Switzerland Travel Mart (STM), the most important trade show for Switzerland’s travel and tourism products, officially kicked off last night (Sept. 10) in Davos with an opening ceremony featuring two routines by two-time World Champion figure skater Stéphane Lambiel.
With 480 representatives from 50 countries in attendance, including first-time delegations from Albania, Costa Rica, Iran and Mongolia, Jürg Schmid (pictured at top), the CEO of Switzerland Tourism, told the crowd the occasion marked the biggest STM to date.
Over the next two days, operators and buyers have the opportunity to meet with 350 Swiss destination and hotel suppliers.
“The main goal is really to provide a platform to bring the suppliers together with the buyers from around the world,” Alex Herrmann, Director North America for Switzerland Tourism, told PressToday. “The goal is to bring these people together and provide a platform for tour operators to learn more about Switzerland, about new products in Switzerland, and the destinations. It can get into first talks about agreements, etc.”
Ahead of the biannual show, North American operators gathered in the city of Basel for sight seeing excursions and this year’s Gold Flower Awards reception, which highlight top operators offering tours to Switzerland within the North American market.
“The awards are basically a recognition of outstanding achievement from tour operators that we hand out every two years,” said Pascal Prinz, Trade Manager East Coast for Switzerland Tourism in New York.
Along with Alpine Adventures and Europe Express of the USA, Kensington Tours was recognized as an important and innovative partner for Switzerland Tourism in Canada. Dana Toma, Senior Product Director at Kensington Tours, was on hand to collect the award.
During the event it was also announced that Prinz is taking over for Evelyn Lafone as the new Market Manager Canada as of Nov. 1. Pictured above middle at the awards reception are: Prinz and Herrmann.