How can Switzerland profit more from Chinese tourism?

Selina Morell • 19 March 2019
1 comment
How can Switzerland increase its profit from Chinese tourists? We propose to foster slow tourism via focused advertising, investment in individual tourism and lobby for looser visa requirements.

Chinese tourists are already here – take a seat in a Café at the Schwanenplatz in Lucerne: Bus after bus arrives and drops off Chinese tourist groups; the big winner is the Swiss watch shop «Bucherer». But nowadays, Chinese tourists tend to book All-Inclusive-Packages that promise more for less, such as «Europe in 10 days». Switzerland could profit more from Chinese tourists: Currently, they often enough don't spend more than 2 nights in a Swiss hotel and except from buying luxury souvenirs such as watches, they don't spend much money. 

We see a potential for a new era in Chinese tourism: one, in which the tourists stay longer, get a deeper impression of Swiss culture and spend more on Swiss soil. Especially in the field of «Slow tourism» we detect room for improvement. We propose a form of Slow Tourism that sets the individual tourist in the center. Switzerland is the ideal place for traveling in small groups or on your own – we have sage and reliable public transport, an attractive infrastructure for hiking or other activities in the nature, as well as well-preserved traditional villages and parks. Switzerland is the perfect place for a retreat in nature with its beautiful and diverse landscapes – alps, lakes, rivers, valleys. We can offer perfect locations for a retreat from busy and stressful urban life and be the place where people retank energy – and where they can be offline for once.

To realise this vision of «Slow Tourism», we should invest more in marketing directly in China and offer information in Mandarin here in Switzerland. We could create an App which translates the network of Swiss hiking paths in Chinese language. Such an App could be upgraded in many ways, with tips for activities, information about regions or voice training for sayings in local dialects. We are convinced of the potential to keep Chinese tourists longer in our country and of the mutual benefit of such a development: On one hand, more Swiss stakeholder could potentially profit from Chinese tourists, and on the other hand Chinese tourists would get a more diverse and interesting experience in our country as they have now with the All-inclusive packages – at least from the outside they seem quite stressful. But shouldn't holidays be about relaxing, collecting beautiful memories and refilling energy?