How Switzerland Is Winning With The Experience Economy

Posted by: Hannah Zimmerman

Switzerland is winning in terms of the experience economy that appeals to today’s modern consumers. When you take the train to the Bernese Mountains to the top of Europe, Jungfraujoch, you will see an ice palace, restaurants, classes on Swiss Chocolate, year round skiing and a hole-in-one golf course. In 2014, they even hosted a tennis match between Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn. So how did the million-plus people that visited Jungfraujoch last year hear about it? It’s a safe bet that Matthias Bütler, chief marketing officer of Jungfrau Railways, was probably behind it. Jeff Fromm, who recently travelled to Jungfraujoch, interviewed Bütler on how he has been successfully attracting modern consumers.

Everything adds to the experience: On top of being beautiful, everything that Jungraujoch offers plays into the adventure. Visitors can ride the trains to the highest train station in Europe, hike Aletsch Glacier, year round skiing or play golf. The travel industry needs to think about how every aspect adds to the visitors’ experience: Who would visit a place for a significant amount of time if there was nowhere to stay or nothing exciting to eat or drink? The more the experience is facilitated, the more the travel ecosystem will benefit.

Utilize partnerships: Jungfrau Railways funds most of the marketing that attracts tourists to the Bernese mountain region which helps generate traffic to Junfraujoch which then trickles down to the local tourism economy. They made a point to partner with local tour operators and influencers as seen with the Federer-Vonn tennis match. Simple ways like partnerships help improve the product and give the visitor the unique experience they are seeking.

Innovate: The modern consumer is constantly curating their identity with travel experiences but what they consider interesting is constantly changing. The travel industry must innovate to stay relevant. For example, Junfrau Railways is building a multimillion-dollar V-cableway project to decrease travel time. Not everyone can afford such a expensive way to innovate, however being open to letting the visitor’s experience evolve will keep them coming back.

See the full interview HERE.

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