Switzerland Tourism has officially kicked off its Buy Now Travel Later tourism recovery campaign in Hong Kong, as it seeks to court more inbound travellers ahead of the peak winter season.
Targeting premium FITs, the campaign is aimed at encouraging travellers to stay longer through various, unprecedented perks.
In a first-ever initiative, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is offering complimentary rebooking for all bookings made between August 25 to December 31, 2020. Passengers are also allowed to change their origin and destination free of charge. All tickets also come with a one-year validity.
SWISS will also be adding one more flight from Hong Kong to Zurich, making it a daily service during the winter season from October 26, 2020 to March 28, 2021.
In addition, travellers who book the Swiss Travel Pass (Flexi) through the NTO’s website from now until November 14, 2020 will enjoy extra perks, like one extra free travel day for the four-day flexi pass and two extra free travel days for the eight-day flexi pass.
Pass holders also have greater flexibility, with an extended validity from six months to 11 months. Once activated, users can make use of the pass for three months, as compared to one month previously.
Those who make direct bookings are also entitled to an e-version of the Swiss Coupon Pass, a coupon book offering 100 exclusive 2-for-1 offers covering attractions, guided tours, restaurants, cruise tours, and more. Maximum savings can be up to 4,500 Swiss francs (US$4,900).
Furthermore, Hertz has partnered the tourism board to offer its customers car rental benefits till the end of 2021. For a five-day booking, guests will only need to pay for four days; and for ten days, only eight days will be charged, regardless of season or type of vehicle.
During a media conference held in Hong Kong on Monday (October 5) to promote these initiatives, Casey Liu, Switzerland Tourism’s chief representative for Hong Kong and South China, said these promotions rolled out by the tourism board is unprecedented. She explained: “In the past, there was no ‘free lunch’ given the quality and standards of service and products the country is renowned for. Due to Covid-19, we have had to re-adjust to meet visitors’ changing needs in the post-Covid period.
“We observed that clients look for concrete travel information, especially pertaining to health and safety measures, family bonding times, small group tours, flexible travel planning, value-added discounts, and even special experiences like buying a cheese fondue takeaway during a day tour in the countryside.”
Christoph Meyer, general manager, Hong Kong, South China & Macau at Lufthansa Group Airlines, which includes SWISS, said: “Hong Kongers love to travel and explore the world, and are longing to do so again. FITs are definitely an important component of the long-term recovery of Hong Kong’s leisure travel business. SWISS and Lufthansa strongly believe that leisure traffic will be an increasing business segment in future… (and) we are ready to meet this growing demand.”
Since July 20, Switzerland’s borders have been reopened to visitors from 15 non-EU countries including China/Hong Kong.