But with all of this uncertainty comes a silver lining: Travel counselors will be in demand like never before, he says, as people will need the most recent information from a trusted source.
“In my opinion, this is a really huge opportunity for travel agents, they can prove how important they are to the system,” says Nydegger.
Switzerland began welcoming fully vaccinated Canadians on June 26, 2021, simplifying the process by not requiring a PCR test or quarantine for entry.
Kinasz, who has frequented the STM and visited Switzerland on numerous occasions, can personally testify to the beauty and attractiveness of Switzerland.
“What makes this destination attractive is that it is full of outdoor activities and you can spend time in the mountains, on your bike or on foot,” she says. “The country works like a ‘clock’ so you feel very safe because all the necessary precautions are taken.”
Getting to Switzerland
Canadians traveling to Switzerland can download their Canadian vaccine certificates with a QR code to receive the Swiss COVID certificate (CHF 30), a new travel option launched on October 24. It allows visitors to show their certificate and freely roam the destination, access restaurants, attractions and museums inside, and search for contacts if necessary.
With four weekly flights from Toronto and Montreal to Zurich and Geneva via Air Canada and Swiss Air, Pascal Prinz, director, Canada for Switzerland Tourism, has seen a marked increase in the number of Canadians traveling to Switzerland after an 85% drop due to the global pandemic.
“Canadians are fully immunized, which makes me very optimistic,” he says. “We had record growth before the pandemic. Canadians have traveled throughout the year to Switzerland – they love our Swiss Alps as much as our cities. Switzerland is safe and open and we are delighted to welcome back our Canadian friends.
The many reasons to visit Switzerland
Prinz also believes that Switzerland offers a unique slice of Europe, one that offers ‘four countries in one’ and a modern rail system that provides easy access to explore this charming country known for chocolate, cheese and sights and experiences. unbeatable on the mountains.
Interlaken, the host city of this year’s Switzerland Travel Mart, has been a favorite destination for Canadians, says Prinz, with a double-digit increase in visitors in the 10 years leading up to the pandemic. Proximity to trains and airports and the ability to experience nature all year round add to its appeal, not to mention its proximity to one of the country’s newest attractions, Jungfraujoch. Known as the ‘Top of Europe’, the Jungfraujoch is an alpine area of ice, snow and rock, towering 3,454 meters above sea level. The Eiger Express tricable gondola takes passengers from the terminal from Grindelwald to the Eiger Glacier in 45 minutes.
Other UNESCO World Heritage and Biosphere attractions in Switzerland include Old Town Bern, Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Monte San Giorgio, Bellizona Fortress, La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle for the watchmaking and architectural works of the world famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier, two found in Geneva and Corseaux.
Great adventures in Switzerland
Named by National Geographic as one of the 10 best outfitters on the planet, based in Colorado Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures was one of the suppliers of Switzerland Travel Mart.
“Our company was born out of adventure in the Alps and there are endless hikes, tours and explorations. We will continue to develop our product in Switzerland indefinitely, ”said Brittney Clarke, Managing Director of Ryder-Walker. “It’s really easy to be outside, there’s a lot to do and it’s safe and organized, plus it’s easy to navigate the trains and people wear masks. As long as you follow these protocols and pay attention to a certain extent, it’s easy to relax and enjoy without worrying too much.
Canadian tour operator Butterfield & Robinson, which offers three Swiss itineraries, including Rhine Cruise and Bike and Custom Switzerland, was also present at the conference. Mark Harris, Senior Travel Advisor, tells Travelweek that the company is confident its customers will want to book a trip to Switzerland in search of its many lures.
“Switzerland has something for everyone; the scenery is so beautiful and super accessible, ”says Harris. “You can take such a varied trip to this country, like exploring wine regions and then going to the mountains.”
Switzerland Tourism currently has a promotion with Goway trip, with advisers receiving an additional commission for booking Swiss routes, which range from active fall vacations, winter ski getaways to train travel next summer. Prinz recommends that agents register with Swiss Travel Academy to deepen their knowledge base and obtain Swiss travel expert certification.
“Tour operators and travel advisers are the backbone of this recovery,” explains Prinz. “There will be no recovery without the travel trade.”
To read the Travelweek coverage of Switzerland Travel Mart, click here.