Train tours romanticise Switzerland
With the recent launch of Grand Train Tour (GTT) of Switzerland, the tourism board hopes to appeal to the romantic Indian. speaks to Reto Rostetter, Manager - Foreign Markets for Rhaetian Railway, about the India market.
are you involved in the GTT?
The Grand Train Tour covers 1,200km covering eight different routes throughout the country. We are involved with both our scenic day trains – the Bernina Express between St Moritz and Lugano – and Glaciar Express between Zermatt and St. Moritz. Both these trains are included in the GTT of Switzerland. They can be enjoyed all year round starting January 1, 2015. Travellers only need one ticket – the Swiss Travel Pass. Indian meals are available on the Glacier Express.
are you promoting this in India?
This tour is promoted by Switzerland Tourism together with all suppliers, including us. Our product is also included in the brochure recently released by Switzerland Tourism. On our part, we promote it through our trade partners as well as our e-newsletters to the trade. But the most effective method is the sales calls that we do here through our representative sales and marketing office of Aviareps.
is your agenda for this visit?
One of our big goals is to partner with trade partners in India. We do an exclusive story with Swiss Tours right now where for the first time we have St Moritz as an overnight destination in a fixed program including the Bernina Express.
are your expectations from India?
We are confident that this will take off in India because we know that Indians like train journeys. It is a lot easier and a lot more relaxing than driving. Plus, we don’t know how experienced Indians are at driving on the mountains, which can be challenging. So we see a lot of potential for this product.
We are not looking to increase budgets for India this year despite the potential we see. We can stretch it a bit – put in a few thousand Swiss francs more – but I have to share my budget with five different countries in Asia plus UK, so it doesn’t give me much to play around with. If I see a very interesting marketing activity, I can take the budget from one country and put it here but not otherwise.