Out of the city and back to nature – this is the style currently embraced by Swiss companies organizing conferences and meetings. “The organizers want to experience nature. Mountains, golf and water are in,” said Oliver Stoldt, CEO of Swiss Sales, quoted by Htr.ch.
Barbra Albrecht from the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau explains the trend by the economic crisis. “People increasingly look for simpler things. They want to get away from everything glamorous and pompous.”
Oliver Stoldt also noted that since the beginning of 2010 there are again more bookings of 5 star hotels. The distance of hotels from city centers and airports however seems not to be as important as in the past. “Last year the proximity to the airport or train station was quite critical. Today the meeting organizers prefer nice location over good accessibility. They are prepared to take a two-hour ride and pay for it.”
Another trend currently perceived among business companies is the preference for local culinary specialties over luxury dishes. “Swiss hotels are well aware of the current taste of the meeting goers and are prepared for it. Today their menus offer much more of Swissness and local gastronomy,” said Oliver Stoldt.
Barbra Albrecht also confirms the increased demand of local products: “They rather have a trout from a mountain stream or fish from the lake than shrimp or lobster. Light meals, and meals with fruits are also in demand.”
Contrary to popular belief however wellness and spa facilities don’t play an important role when choosing the venue for meetings and conferences. Since the participants often lack the time for visiting the hotel spa, wellness is viewed rather as a “nice to have” factor.Related:SWISS CANTON OFFERS UNIQUE ‘DREAM JOB’ HOLIDAY