Posted by: oliviapontet | November 21, 2012

Chinese to the rescue of Swiss Tourism

First non-European tourists in Switzerland, it is more individualistic and easier than before. Balance recounts his journey to the land of Heidi, the points fall, favorite brands.

The figures from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) confirm: Chinese tourists are still more likely to visit the mountains, lakes and Swiss shops. An increase in overnight stays by 26.6% was observed in July 2012 compared to the previous year. Is inversely proportional to that of tourists from the Gulf evolution (-26.1%).
This trend is not new. Between 2005 and 2010, Chinese nights increased by 117% since last year, Switzerland is at the top 3 favorite European destinations citizens of the great People’s Republic. After those Swiss, visiting Europeans remain the most numerous, Germany holding the upper hand with 14.7% of overnight stays in 2011. The Chinese, however, are the first non-European tourists to stay at home (1.7%) to the Japanese (1.4%), Indians (1.3%) and nationals of Gulf countries (1.2% ).

In search of exclusivity

“Adapt!” Addressing those working directly with Chinese customers, Geraldine Henchoz tip the gaps concerning the reception of tourists. Charge of the Chinese market for Geneva Tourism & Conventions, the sinologist training calls for greater acceptance of Chinese habits. Especially as the direct competitor of Geneva – Zurich – has a big advantage: Kloten.
For if Lucerne, Interlaken and Jungfrau are the favorite destinations of Chinese and retain each own attractions, Zurich and Geneva indeed offer the same attractions. The city of Zwingli, however the chance of being the city where the majority of flights from China arrive. “It is therefore necessary to Geneva, differentiate, says the market manager. FIT is more like the mainstream. “For FIT, hear” Fully Individual Traveller “, a new kind of traveler who is easy information on the internet and make fun of tour operators.
Chinese tourism has indeed evolved. From 2003 to 2007, the tour operators were doing more work seller organizer. They offered several “packages” to customers who chose among a small range of destinations. Today, even if it remains easier to go through a travel agency, more and more tourists organize their own route. “Travel group are obviously still valid, says Geraldine Henchoz, but there is a growing trend FIT.” This trend is both the middle class – more important – the English speaking superrich.
In response to this trend, the Swiss tourism offering evolves. Although the pursuit of prestige is not going away, the exclusive is sought in more subtle ways. Now some Chinese visitors will favor a Swiss wine not exported in Shanghai and Beijing. “We located in major cities of the Chinese coast, says Geraldine Henchoz. It is in this new context it is necessary to promote the exclusivity compared to the rest of the world but also vis-à-vis other Swiss cities. Visiting a Geneva or Vaud vineyards becomes trend for the Chinese, especially since they will not find in Zurich. “For these new travelers, no question of a quick meal in a Chinese fast food. Place the Swiss gourmet tasting, French and Italian.

One figure

2 millions. This is the number of nights for Chinese tourists expected by Switzerland Tourism 2020.

Swiss Flags in Zürich

Swiss Flags in Zürich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



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