Swiss tourism to become more sustainable after the crisis

Switzerland Tourism has developed a new sustainability label called "Swisstainable". It is intended to give guests an overview of businesses that operate sustainably. Businesses that are already certified can take part, but also those that want to make their business more sustainable in the future.


Switzerland always performs well in important rankings related to sustainability. "Nevertheless, many people don't know it," Switzerland Tourism wrote in a statement on Friday. For this reason, the association has developed a marketing concept with a signet for sustainable tourism in Switzerland together with various cooperation partners, including the Swiss Tourism Federation (STV), Gastrosuisse, Hotelleriesuisse, Cable Cars Switzerland or the Association of Swiss Tourism Managers.

The aim of the campaign is to provide more guidance for consumers, it says. However, it is not a certification. The participating companies would be awarded three different labels depending on their commitment to sustainability. The first level, "Swisstainable Committed", is for companies that do not have any sustainability certification but want to develop their business further in the direction of sustainability. The second and third signets, "Swisstainable Engaged" and "Swisstainable Leading", are awarded to companies that are already certified in the area of sustainability.

The criteria range from accessibility and environmental issues (energy, water, waste, CO2) to equal rights and equal pay in the company. A complete list of criteria can be downloaded from the Switzerland Tourism website.


Three-year plan

The concept was developed in collaboration with the Institute for Tourism and Mobility ITM at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In addition, the independent non-profit organisation Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) provided content support.

It will be rolled out in Switzerland Tourism's 2021 summer campaign. For the time being, the organisers want to make the term Swisstainable, a combination of the words Swiss and sustainable, known to the general public in this country. Next year they want to show good examples of sustainable change in the travel industry and publish a Swisstainable travel guide in 2023.

Associations such as the STV and Swiss Youth Hostels and Hotelleriesuisse are committed to the concept, according to their own press releases published on Friday. A positioning in terms of sustainability - and by this is meant not just a reduction in food waste, but a corresponding orientation of the entire value-added and customer experience chain - will help to retain Swiss guests after the crisis and attract additional guest groups, according to Hotelleriesuisse.

However, the association stresses that economic health is the basic prerequisite for being able to invest in the sustainable development of the industry. And in this respect, the corona pandemic has left its mark, with sales in cities falling by 70 per cent last year and by an average of 20 per cent in alpine regions. (SDA)

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