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Would you like to conquer mountains like Mount Pilatus or Mount Titlis in the Lucerne region, dive bravely into the crystal-clear water of Lake Zurich or discover one of the 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Abbey District in St. Gallen? Then we’ve got just what you need. The landscape of Switzerland is more varied than almost any other place on earth.
Switzerland is a hiking paradise. Leave the stress of everyday life behind, hike through alpine meadows, explore a forest, or ascend a peak. Thanks to over 40,000 miles (65,000 km) of way-marked trails, virtually every corner of Switzerland is waiting to be discovered. Switzerland offers excursions for groups of all activity levels and all year-round. From scenic trails and stunning views to enjoy in summer, to pillows of powder and perfectly groomed pistes to ride in the winter.
See Switzerland through the eyes of its citizens and use the seamless public transportation. Moving around the country by train, bus or boat is easy, convenient and an experience in itself. All you have to do is lean back and relax. To relax even more – try yodeling, it’s fun! Yodeling was developed in the Swiss Alps as a method of communication between mountain peaks, and it later became a part of the traditional music of the Alpine region.
We’re currently yodeling a lot ourselves, as we’re full of joy. Travel to Switzerland from North America is booming. In 2018, we celebrated record numbers and the double-digit percentage growth in terms of overnights has continued in the first half of 2019.
The Swiss like to celebrate and know how to put on a festival. From exquisite chocolate to melodious music to spectacular balloons ascending, Switzerland’s festivals have something for everyone. It is no coincidence that Switzerland is one of earth’s happiest countries. Facts show that eating chocolate makes you happy. Switzerland does not only produce the most chocolate in the world, Swiss people also consume the most chocolate per capita compared to any other country in the world.
At Switzerland Tourism, group travel is very important to us, and we’re excited to partner with Leisure Group Travel on this Switzerland Tour Guide. In the guide, we present ideas for faith-based groups, outdoor lovers, train enthusiasts and winter visitors.
We’re here to support you, the group leader, in creating and selling your programs. We offer you an eLearning program, Switzerland Travel Academy, with various modules depending on your specialty, bi-weekly webinars, study trips, maps and brochures and many other programs to support the travel trade.
We can promise that your group’s tour will run as precisely as a Swiss watch and as smoothly as a Swiss train. Your travelers certainly won’t be disappointed.
Welcome to Switzerland!
Trade Manager Eastern USA, Switzerland Tourism
Situated in Central Europe, Switzerland borders France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein to the east and Italy to the south. Smaller than West Virginia, it measures 137 miles from north to south and 217 miles from east to west.
Weekly, there are more than 130 direct flights to Switzerland from North America. Airlines flying from North American cities to Zurich Airport include Swiss, Edelweiss, United, American, Delta and Air Canada. Zurich’s city center is just a 10-minute train ride from the state-of-the-art airport, which offers more than 160 shops, bars and restaurants. Smack in the heart of Europe, Zurich Airport is the gateway to the Alps.
Switzerland’s public transport network—safe, efficient and punctual—is one of the finest in the world. The Swiss Travel Pass provides unlimited travel on trains, buses, boats, urban transit systems and most scenic train routes. In addition, pass holders enjoy free entrance to more than 500 museums in Switzerland and are entitled to a 50 percent discount on most mountain excursions by cable car or cogwheel train.
Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansch. German, the most dominant, is spoken by 64 percent of the population. English is widely spoken throughout the country.
The majority of people living in Switzerland are Christian. Approximately 38 percent are Roman Catholic, 27 percent Protestant (2017 figures). The number of people with no religious affiliation is 21 percent.
In July and August the daytime temperature range is 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 28 degrees Celsius); in spring and autumn 46° to 59°F (8° to 15°C). In January and February the range is 28° to 45°F (-2° to 7°C). There is no excessive heat and humidity in summer, so the air is always crisp. Summer is the main travel season with a share of 66 percent, but data over the last five years show that Switzerland is becoming increasingly important as a winter destination. Peak ski season is December to March.
Switzerland’s unit of currency is the Swiss franc (1:1 with the US dollar). Merchants may accept euros, but change most likely will be given back in Swiss francs. ATMs are commonly found, and credit cards are widely accepted. Banks are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Shops are generally open from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. daily (Saturday until 4 p.m.); closed Sunday. Shops in small towns may close an hour or two for lunch.
Tips for restaurant wait staff are included in the price of the meal, but it’s common to round up to the nearest franc or round figure.
Most hotels and many bars, cafes and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi service.
Sign up for the eLearning program, Switzerland Travel Academy, and become a certified Switzerland travel expert in only three hours. You will get more leads and benefit from additional sales support.
Sign up at: northamerica.switzerlandtravelacademy.ch Also learn about Switzerland in bi-weekly webinars featuring Swiss partners who provide insights about specific destinations and products. And keep up-to-date on the latest news and offers through Switzerland Tourism’s bi-monthly newsletter.
Sign up for webinars and the newsletter at: MySwitzerland.com/trade. Switzerland Yodel – Sales companion for travel professionals can be downloaded at MySwitzerland.com/trade (Multimedia/Sales Manuals)
We’ve included some of the best videos from Switzerland Tourism; we hope you enjoy!