Switzerland Tourism thanked UK agents in London as it kicked off a series of roadshows to boost engagement with the trade.
About 20 suppliers attended the event at the Montcalm hotel in Marble Arch on June 19, with 80-90 agents learning about different options for travel during the summer.
Switzerland Tourism director Alex Herrmann told Travel Weekly: “As we’ve not been as active with the travel trade over the last few years, we want to make sure we catch everyone who might be interested in Switzerland.”
Addressing the audience, Herrmann said: “This is to tell all of you that we very much appreciate everything you do with Switzerland. Thank you for selling Switzerland.”
Following the screening of an advert for the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland starring Roger Federer and comedian Trevor Noah, Swiss representatives gave presentations on their respective regions.
After the talks, Herrmann told Travel Weekly that the travel trade has always been important for Switzerland.
He said the aim is not only to increase the number of visitors, but to encourage people to stay longer and explore more parts of the country.
“It’s not all about quantity,” he said. “We really want people to experience Switzerland. We want the audience that appreciates Switzerland.”
He described the trade as “essential” in trying to achieve these goals.
Inghams product manager Damjana Juricic was triumphant in the prize draw held on the night, winning a trip for two to Switzerland.
“I’m very happy as I love Switzerland,” she said. “It’s a beautiful country and it’s easy to get to, with fantastic trains.”
Reflecting on the evening, she said: “Events like this always help us pass on the product knowledge within the company.”
Travel Counsellors agent May Swan-Easton won a miniature hand-carved wooden cow, while Luxury Holidays and Honeymoon’s Debbie Carmichael scooped two bottles of Swiss red wine.
After the London roadshow, Switzerland Tourism was set to visit Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.