The global Covid-19 pandemic caused lasting public anxiety. The need to protect against infection was great, and cleanliness and safety became highly important issues within tourism.

In order to boost confidence among visitors, the tourism trade associations launched a “Clean & Safe” label. The campaign was initiated by Switzerland Tourism ST as part of its Recovery Plan. The label lets guests know that they are visiting an establishment that has consciously committed to comply with the safety concept. Its specifications are mandatory and have been set by the Confederation and industry associations. The cantonal authorities are responsible for checking compliance with the safety concept.

There are a total of eight segment-specific “Clean & Safe” labels available, which are visually derived from the cross-sector label.

The new website serves as a central information platform. Here, visitors can look up the details of the latest safety concepts for different sectors in Switzerland.

Around 4,000 businesses signed up

By the end of 2020, around 4,000 businesses from the hotel, restaurant, meetings and events, wellness, public transport, lake navigation, cableways and other tourism segments had applied for the label. To communicate this to their visitors, the businesses ordered a total of 15,000 stickers.

Key communication tool in international markets

The launch of the label attracted plenty of attention in the Swiss media, including RTS, htr, Swissinfo, Tages-Anzeiger and Bellevue NZZ(all in German). The ST employees in international markets also found there was a lot of interest – among travel operators, but also in media such as Travel Daily News.

The label was particularly useful in the markets as a clear and simple communication tool and was therefore frequently deployed in online and offline measures in the areas of promotion, digital marketing and key account management. 

Safety and hygiene become a selling point

Ratings by TripAdvisor users shortly before the pandemic revealed that Switzerland scored very highly for cleanliness. “Alongside their written reviews, our users could rate their accommodation for criteria such as location, service, value for money and cleanliness,” explained Fabrizio Orlando, Global Senior Manager Industry Relations at TripAdvisor. “In 2019, Swiss accommodation was the top scorer in the cleanliness category, out of all European countries with at least 5,000 accommodation reviews on TripAdvisor.”

The task now is to maintain this good reputation in the difficult years ahead, through uncompromising implementation of the safety concepts and clear communication via the “Clean & Safe” label.