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Swiss tourism is currently enjoying great prosperity across the country. Healthy margins are being achieved by both flagship enterprises with international reach and smaller, niche tourism providers, generating the capacity for new vitality and innovation.
The pandemic has brought one message home loud and clear: in many areas, it pays to work more closely together. The best example of this is the political success of the tourism alliance – a major initiative bringing together tourism associations under the Swiss Tourism Federation umbrella.
It was thanks to the alliance, for example, that politicians were made aware of tourism concerns in relation to the pandemic, particularly in connection with the tourism summits. When the Federal Council decided in September 2021 to extend the certification requirement, the alliance quickly and decisively advocated for vaccinated visitors from outside the EU, who at a stroke had lost access to indoor areas of restaurants and museums and to indoor events. It was also behind the facility to convert the certificates of visitors who had been vaccinated with certain vaccines on the WHO list.
Switzerland Tourism ST played an active part within the alliance, as its core business was directly affected by these decisions. The in-depth knowledge it has gained in the markets was extremely useful in helping argue the tourism sector’s case. ST experts contributed directly to the consultation process, for example, and made wording recommendations for statements regarding vaccines and certificates.
ST secured a major victory for the sector with the recovery campaign. Following the first recovery programme, it was possible to demonstrate to Parliament that the measures implemented in the first and second years of the pandemic had been effective. Parliament therefore assigned another CHF 30 million to continue the recovery campaign in 2022 and 2023.
The cooperation within the tourism alliance enabled instruments, processes and structures to be successfully developed. If we manage to establish these for the period beyond the pandemic as well, I firmly believe that we will be armed to deal with all future challenges and that Swiss tourism will soon be enjoying a country-wide upswing. That will enable flagship tourism operators and small, niche providers alike to generate the margins that are urgently needed for renewal and thus play a decisive role in safeguarding the future of Swiss tourism.
Brigitta M. Gadient
President of Switzerland Tourism