Saudi Arabia holds the unbeaten first position among GCC tourists visiting Switzerland, followed by the United Arab Emirates based on the statistics from January to November 2014, Switzerland Tourism disclosed Sunday during its delegation stopover here as part of its Gulf roadshow that takes them to Dammam, Riyadh, Qassim, Taif, Hofuf, Bahrain Doha, Muscat, Kuwait, Dubai, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi from Feb.7-13, 2015. The delegation is accompanied by representatives of over 40 tourism destinations, companies and famous Swiss hotels.
Overall, 253,919 of GCC tourists with 735,318 overnights have visited Switzerland during Jan-Nov 2014, resulting into an increase of 23.4 percent versus 2013, spending CHF 500 per day on average, in this ranking the GCC tourists are first in terms of daily tourist expenditure world-wide.
The roadshow is organized and hosted by Switzerland Tourism GCC. The delegates meet up with travel representatives and tourism agencies from the GCC, giving insights into the new Switzerland experience. “The Grand Tour of Switzerland” workshop of the roadshow discusses ways of collaboration that help to increase the number of GCC tourists to Switzerland. To enable these prospects, the tourism agencies will be provided with comprehensive information and details on the tourist tours to Switzerland.
This year, Switzerland aspires to enhance its tourism share from GCC states with a brand new experience: The Grand Tour of Switzerland. After attracting a record high of visitors in 2014, the number of visitors from GCC will grow further.
On the Grand Tour of Switzerland, which will be launched in spring 2015, the journey is the goal. During the 1600 km long route the guest will be leaded through four linguistic regions, over five Alpine passes, to eleven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two Biosphere Reserves and along 22 lakes. In short, an experience to the country’s most scenic and cultural highlights, strung together like pearls on a necklace.
On the Grand Tour of Switzerland, a stop in the most famous destinations of Switzerland is must: Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux, Gstaad, Interlaken, the Jungfrau-Region, Bern, Lucerne, Zurich, St. Moritz, the Ticino/Lugano and the Matterhorn Region with its thrilling activities and its lush green nature. And of course, a stay in one of the many luxurious hotels along the route will top up any expectations.
The Grand Tour of Switzerland matches especially the needs of the GCC traveler: As our surveys show, the GCC traveller loves nothing more than to drive around in the green nature of Switzerland with his whole family and to discover new paths and attractions.
The persistent growth of the number of tourists coming from the GCC to Switzerland, raised the responsibility of Switzerland Tourism toward the Gulf tourism market. It reflects the enhancement of its activities in the GCC, via its regional office in Dubai, which has been carrying out its activities since 2003.
The partners of Switzerland Tourism are aware of the importance of the Gulf tourism market and constantly provide renewed tourist offers. The main partners are: Geneva & Lake Geneva region, Gstaad, Interlaken, Jungfrau Region, Bern, Lucerne, Zurich, St. Moritz, Ticino, Zermatt/Matterhorn Region, Swiss Travel Systems, Swiss Travel Center, Bucherer, Swiss Health and Swiss International Airlines.
When traveling in Switzerland, apart from the outstanding hotel offer, there are many serviced hotel apartments, offering a private environment whilst enjoying hotel amenities of outstanding comfort. They are also an excellent opportunity for young honeymooners, who would like to enjoy a romantic and cozy atmosphere which is hardly to find elsewhere in the world. Tourists looking for exercising fun and hiking will find specific paths to use their hobbies. During the year, world-famous annual events and festivals take place, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Art Basel, the Geneva Festival, the White Turf St. Moritz or the European Golf Open in Crans-Montana.
Switzerland is one of the most prominent tourist destinations for medical treatment and well-being; the most prominent places are: St. Moritz, Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Bad Ragaz, all covering a range of excellent hotels. Since four years, Switzerland has a new marketing cooperative called ‚Swiss Health’, promoting university hospitals and private clinics.
Since the Eighties, the Swiss educational sector has witnessed a remarkable development. International students are provided with learning opportunities with everything they require and demand for to take part in the international competition, including summer camps in English. There are many boarding schools, hotel and tourism management colleges especially in the Lake Geneva region.
To ensure high standards of pleasure for tourists, Switzerland Tourism is operating its online website www.MySwitzerland.com with 2,400 pages of Arabic content for information and easy reservations. Furthermore, ST communicates with the guests via their Arabic Facebook and Twitter channels MySwitzerland.com/facebook and MySwitzerland.com/twitter.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on February 9, 2015.