Switzerland might have been designed with circular tours in mind, given the short distances between its sights and its cultural and geographical diversity. Since 2015, touring holidays in Switzerland have been actively marketed nationally under the banner of the 1,600-kilometre Grand Tour of Switzerland (GToS) for drivers and the 1,280-kilometre Grand Train Tour of Switzerland (GTToS) for those who like to travel by rail. Switzerland Tourism ST had previously been responsible for the road tour and Swiss Travel System AG (STS) for the rail version.

A motorbike trip with Bastian Baker and Harley-Davidson sparked interest in the Grand Tour of Switzerland on social media in 2020.

With touring in Switzerland now firmly established as a major tourism offering, a new team at ST assumed responsibility for the entire touring segment in 2021. “Bringing marketing of the key national touring products under one roof unlocks synergies,” explains Sandra Scheidegger, Head of Touring Tourism at ST.

Promotion of rail touring

Touring by train is particularly well-suited to marketing in the overseas markets of Asia. As a result of the pandemic, however, the focus in 2021 was on Switzerland and the short-haul markets of Germany and Austria. For example, a dedicated insert was produced with the travel magazine Merian, which also attracted a great deal of interest at the Pop-up House of Switzerland in Stuttgart and generated more than 150,000 marketing contacts in all. In Switzerland, the focus in autumn was squarely on the GTToS Alpine round trip. Online and offline marketing of this circular trip in Coop-Zeitung, NZZ am Sonntag and the magazines Via and Bergwelten led to more than nine million marketing contacts.

Bastian Baker: singer-songwriter and lover of touring holidays

The GToS summer campaign concentrated wholly on the Swiss market and featured Bastian Baker. His single “Jackpot”, in which the Lausanne native sings about how lucky he is to live in the holiday destination of Switzerland, was released in 2021. The song was inspired by his summer 2020 road trip along the route of the GToS. It therefore made perfect sense for him to team up with ST to shoot the video for “Jackpot”. The resulting film was used in the large-scale campaign that ran from the end of May until mid-July 2021, during which time it notched up around 1.5 million views on YouTube and social media and a total of 19.6 million contacts.