Australians love Switzerland. The figures speak for themselves. But what is it that makes Switzerland such a special destination? And what’s new for the country this year?

We caught up with the Executive Vice President of Switzerland Tourism Urs Eberhard during his visit to Australia to find out more.

Urs says that Australia is a success story for Switzerland, with visitation from us increasing by around 40% in the past four years alone.

SwitzerlandTourism

“Switzerland is definitely a product that makes the customer happy. If an Agent sells it they have the assurance that their customers will come back happy. A happy customer is a repeating customer.”

Executive Vice President of Switzerland Tourism

So why does Switzerland have Australian travellers grinning from ear to ear?

Urs says it’a because the country “unites all the assets Europe has to offer in a very small space”. It’s also “safe and sustainable with fresh air, clean water and the best transportation system in the world”. What’s not to like?

“It’s a very nice country to enjoy yourself in. Sometimes when travelling to a big city you have to do all the icons and tick all the boxes, but in Switzerland, because everything is so close, you don’t have to worry,” Urs says.

“I also claim we are the most Instagrammable country in the world. You cannot take a bad picture in Switzerland”.

Urs says Australian travellers have been particularly taken with the Swiss Christmas markets, with December and January seeing strong visitation as a result.

And, it will not come as a surprise to most, that enjoying the country via its incredible train network is also one of the top activities.

But what’s new for 2019?

Urs says there will be a fresh focus on hiking this year.

“We have three iconic long-distance hiking trails crossing the country that we will be creating new product for,” he says.

He also pointed to a new ‘Hub and Spoke’ program focusing on half day nature tours from the major cities.

Another new selling point for Switzerland will be WINE.

“We have a lot of wine and UNESCO World Heritage sites that are vineyards,” Urs says.

“We would like people to hike and bike through the vineyards and we will be launching new winemaker visits this fall.”

Switzerland will also be tapping into the cruise market by adding more day tours, especially from Basel.

All in all, Urs says he is confident in Switzerland’s ability to be timeless.

“Just as watching the sunrise and sunset on one of our beautiful mountains was very popular 200 years ago with kings and queens; world travellers today are still humbled by the sight.”

“Travellers want those authentic real things.”

Switzerland-mountains-photography

Urs emphasised the vital importance of the Australian travel trade in selling Switzerland and says there will be “several opportunities” this year for Australian Advisors to join a Switzerland famil.

We will be sure to share any opportunities here on KARRYON.

Did you learn anything new about Switzerland from Urs?