Tourism Monitor Switzerland (TMS) 2017 shows that many of the visitors who come to Switzerland for hiking are also interested in long-distance hiking. It is mainly 18 to 35-year-olds who like to spend several days with a rucksack on their backs.

It takes 38 stamps to get a certificate
The Jura Crest Trail, the Alpine Passes Trail and the Via Alpina were the long-distance hiking trails promoted by ST in 2019. For the latter, Product Development (German) at ST launched the Via-Alpina Hiking Pass. The objective? To raise Switzerland’s profile as a paradise for long-distance hikers. The inauguration of the Via Alpina finishing line in Montreux coincided with the launch of the hiking pass. Well-known media content providers picked up on the topic of long-distance hiking, among them “24 heures”, “St. Galler Tagblatt” and “20 minutes”.

The hiking pass for the Via Alpina with stamp box.

The Via Alpina Hiking Pass is an incentive and a lasting souvenir in one: a total of over 1,100 hiking passes were requested in 2019. There are 38 stage stamps, Alpine pass stamps and special stamps to collect. With a full pass visitors were eligible for a certificate. 19 certificates were requested. This shows that the Via Alpina is a significant challenge for ambitious hikers.

German visitors love hiking
Hiking is particularly popular in Germany: almost half of all German visitors in summer hike for at least two hours during their holidays. This makes hiking the most popular leisure activity among our northern neighbours. This was the result of the survey for TMS 2017. In the “Blogger Hike Challenge” social media campaign, ST specifically targeted young hikers in the German market. Invited by ST Germany, six bloggers shared their Swiss hiking experiences in different regions with their fans and followers. Photographer and blogger Lars Schmucker was among them. For him the hike along the Via Alpina was “the highlight of my year!” The photos can be seen on his Instagram account. Together with the other bloggers, he reported on his long-distance hiking adventures through the specially created microsite, which attracted 115,000 views by the end of the campaign.