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Switzerland Tourism: “The campaign with Federer? An unprecedented success”

Roger Federer in Times Square. Switzerland Tourism
All over the world people have started to travel again and tourism organizations to advertise. For Switzerland Tourism, the one with Roger Federer is a record, but the testimonials do not always convey a good image …
This content was published on September 30, 2022 – 8:00 am
Marija Miladinovic /
Journalist based in Lugano with a name that reveals the origins of my family. I worked for the Corriere del Ticino and the Giornale del Popolo, in politics and news, on paper and digital media. I like to bring a little bit of Italian Switzerland to the rest of the country and the world. Initials: MaMi
Tourism is one of the sectors that has been most penalized by the economic crisis that followed the Covid-19 pandemic that broke out in 2020. Travel restrictions prevented people from traveling and, even later, the fear of new infections has part inhibited the tourists and the tourists.
Now, however, the hunger for travel has returned to tickle the stomachs of lovers and adventurers and in Switzerland the sector is once again on the rise.External Linkso much so that there is not enough staffExternal Link to meet the demand for work in hotels and restaurants. But it is precisely when an economic sector returns to smile that we try to improve it in quality and in its peculiarities.
Starting from these assumptions, but also from a problem that emerged during the Alpine Week 2022External Link – namely the dangers of mass tourism -, we turned to Switzerland Tourism to find out what kind of visitors the Confederation aims to attract. The new international advertising campaignsExternal Link they have in fact focused on prominent faces such as Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway and Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer.
Roger Federer and Anne Hathaway for Switzerland Tourism. @swisstourism
We talked about it with the media project manager and spokesperson for Switzerland Tourism Nina Villars.
What are the main objectives that Switzerland Tourism has today and how does it position itself in the face of the consequences of mass tourism? Share the fears expressed by the Alpine organizationsExternal Link compared to the potential dangers of this phenomenon?
Nina Villars: “The marketing activities of Switzerland Tourism (ST) drive territorial (peripheral, rural and alpine areas) and temporal diversification (promotion of tourism all year round with autumn tourism, health, business and training, etc).
To make tourism prosper in every point of the country, ST has the following five general objectives: acquisition of new guests, increase in overnight stays and in the number of visitors, extension of the length of stay, increase in added value, achievement of a sustainable balance . In addition, Switzerland is neither a mass destination nor a low-cost destination: there are no accommodation facilities or transport infrastructures (there are no cruises, etc.) with unlimited reception capacity “.
How can Switzerland act in order to welcome more “prepared” and environmentally conscious tourists to our Alps and the mountain villages that host them?
“It is a collaborative effort between the various players in the tourism sector. As regards the preparation of guests in the mountains, the Swiss TrailsExternal Link and the Accident Protection OfficeExternal Link they regularly carry out public awareness actions. But there are also other platforms such as: MobilesportExternal LinkSafe trekkingExternal Link or the Summit FoundationExternal Link which is committed to informing about environmental issues and encouraging behavioral changes. On myswitzerland.comExternal Link we also provide information on how to prepare for mountain excursions “.
The choice to invest in famous testimonials aims at a widespread diffusion of the message and therefore at the amount of potential tourists arriving. What results are these campaigns achieving?
“For every campaign with influencer as testimonial, we develop a series of KPIs (Key Performance Indicator, ed.) that allow us to obtain data on the success of this project.
For example, the balance after the first year of advertising with Roger Federer is more than positive: the campaign * is by far the most successful global media activity that ST has ever launched, with almost 1,300 press articles and 1,4 billions of media contacts “.
* Campaign details can be found in this reportExternal Link.
In some cases, the one reported by some influencers using the hashtag that you launched #myswitzerland is an image of Switzerland made up of luxury transport, exclusive hotels and spas: all this, in addition to generating criticism (we talk about it hereExternal Link), seems to ignore the intent to preserve the alpine environment. How does Switzerland Tourism deal with these observations?
“As part of our Swisstainable strategy”External Link“, we try to promote sustainable activities as much as possible. We are not responsible for what local service providers organize, but we are committed to raising awareness and motivating the sector in this direction”.
In the article in which we talk about the Alpine Week 2022External Link, we have in fact addressed – adding the explanation of Switzerland Tourism – the concerns of the Alpine communities towards a possible overcrowding of the Alps compared with the proposed image of our country of some influencers with millions of followers. An image made up of luxury tourist offers and travel and consumption that in the long run harm the Alpine space (there was talk in particular of a helicopter flight made by the Italian entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni and her company).
However, famous faces are not to be demonized and the advertising world has always used them as a testimonial of the goodness of their product or advertised service. In the specific case, as emerges from the interview above, there could be no better face to spread the message of Switzerland Tourism than the Swiss number one and – in various moments of his career – also in the world of tennis, namely Roger Federer. The warmth shown towards the Swiss champion when, a few days ago, he announced his retirementExternal Link from professional tennis, they are just further confirmation of the image Federer represents for the Swiss as well as for the whole world.
The page Link recorded 0.55 million views and marketing measures generated 559 millions of advertising leads. “As a global icon, Roger Federer has been transmitting a positive image of Switzerland to the world for years, with his sporting performances but also with his friendly and genuine attitude”, reads the website of the tourist board. “Characteristics that he has always shown in the past with the images of his holidays and trips to Switzerland posted on his private social pages”.
In short, in the case of Federer, the Swiss sportsman represented a kind of living testimonial of his country even before the collaboration with Switzerland Tourism.



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