Switzerland Tourism Joins GSTC and Announces the Swisstainable Strategy.

Switzerland Tourism (ST) is the national tourism board for Switzerland. ST positions Switzerland as a destination standing for quality, naturalness, authenticity, sustainability and modernity, under the overall concept of “Swissness”. To do so, ST develops systematic marketing programs that it implements creatively with its partners through a full range of promotional techniques. Headquartered in Zurich, ST is present in 22 markets worldwide.

Swisstainable – Strategy for the sustainable development of Swiss tourism

Swisstainable is the first big step towards securing the long-term success of Switzerland as a holiday, travel and convention destination and making it the world’s most sustainable destination.

Sustainability is no longer a niche topic, but has made its way into the mainstream. Politicians, businesses and consumers have understood that everyone will have to work together to use resources responsibly in future. The United Nations has adopted 17 overarching global goals for sustainable development: the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Swiss Federal Council has committed to a climate-neutral Switzerland by 2050, and attached special significance to sustainability as part of the new tourism strategy. For this reason, and because consistent positioning within the sphere of sustainability is a perfect fit for Switzerland as a travel destination, this will be a key topic for Switzerland Tourism’s future strategy.

“In the future, the decision on where to travel next will be increasingly influenced by how sustainable the offering is. What’s more, sustainability justifies a more premium price point.” – Martin Nydegger, CEO Switzerland Tourism.

There are numerous tourism providers who are already committed to sustainability. However, it is sometimes difficult for guests to determine the sustainability of the different offers available. This is precisely the gap Switzerland Tourism is aiming to close with Swisstainable. In addition, together with the tourism industry associations, Switzerland Tourism is establishing a movement and motivating service providers to commit to a more sustainable development of Switzerland as a travel destination.

As part of the Swisstainable programme, sustainable service providers will be awarded an emblem and thus act as role models. The Swisstainable emblem visibly communicates a commitment to sustainability in the industry in a succinct manner. It is designed in such a way that it can be easily integrated into the communication of all service providers.

The sustainability programme is for everyone. Guests looking for sustainable offers are often lost in the vast landscape of labels. Swisstainable does not intend to be yet another certification, but rather to provide guidance for guests, using existing standards.

Swisstainable timeline

Swisstainable will be launched in three phases:

  • 2021 Launch – Swisstainable will be launched within the tourism industry and communicated to guests. Existing sustainable offers will be separately highlighted. The campaign’s focus will be on the Swiss market.
  • 2022 Establishment – The campaign will be communicated globally. Tourism service providers will join the movement in large numbers. New, sustainable offers will be developed for visitors.
  • 2023 Impact – Visitors will perceive Switzerland as a leader in sustainability. Both the tourism industry and visitors will actively participate in the movement and appreciate sustainable travel in Switzerland as added value.

Switzerland Tourism happy to be part of the GSTC network

“To develop a fruitful sustainability strategy, a multi stakeholder approach is key. No other organization than GSTC stands for such a diverse and global group of sustainable tourism players. Besides consulting with many other stakeholders, the regular exchange with GSTC has significantly helped us to strengthen our approach and to learn from the best practices of the international network GSTC unites. We are very happy to be part of this valuable network,” says Samuel Wille, Interim Head of Business Development, Switzerland Tourism.

GSTC Welcomes Switzerland

“Taking a holistic view is essential for managing tourism sustainably,” says GSTC CEO Randy Durband. “Based on their wise desire to do that, Switzerland Tourism chose to apply the GSTC Criteria to their policy formulation and implementation plans. GSTC is pleased to be a part of their systematic approach. Having spent the past year assisting with the program development we now proudly and publicly welcome them as a GSTC member organization.”

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in development and management of tourism, to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria (which eventually can lead to achieving certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body) and support local business to apply the GSTC Industry Criteria.