The refined foliage map was once again an ideal digital tool for planning an outdoor break in autumn 2021. The interactive map predicted the autumn colours over an extended period, while 250 high-resolution webcams across Switzerland showed the nature and weather conditions – perfect for spontaneous trips. The integration of new layers enabled users to discover their environment digitally, with links leading to hiking trails, mountain railways, restaurants and more. All this additional information helped visitors tailor autumn holidays and excursions more closely to their own particular needs.

Other than the domestic Swiss market, which market saw the highest percentage growth in hotel overnight stays during autumn 2021 compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019?

  1. France
  2. Gulf States
  3. Benelux
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Guests from the Gulf States recorded the biggest increase versus 2019 in autumn 2021 (+5.9%). France was second with a rise of 1.9%. Numbers from the Benelux countries were also close to pre-pandemic levels (- 0.7%).

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The foliage map, which was launched in 2020, recorded around 68% more page views in its second year (between 30 September and 30 October 2021). The new functionalities attracted coverage in the domestic and international media, for instance from Radio 24, RTS and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

112.9% more hotel overnight stays than in the previous year

In combination with the continued good weather in September and October 2021, moderate Covid restrictions and largely open borders within Europe, the autumn campaign was positive for accommodation numbers: foreign visitors recorded 2.075 million hotel overnight stays. That was up 112.9% on the previous year. However, it is still more than 1.5 million nights below the number of overnight stays by foreign visitors in 2019. While domestic visitors did not completely make up for this shortfall, they did cushion the blow to a certain extent: their hotel overnight stays were a welcome 29.7% higher than in 2019.

As in 2020, visitors were drawn to take autumn holidays in Switzerland’s mountains – and in 2021 this included more foreign visitors again. The French (8.8%), Benelux (3.3%), Gulf States (10.4%) and Polish (13.3%) markets actually recorded increases in hotel overnight stays versus pre-pandemic autumn 2019.

Themed autumn tips via press releases

In its media relations work in connection with autumn, Switzerland Tourism ST focused on a series of tips. These were themed around autumn colours (with the foliage map), events and traditions, culture in the cities, and mist. Although designed largely as a source of inspiration, the various autumn tips were covered by several media, including Travelnews, Coopérationand Radio Energy (not available online).

ST further supported the campaign through traditional marketing measures, using as a hub:

  • Swisstainable Experience Shop with 26 offers, presented by the Swiss Parks, for sustainable holidays in autumnal Switzerland
  • Multimedia content with 16 partners
  • Offer campaign in Coop-Magazin, which has a print run of 2.7 million, and 20 Minuten, with a readership of over 3 million.
  • NZZ special on the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland
Facts and figures
Autumn campaign   2021 2020
Budget* CHF million 3.7 6.3
Share of total budget % 3.8 7.6%
Target markets   CH, DE, FR, IT, BeNeLux CH, DE, IT
Page views of** million 1.3 1.4
Top advertising and marketing contacts million 92.1 95
Media contacts (readers, viewers, listeners) million 669 801
Participants in ST press trips   76 74
Top media articles influenced   276 362
*Including recovery funds

**Only views of pages with specific autumn campaign content are counted.