Switzerland Travel Mart 2017 gets underway today and already, there’s plenty of news for the Canadian travel trade to take note of.
This week, the town of Davos will welcome more than 500 tour operators and journalists from more than 50 countries, meeting more than 350 Switzerland travel suppliers at the bi-annual event. Before heading to Davos for the opening ceremonies on Sunday (Sept. 10), delegates arrived in Basel and were treated to a pre-convention exploration of the city and its various hotels and museums.
Two days before the official opening of this year’s STM, Pascal Prinz was announced as the new market manager for Canada, with the announcement coming just two days following a farewell reception for former Canada manager Evelyn Lafone, who held the role since 2014. Lafone has been appointed as Switzerland Tourism’s market manager for Southern Germany, based in Stuttgart.
Switzerland Tourism held a farewell reception in Toronto last week for Evelyn LaFone, who has been appointed market manager for Southern Germany. Of Switzerland Tourism: Alex Herrmann, director, North America; Ursula Beamish-Mader, manager - media relations, North America; Evelyn Lafone, market manager, Southern Germany.
Prinz, who has been with the organization since 2013, was formerly in charge of the U.S. East Coast and will continue to represent Switzerland Tourism in the Midwestern U.S. and Texas. Prinz will start his new role in the board’s Toronto office on Nov. 1.
“I’m very much looking forward,” Prinz told PAX. “Canada has a special place in my heart – I love Canadian values and we have many things in common. There’s a lot of aspects of Switzerland which appeal to Canadians, including our culture and the mix of languages.”
In addition, Swiss Travel System will also introduce a North American representative to its New York office in Jan. 1, 2018. Although the price of the pass is expected to increase by five per cent next year, more attractions will be available through the pass.
Canadian arrivals and overnights to Switzerland are on the rise again, said Alex Hermann, Switzerland Tourism’s North America director, with a 6.8 per cent year-over-year increase in overnights from Canada during the first seven months of the year. Combined Canada and U.S. arrivals – two thirds of which take place during the summer months - have increased 30 per cent over the last five years, Herrmann said.
Prior to the opening of STM 2017, Switzerland Tourism also revealed this year’s Gold Flower Award recipients for innovation and professionalism in selling Switzerland product, which included Toronto-based Kensington Tours and US-based tour operators Alpine Adventures and Europe Express.
The show has just started so stay tuned to PAXnews.com as well as our social media channels for updates from STM 2017! Have a question you’d like answered? Message PAX on Facebook or email email@example.com.