Mount Pilatus has East and South-east Asian travellers in its sights for the winter season, having seen an uptick in enquiries and demand for the mountain attraction based near Lucerne, Switzerland.
Manuela Blapp, market manager East for Pilatus, shared: “Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had noticed an increased interest from South-east Asia and therefore started our co-operation with Pear Anderson, as a local sales representation in 2020. While the pandemic has interrupted the momentum in the last two years, we have seen a great increase in passengers in South-east Asia which we are now continuing to build.”
Last month, Mount Pilatus had joined Switzerland Tourism’s trade events in Seoul and its market development roadshow in Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Penang and Surabaya, finishing the tour with a stop in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate the launch of Pilatus’ new cogwheel railway carriages with key Malaysian travel trade partners.
Describing a growing trend in the market, Blapp explained: “Traditionally, South-east Asians opt for visiting the traditional ‘snow’ mountains, while Pilatus as a ‘green’ mountain in spring, summer and autumn tends to draw less attention for first-time travellers to Switzerland.
“However, we are seeing a shift in the travel trade from South-east Asia, who are creating more mono Switzerland products, which is also giving agents an opportunity to include both a snow mountain and a green mountain in spring, summer and autumn. In winter, Mount Pilatus offers snow enthusiasts a wide variety of snow and fun activities, including the natural snow-covered sledging slopes and three marked snowshoe trails. These can be enjoyed without the crowds that a ‘skiing mountain’ is attracting.”
Blapp shared that forward bookings for group tours in 2023 are also looking good from South-east Asia and that the travel trade is looking for unique experiences to offer their customers – Mount Pilatus fits the bill, and its Golden Round Trip can be done from mid-May to mid-November where visitors get to experience Pilatus via a lake cruise, the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, and cable cars.
There were also growing enquiries from South-east Asian agents over the past few months for the two hotels at the summit: Hotel Pilatus-Kulm, which had recently been upgraded to a four-star property, and the three-star Hotel Bellevue.
Staying at the Pilatus Kulm hotel, close to Lucerne, puts travellers on a mountain top at over 2,000m above sea level, while the 20-room Hotel Bellevue provides comfort with views of the Alps and Lake Lucerne, described Blapp.