This prestigious Swiss tourism award, Milestone, has been given out for the last twenty years. Projects for this year’s award were submitted by the end of August and eight nominations have now been chosen. The award will be announced on 12 November 2019 in the Kursaal Bern; Bonfire AG, the Zermatters and the Glacier Express Excellence Class are all in with a chance – all projects from or with a connection to Zermatt.
Bonfire AG nomination
Zermatt Tourismus and Zermatt Bergbahnen AG founded the start-up Bonfire AG with the aim of promoting and furthering digitalisation in the Zermatt – Matterhorn destination. They develop systems and platforms that enable the destination to remain competitive in the tourism industry. The jury explained their nomination: “Bonfire is a visionary project with a forward-looking governance structure that integrates all of the region's service providers and helps them to work from the same page. Using an open data structure enables the touchpoints between guests and service providers to be processed consistently throughout the customer journey as part of a big data warehouse.”
The Swiss Ski and Snowboard School Zermatt recently merged with the Zermatt Mountain Guides Association to become ‘Zermatters’. They can now offer visitors to Zermatt an all-round outdoor service. The team includes 350 ski instructors, mountain guides, bike and hiking guides. The jury explained their nomination: “This project provider has brought together several professional outdoor groups into one organisation, active in summer and winter. This merger enables Zermatters to support visitors and offer advice and expertise across all outdoor sports. As a tour operator, Zermatters has taken over direct responsibility for the packages they offer, setting themselves apart from being a simple intermediary. It’s an exemplary idea.”
Glacier Express Excellence Class nomination
The Glacier Express runs between St Moritz and Zermatt and recently launched Excellence Class – a premium class offering comprehensive luxury, from the design and personal service through to the five-course menu. The jury explained their nomination: “The ‘Excellence Class’ is the first true ‘Premium Luxury’ service in Switzerland, offering its guests the utmost comfort similar to airlines. Adding to First and Second Class, ‘Excellence Class’ creates a premium service in the Swiss Railway's five-star segment and allows more rail passengers to choose a new, exclusive class that is attractive to wealthy guests.”
Supporting industry innovation
The Milestone is awarded by the htr hotel revue and hotelleriesuisse and is also supported by Seco. It draws attention to innovative projects and so helps to promote innovation within the industry. The jury comprises seven representatives from the tourism industry and is chaired by the former Swiss Federal councillor Ruth Metzler-Arnold. The winner will be announced by Swiss Federal councillor Guy Parmelin at the awards ceremony on 12 November in the Kursaal Bern