Agents Discover Switzerland On TTC Tour Brands Global FAM Trip

At a final gala dinner in Geneva to celebrate the end of the Swisstainable TTC Tour Brands global incentive FAM, Gavin Tollman shared that giving back to travel advisors was a key driver behind the specially designed trip.

“There are multiple facets as to why it was important to us, but number one is obviously the opportunity to recognize the top producing trade partners and at a time when we all see this great boom and growth in travel, it’s so important that our travel partners actually get out and see the majesty of the world that we live in,” Tollman, the CEO & President of TTC Tour Brands, told Press Today on location in Switzerland. “In a post-pandemic world where so many lessons were learned, agents have never been a more vital component in the consumer’s mind of how they buy travel.”

During the week-long trip, travel advisors from Canada, the US, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines took part on a one-of-a-kind itinerary that highlighted what sets its various brands like Trafalgar, Costsaver, Luxury Gold and Insight Vacations apart while travelling across Switzerland by train, funicular, cablecar and motor coach.

Although the itinerary served as a highlight reel to some of the most iconic sights of Switzerland from the Matterhorn to the charms of Lucerne, Pascal Prinz, the Director Global Accounts & Emerging Markets at Switzerland Tourism, noted that it also showcased immersive local experiences and sustainability efforts.

“If you’re looking for sustainable options for your clients, we are convinced that we offer some great opportunities,” he said. “Together, we’re learning and moving in the right direction… 57% of all TTC Switzerland suppliers are already enrolled in the Swisstainable program. The current total is 52 partners and growing.”

Simon Bosshart, Head Markets East, Member of the Management Board for Switzerland Tourism, pointed out that the partnership with TTC Tour Brands was a natural evolution as both companies prioritize responsible travel.

“TTC, with all its brands, there’s a long history of selling Switzerland. On a global scale of the big global tour operators, it’s one of the biggest, bringing the biggest volume to Switzerland, so it’s a natural relationship,” he shared.

Although sustainability has become a buzzword in the industry, Bosshart highlighted the destination’s commitment to truly making changes in the field through the Swisstainable strategy, a term merging ‘Swiss’ and ‘Sustainable,’ which also serves as a certification program for local businesses. 

“We have a very ambitious goal. Every destination talks about sustainability now, everybody wants to be a sustainable destination, having sustainable experiences. We really want to go to the core of this. We really want to do it seriously,” he added. “The first part is where you have to turn the destination to become sustainable. You have to talk to the partners, you have to talk to the hotels, to the suppliers, to the cableways, everybody has to be onboard. This is what we call Swisstainable — that’s the program — that’s some of the inner work we do. And then the external work we do, we need partners to carry that out, and with TTC, there really is a natural connection.”

For sustainable examples on this trip, the group visited the Dubois winery, a family-run business which harvests grapes by hand, and travelled to the top of Mount Stanserhorn on a solar powered cable car.

“Our objective really is that TTC becomes synonymous with sustainable travel,” added Gemma Myhill, Global Head of Sustainability, Partnerships & Projects for TTC Tour Brands, adding that TTC Tour Brands has its own five-year sustainability strategy underpinned by 11 goals tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “[Swisstainable is] really an incredible program because of the fact that it looks at sustainability through the consumer’s lens and makes it easy for them, because sustainability can be a very complex and sometimes scary topic, so I think that is key.”