TORONTO — Switzerland Tourism’s first cross-Canada roadshow focusing on Canadian travel trade and media arrived in Toronto last night, with an important message from 11 Swiss suppliers: Switzerland is open and ready to welcome Canadian travellers.
It’s easier than ever to get to Switzerland too, with upwards of 30 weekly flights from Canadian gateways. SWISS/Lufthansa Group and Air Canada have been ramping up their flight schedule to 95% of 2019, offering direct flights to Zurich and Geneva from Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary this summer. Some flights are even sold out.
Switzerland has no test requirements and no quarantine restrictions, and that’s key for travel advisors to know, and their clients too, says Pascal Prinz, Director Canada, Switzerland Tourism.
“Canada is a crucial market for us. We are proud to support travel advisors and tour operators with our first Switzerland Travel Experience in Canada. We are excited to finally meet our valued partners in person again, inspire them with experiences and thank them for their tireless dedication and hard work,” said Prinz.
Swiss suppliers from Andermatt, Basel, Engelberg / Mount Titlis, Interlaken Tourism, Jungfrau Region, Mount Pilatus, Mount Schilthorn, SWISS/Lufthansa Group, the Swiss Travel System, Ticino, and the Valais Matterhorn region are all taking part in the roadshow, visiting Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver May 30 – June 3 to present new experiences, hotels and offers.
Speaking of offers, travellers to Switzerland can even save money, and that’s a real highlight in these days of rising prices here at home.
“Everything is getting more expensive, right? Not in Switzerland. The 8-day Swiss Travel Pass is getting 20% more affordable,” says Prinz. “The train is a phenomenal way to see the country and it is also very good for the planet. So go out and travel, go to Switzerland, go to Europe.”
The Swiss Travel Pass allows passengers to enjoy unlimited access by public train, bus, and boat to visit more than 41 cities.
Of special note, the Golden Pass Line connects Montreux to Interlaken, making the trip extra convenient for travellers because they don’t have to transfer or take another train starting in December, 2022. The route connects the French-speaking wine region of Switzerland with beautiful Interlaken.
A new digital tool called MySwitzerland Pro has been developed to connect the travel trade with inbound tour operators and the like.
Says Prinz: “We have learned during the pandemic how circumstances and bookings can change so we need to be nimble and support the travel trade industry in their work. To better achieve this, we are launching a new digital matchmaking tool called MySwitzerland Pro which is an excellent resource for tour operators or travel advisors to search deals on room nights, train tickets or city tours. The tool is particularly useful in the event of a short-term cancellation of a big group at a Swiss supplier for example. MySwitzerlandPro can help travel trade to quickly find Swiss incoming tour operators and commissionable experiences based on season, group size and passions.”
“Travel advisors and tour operators are crucial for us and we want to reassure travel agents that yes, you can go to Switzerland, and yes, you can go to Europe,” he added.
Travel professionals are also invited to join the Switzerland Travel Academy and become a certified Switzerland Travel Experts at www.myswitzerland.com/trade.
Switzerland reopened to fully vaccinated Canadians on June 26, 2021. In February 2022, the destination lifted just about all of its COVID-19 restrictions, including the required Swiss COVID Certificate and Passenger Locator Form.
“People have been cooped up for two years. Enough Netflix. You can come to Switzerland and go hiking, go biking and enjoy our beautiful mountains, lakes and cities. We have amazing art museums, great food and four language regions so you feel like you’re in different counties,” says Prinz. “Travel is very powerful for mental health and as an industry we have a responsibility to show how powerful travel is for our hearts, minds and souls.”
For more information, www.myswitzerland.com