City tourism again took a pounding from international travel restrictions in 2021. Switzerland Tourism ST focused on raising awareness of the diverse attractions of Swiss cities, mainly in the European markets. It had one particular target group in its sights: women.

In 2021, what was the gap versus the number of hotel overnight stays in big and small cities recorded in 2019?

0 mio HON 6 mio HON 8 mio HON

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6 mio HON 8 mio HON

They were still 7.474 million hotel overnight stays (- 38.8 %) short of the pre-pandemic level of 2019 (19.247 million). 

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Six in the City

ST drew on the popular US TV series Sex and the City, producing a cinema-style trailer that showed a group of six women taking a city break together. The Six in the City trailer focused on the power of female friendship, sociability and togetherness – emotions that surely were in very short supply during the pandemic.

Through this female perspective on urban breaks, ST was able to generate attention for its city partners. The campaign ran in the German, UK, Italian, French and Benelux markets, with the trailer shown on social media and other digital channels. In the UK, however, the cinema-style trailer was also shown before some open-air cinema screenings. Six in the City was watched more than 3.9 million times on YouTube and recorded 65 million impressions. The landing page detailed activities, packages and offers around wellness, art and sport that were geared to the six female protagonists. The session duration of 2:08 minutes was unusually long. The unconventional approach also attracted Swiss media attention, as illustrated by the coverage in Switzerland’s most widely read newspaper, 20 Minuten.

10,000 steps: the central theme of the Cities magazine 2021

The Cities magazine, entitled “10,000 steps”, challenged readers to explore Switzerland’s cities on foot or by bike. ST presented a selection of circular routes, incorporating sustainable products, fashionable locations, cultural attractions and insider tips. The magazine was published in German, French, Italian, English and Dutch, with a total print run of 605,000. It also featured suggestions for smaller towns and cities, including Schaffhausen, Zug and La Chaux-de-Fonds, alongside bigger destinations like Geneva, Basel and Lucerne.

The Cities magazine had a print run of 605,000 copies.

Locals’ favourite districts on 20 Minuten

No one knows better than local people what a city has to offer. ST shares this view, which is why it teamed up with Switzerland’s largest news platform, 20 Minuten (and 20 Minutes for French-speaking Switzerland), to produce the “Mein Quartier” (My area) series looking at cities. The German edition alone reaches more than three million readers every day (print edition and online).

Among those shown in the nine-part video series is shirt-maker Yari Copt, who gives viewers a glimpse into the green side of Lugano. Restaurateur Tobias Eggimann introduces his Winterthur, young entrepreneur Rebecca Tarmann shares her favourite places in Bern, parfumier Philippe Cart accompanies viewers on a stroll through Lausanne, and apprentice Loris Egger from Kiosk Georg shares his insider tips for St. Gallen.

Facts and figures
  2021 2020
Budget* CHF million 13.5 9.9
Share of total budget % 13.8 12.0
Target markets CH, DE, ES, FR, IT, UK, BeNeLux
Number of brochures distributed million 4.5 0.3
Page views of** million 2.7 3.1
Top advertising and marketing contacts million 604.5 270
Media contacts (readers, viewers, listeners) billion 2.5 2.5
Top media articles influenced   962 765
Participants in ST press trips   182 167
*Including recovery funds

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