In 2019, the global company based in Florida accounted for around 60,000 hotel overnight stays in the off-peak season with its incentive trip around Switzerland. Tourism turnover is estimated at CHF 19.98 million.
Three groups of about 4,000 participants each travelled in succession around Switzerland for six days. The large number of participants gained a great deal of attention: the media in Switzerland and neighbouring countries reported extensively about the trip and about Switzerland as a destination for incentive trips. This generated around 170 media reports with over 64 million media contacts, including reports on TV programmes like “10vor10” (German), “20 minutes” and “NZZ” (German). Reporting on the incentive trip was generally positive and balanced in the quality media. This is not something that can be taken for granted in view of the intensive debate on overtourism and environmental protection in 2019.
Positive response from the industry
The groups visited Interlaken, spent time on the Titlis, saw the Aare Gorge, Vaduz, Bern and Lucerne. Working together with local partners, Switzerland Tourism ST supported the organisers with the travel planning. In particular, the logistical support of the city of Lucerne and Lucerne Tourism played a significant role in ensuring the smooth running of the trip. The Chinese Jeunesse employees also played a valuable role: they made a very good impression and showed great discipline when arriving and departing for the individual events on the agenda.
The additional effort involved was significant. And yet, the destinations and tourism service suppliers were satisfied overall: “We needed to take on more staff and extend our business hours. It wasn’t a problem. This was particularly the case because the event was lucrative for us in terms of business,” explains Peter Reinle, deputy Managing Director of the Titlis Bergbahnen cable car company. ST also takes a positive view: “Thanks to good planning and communication between all partners, we have been able to promote incentive trips in Switzerland extensively,” said Barbra Albrecht, member of ST’s Executive Board and Head of SCIB. “Jeunesse Global has enabled the Swiss tourism industry to prove that large-scale incentive trips are also possible in Switzerland and can be financially worthwhile. We also showed that everything can work smoothly at all times with efficient crowd management.”
Incentive trips: a lucrative and important part of the diversification strategy
By developing new seasons and forms of tourism, ST is constantly working to spread the flow of guests more efficiently in terms of geography and time. Incentive trips are a particularly good example of this and have proven successful for ST. Such trips often take place in the off-season and mostly involve services and individually tailored programmes. This makes them particularly intensive in terms of added value. On average, holidaymakers spend CHF 165 per day (excluding travel to and from the destination, source: TMS 2017). At CHF 410, the daily spend of visitors on incentive trips is significantly higher (source: Incentive Research Foundation/IRF and Oxford Economics).