Switzerland Tourism is planning to roll out its e-learning programme specifically for the Indian travel trade in the first half of 2011. The programme, which will be hosted on Switzerland Tourism website, will educate the travel trade on creating itineraries for the destination, how to sell Switzerland packages effectively, information on location and number of Indian restaurants at various places etc.
On completion of the programme participants will be awarded a certificate and will also be eligible for exclusive invitations for Switzerland Tourism workshops, FAM trips and discounts on their personal trips. This information was divulged by Michael Maeder, Director- India, Switzerland Tourism, at a presentation organised by Switzerland Tourism recently in New Delhi. Around 12 suppliers from Switzerland showcased the destinations and products at the presentation. They also conducted a similar presentation in Chandigarh.
According to Maeder, while they have an e-learning programme currently on their website, the decision to roll out an exclusive programme for the Indian market was taken as the priorities and requirements of Indian customers and consequently the travel trade is different. “India is an important strategic market for future development along with China and Russia. Switzerland witnessed 24 per cent growth last year in terms of overnights with MICE segment from India recording a 30 per cent growth. We are expecting a 25 per cent growth in India overnights and 40 per cent for MICE this year,” stated Maeder. He informed that overall Switzerland received 18 million visitors and recorded 65 million overnights last year.
During the presentation both Beatrice Dolder of Geneva Tourism Conventions and Max Van Beurden, Director of Sales, Ramada Park Hotel, Geneva said that the city offers world class facilities for meeting and incentives. They billed Geneva as the perfect destination for shopping, especially for jewellery and watches. Increase in flights from India and Dubai to Geneva, according to them will boost traffic. The also stated that Geneva provides easy access to Paris and Milan. Toovey Abraham, General Manager – India and UAE, Swisstours, which is a subsidiary of Swiss International Airlines, announced an exclusive Switzerland package for the Indian market aimed at boosting Indian tourist arrivals. Priced at Rs 29,990, the package includes return flight tickets, seven nights accommodation in selected apartments and second class train tickets to and from Zurich Airport to relevant destinations. Some of the other suppliers at the presentation were: Renuka Natu, Head Marketing – India, Schilthorn Cableway; Sony Abraham, Regional Manager (India & South Asia) – Jungfrau and Daniela Fuchs, Director of Sales, Jungfrau along with Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director – India, Switzerland Tourism.