Switzerland Tourism hosted an elegant luncheon for a small group of approximately 35 travel partners in Calgary including travel writers, agents and media at the Le Germain Hotel in downtown Calgary.
Pascal Prinz, director, Canada trade manager of Switzerland Tourism shared his excitement in promoting Switzerland with Canadians. “There is more to Switzerland than just chocolate, cheese and mountains," Prinz said. "We have incredible hospitality, a quirky sense of humour, an adventurous spirit and everything has the signature touch of Swiss quality.""
Last year, Switzerland Tourism saw a nine per cent increase in arrivals from Canadians, which proved to be the best year for Canadian travel to the area in 25 years. “With four different language regions in Switzerland (Italian, German, French and Rumantsch), it's like visiting a small Europe all within one country,” Prinz noted.
A new cycling campaign has been created to promote the biking opportunities and experiences to “guarantee the most enjoyable bike ride in the world”. With a variety of different landscapes from rolling hills, flat lands, lakes and rivers, there are plenty of challenges and experiences riders can choose from.
The infrastructure of the trails is excellent and well-marked, making things easy and convenient for travellers to explore with peace of mind. Public transportation provides convenience for cyclers where they can easily hop onto the bus or boat with their bikes to head back to their hotel. And many bike hotels cater to cyclers where they will have bagged lunches included, and maintenance areas and supplies to fix or wash their bicycles at the end of the day. Ride the Alps www.ridethealps.ch is a special holiday tour for guests to come and ride the Swiss Alps during May to September for the ultimate riding experience!
In Western Canada, there are direct flight options from Calgary and Vancouver to Zurich in the summer aboard both Swiss Air, the premium carrier, and Edelwiess Air, the leisure carrier, both subsidiaries of Lufthansa. From Vancouver, there are 4 flights to Zurich a week, and two flights per week from Calgary. In June, Air Canada will be launching their Vancouver to Zurich service offering additional options. Aboard Swiss Air, first class travellers will have access to a new 7000 square foot lounge in the Zurich airport, as well as chauffeur service from airplane to gate.
The Swiss Travel Pass available from Rail Europe provides extensive value received when travellers purchase the Travel Pass, to access trains, boats and busses to get around Switzerland. Ticket options include both consecutive and flexible days, first and second class available, discounts for two or more travellers and children up to the age of fifteen can travel for free with their parents. The pass also includes admission to over 500 museums, and complimentary mountain excursions are also included.
Ticino, a favourite destination for many locals, is a small area that must be explored. A Mediterranean continent with Italian flair and Swiss influence, the cultural mecca is the perfect place to enjoy a little bit of everything. The diversity in the language, the culture, the weather and the activities ensure there is something for everyone. With a one night stay in the area, travellers are provided a complimentary Ticino Ticket, a public transportation pass valid for 24 hours to encourage guests to explore the area.
Travellers to Switzerland receive incredible value with their dollar as most hotels include breakfast in the rates, no resort fees, gratuities included, and low city taxes. During the summer, cable car rides are included and reduced ski lift tickets are available in the winter.
Pascal Bornoz, consul general of Switzerland in Vancouver, states “The bilateral relationship between Canada and Switzerland is excellent in so many ways. We have a lot of affinities between the two countries, and Canadians share a strong bond with the Swiss with the similar values, diversity in cultures and the active lifestyle outdoors.”
A Switzerland Expert Travel Agent Training Program is a new academy program available through Switzerland Tourism to get certified in Switzerland and can be completed in about 3 hours.
To sign up for the program, visit www.MySwitzerland.com/trade.