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Go For a Ride in Switzerland

A wise man – Albert Einstein – once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

With biking being a focus of the promotional efforts for Switzerland this year, those were also the words Pascal Prinz, Director Canada for Switzerland Tourism used to kick-off a summer launch event held in Toronto last night (May 1).

Along with breathtaking scenery from rolling hills to lakes, rivers and mountains, he says cyclists may even encounter some new friends en route.

“We guarantee you the most enjoyable bike ride in the world. Why do you think that is? We have an amazing infrastructure so all the trails for bikers are super well marked and you know when you take a break you can even have a chat with the cows,” he says with a smile.

New this year, the destination is offering vehicle-free “Ride the Alps” events for clients who want to ride the Swiss Alps without any cars.

“Between May and September, we will close down 12 mountain passes across Switzerland so you can ride the alps car-free, there will be music festivals, and of course, good food and lots of happy people from all over the world,” he says.

Closer to home, Switzerland Tourism is sponsoring free bike share rides in select cities across North America, including Montreal.

“Switzerland, we give you the ride of your life – amazing infrastructure, landscapes, and then our four official languages that give you a lot of variety, plus the convenience,” he says, noting the Swiss Travel Pass allows visitors to travel across the country by rail, road and waterways on an all-in-one ticket.

As for the Canadian market, Prinz says Switzerland saw the best overnight results in 25 years from Canada with an 11.2% increase in arrivals in 2017.

“We just saw a record year, the best year for Switzerland in Canada, with the most Canadians visiting from Canada in 25 years,” he says. “This is exciting, business is up, business is good.”

For travel agents interested in becoming Switzerland Travel Experts, he says the trade can visit the Switzerland Travel Academy at www.myswitzerland.com/trade.

“It’s three hours, we keep it short and sweet,” he says.
For travellers, the destination also provides a good value for money:

  • Free transportation card in selected cities
  • Free entrance to over 500 museums with the Swiss Travel Pass
  • Breakfast included in most hotels
  • No resort fee in hotels, low city tax
  • Tipping is included
  • Lowest VAT in Europe, included in the sales price
  • In summer, the cable car is included in hotel rate in many destinations
  • In winter, reduced ski ticket offered by many hotels in selected destinations.

Pictured (top) at the summer launch event in Toronto are Prinz; Ursula Beamish-Mader, Manager, Media Relations North America, Switzerland Tourism; Christy Keller, Market Manager, North America, Switzerland Travel Centre; and Martin Oester, Sales & Marketing Manager, North America, Swiss Travel System. (Middle) Prinz in his office with a recent edition of Travel Courier. (Bottom) Representatives from The Travel Corporation on hand for the event.

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