Switzerland launches campaign to attract Middle East tourists
Switzerland is mounting an all-out drive to attract tourists from the Middle East, already the source of 260,000 overnights in 2003.
A 20-strong delegation from Switzerland Tourism and its local partners will make a 10-day series of presentations across five Gulf cities at the end of March, reaching the travel industry, media and VIPs.
The group represents a cross-section of the Alpine country's holiday resorts, hotel chains, and hospitality businesses. They will visit Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, and Jeddah between March 27 and April 5 to highlight Switzerland's attractions as a holiday destination.
The snow and the mountains are already a major draw card for Middle East tourists, with numbers almost doubling since 1999. Then, Switzerland numbered 150,000 overnights from residents of the Gulf countries – a figure expected to top 300,000 by the end of 2004, up 15 percent on last year.
With special visa arrangements in place – a European Union Schengen or Swiss visa is all that is needed by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) visitors. Although Switzerland is not an EU member – tourists from the Gulf do not have to cope with daunting bureaucratic requirements to gain entry.
The travelling roadshow, mounted in conjunction with Swiss International Airlines, will highlight all of Switzerland's attractions, followed by workshop sessions when the delegates will meet individually with members of the Middle East travel industry to present their products. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)