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Italian visitors returned in summer 2021: From May to August, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) recorded an increase in hotel overnight stays of around 46% for this group of guests compared to the summer of 2020. However, that is still 110,000 less than pre-pandemic levels in summer 2019.
To promote Switzerland as a sustainable destination for the Italian market, Switzerland Tourism ST enlisted the help of TV presenter Michelle Hunziker, who is extremely popular in Italy. The cooperation was announced at an event in Milan in early July, attended by representatives of ST partners St. Moritz, Ticino Turismo, Lucerne Tourism and Swiss Travel System STS. Fittingly, the catering was in the hands of top Swiss chef Andreas Caminada, who opened his first vegetarian restaurant in 2021.
Hunziker, a native of Bern, used YouTube and Instagram
(@therealhunzigram and @myswitzerlandit) to show her Italian fans just how sustainable travelling in Switzerland can be. The five summer films produced for this campaign generated 60,000 YouTube views and more than 60 million social media impressions during 2021. The landing page “In viaggio con Michelle Hunziker” (Travelling with Michelle Hunziker) was the most visited page on ST’s Italian site during the summer campaign. Videos for the winter 2021/22 season were filmed in Andermatt in December and posted on various platforms including Instagram; they had already been viewed 150,000 times by the end of 2021.
Sustainable travel hand in hand with fun and convenience
Michelle Hunziker, who was born and raised in Switzerland, lives with her family in Italy. “What I miss most is the closeness to nature. From Bern, it never takes long to get out into woodland.” She also feels the lack of Switzerland’s cleanliness and environmentalism in her adoptive country: “I hope that Italy will catch up soon.” Hunziker is keen to travel more consciously in future: to be as sustainable as possible, without sacrificing comfort and convenience. That makes her the ideal ambassador for ST’s new sustainability strategy, Swisstainable.
Hunziker has five million followers on Instagram alone. During the campaign, they heard about her outdoor adventures such as stand-up paddle boarding, and about her panoramic train journeys. The partner destinations for summer were Lucerne, St. Moritz and Ticino, while the winter partner was Andermatt.
Media presence in Italy and Switzerland
As well as setting social media records, the cooperation with Hunziker generated 21.1 million media contacts and 64 stories in Italian and Swiss media (online, print and radio), including Vanity Fair, Grazia, Schweizer Illustrierte, Cooperazione, RSI (Swiss TV), G&G (Swiss TV) and Blick. Vanity Fair was secured as the exclusive media partner for the campaign.