Switzerland also wants to woo Indian budget traveller

April 17th, 2009 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Switzerland sees no let up in the inflow of Indian tourists to the European country and hopes to attract even budget tourists in the coming season with accommodations at relatively inexpensive apartments, loaded with Indian food.
“In the past few years we have seen major influx of Indian tourists to Europe in general and Switzerland in particular,” said Swiss Ambassador Philippe Welti, launching a major promotional aimed at the tourists from this country.

“But India is a large market and still there is much more scope for growth. One of my purpose during my tenure here is to ensure better tourism promotion,” Welti told reporters.

Officials representing the country’s tourism and hospitality industry said there was a 15-17 percent growth in the number of tourists visiting Switzerland, but were unable to quantify their numbers.

“On an average, 12-14 million Indian travellers visit Europe every year - many of them to Switzerland - and we feel this can be double by 2011,” said Asish Saran, general manager Switzerland Destination Marketing, a new public-private initiative.

He said the strategy to woo Indians was not confined to marketing and advertising alone. The initiatives include faster and trouble-free visas, accommodation at economy hotels and ensuring the availability of Indian food - major concern for these travellers.

“We have also started the concept of renting apartments. This is not only cheaper than hotels, but will also give the feeling of togetherness to Indian families. The kitchens will be stuffed with Indian food,” saran said.

According to him, the tariff at these apartments will range between 700-1,500 Swiss franks per week, which translates into $600-$1,275 per week.

Rainer Blaser, marketing manager of the organisation, said another reason why his country was upbeat on Indian tourists was that the global meltdown had not affected the country as it had others.

He said some of the attractions that await the Indian tourist include a stunning view of sunrise along the Alpine settings, wedding packages on top of Mt. Rigi and mouth watering barbecue package with a free-view open air cinema.

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