Switzerland Tourism ST launched the Million Stars Hotel (MSH) in 2020. The concept chimed with the zeitgeist in the first year of the pandemic: the need for experiences in eventless times, ones that can be enjoyed in cities or amid nature while still observing social distancing. During summer and autumn 2021, around 50 extraordinary “hotel” rooms across 12 regions, all offering unimpeded views of the night sky, were again available to book direct at MySwitzerland.com/millionstarshotel.

A survey of all the providers found that this second round of the hotel project generated total turnover of around CHF 520,000. Around half of this came via the central Switzerland Travel Centre (STC) booking channel and the rest through direct bookings. Despite a much rainier summer, the MSH scheme was therefore roughly as successful as in 2020.

Bookings from short-haul markets too

In 2020, the various rooms were largely booked by visitors from Switzerland or neighbouring countries due to the travel restrictions in place.

The MSH Star Base 1 and 2 rooms at Sternenberg in the canton of Zurich were installed for the first time in 2021.

More favourable travel rules in 2021 meant that bookings were also received from the short-haul markets. Domestic and international media helped raise the profile of the rooms, including Germany’s Globetrotter magazine and Spiegel Online, British newspaper The Telegraph and in Switzerland NZZ Bellevue, Falstaff and Annabelle magazine.

ST once again succeeded in putting little-known locations in the spotlight, drawing domestic and international visitors’ attention to Switzerland’s diversity as a holiday and travel destination.

Product development for lasting success

The Million Stars Hotel is a tourist product developed by ST. When developing innovative offers, the focus is on visitors’ experiences and travel needs. The team at ST seek to identify trends at an early stage and ensure knowledge transfer within the industry. Sustainability, convenience and bookability are priorities during development. The MSH ticks all of these boxes, which is one of the keys to its success.

Two distribution partners – Nomady, a specialist in accommodation that is close to nature, and Switzerland Travel Centre (STC) – have been selected to take the project forward. From 2022, ST will concentrate on marketing the product and managing its landing page. Providers of hotel-style accommodation have been able to sign up to STC’s booking system since the end of December 2021, while operators of accommodation close to nature can opt for the Nomady platform.