When the cable cars in Switzerland opened back up at the beginning of June, a steady increase in Alpine tourism was expected. “These expectations have been fulfilled, even slightly exceeded,” said Daniel Luggen, Director of Tourism for Zermatt – Matterhorn. Some hotels are once again receiving high numbers of bookings, but the situation could not be more different from hotel to hotel.
Appeal to regular visitors
Many Zermatt hotels have a large Swiss regular customer base that they have been contacting. This strategy has been successful for a number of reasons: in April, the Matterhorn was illuminated with messages of hope and solidarity, attracting both attention and sympathy for the destination; a voucher campaign took place in May, in which purchasers received an additional ten percent for free. In addition, special cable car campaigns and innovative ideas from hoteliers – such as a new all-inclusive package – have all attracted visitors to the destination at the foot of the Matterhorn.
The vast majority of current visitors are from Switzerland. “We are fortunate in our destination that many companies are run by families. This makes a visit here very personal, which the Swiss appreciate,” said Luggen. Another advantage is the mix of lively streets in the village and freedom and space in the mountains. Visitors arriving in Zermatt are treated to a very special welcome - Zermatt Tourism and their service partners welcome visitors personally at the train station and invite them to share a glass of Valais white wine. The aim of this is to show guests how valued and appreciated they are.
As Swiss visitors live so close, they tend to book at the last minute. They wait to see the latest weather forecast and then decide whether to book; this makes business highly weather-dependent. Currently, there are good levels of bookings for weekends in particular. Once the summer holidays start, the destination expects to see more week-long bookings. “Zermatt Tourism feels confident about the coming days and weeks; the warm, dry weather in particular should attract more and more visitors,” said Luggen positively.