Joe McClain - Jun 25, 2018
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Expats like to travel to Switzerland. The Switzerland Tourism plans to invest more in this segment of the Swiss tourism market.

At present, more than 2 million foreigners live in Switzerland, many of whom can be described as expats. These are people who have moved to a foreign country because of their job or for their partner. Often these are high-earning workers in the IT, pharmaceutical or healthcare sectors.

According to a study by the expat organization InterNations, 29% of all expats in Switzerland earn between 100,000 and 150,000 francs per year, while 14% earn more than 200,000 francs. In addition, most of them are middle-aged people, with the average age of expats in Switzerland being 41 years.

Given these conditions, it is not surprising that expats like to travel in their free time. Although it is not possible to quantify precisely how many expats travel in Switzerland, experts agree that the number cannot be neglected. Expats are very interested in discovering as much of their temporary host country in the limited time they spend there. In addition, they often visit friends and acquaintances from around the world.

Swiss tourism experts also reveal other trends. For example, expats are particularly fond of individual travel offers and only rarely of group offers. This is because they travel in particular with friends, family, or alone. In the past few years, the desire to travel has become such an important factor in the industry that Switzerland Tourism has set up its own website for expats. There are seasonal offers, information on public transport and insider tips in English.

Expats have shown particularly intense travel behavior. Especially popular are outdoor and nature experiences as well as cultural events, touring, day trips and so-called hidden secrets. In other words, everything that brings them closer to the people and Swiss traditions. The longer an expat lives in Switzerland, the more specific his or her trips are. In the beginning they want to see the top attractions. Over time, the wishes and destinations become more and more specific and selected.

The potential of the expat market has also been discovered by the marketing agency Schmid, Pelli & Partner. Most recently, it entered in a strategic partnership with the global tourism network Time Out, citing the exploration of the expat market as the leading motivation for this decision. Time Out is one of the leading platforms for travel and leisure tips worldwide.

Tiziano Pelli from the company explains: “Expats are at a higher than average density in the greater Zurich area, at Lac Leman and in Basel. They have a higher than average level of education, spend a lot of money on travelling and are a growing target group. In other words, they are the ideal guests for Swiss tourism.”

Facilitating travel in the country for expats seem important, as many have difficulties with life in Switzerland. This was shown by a study published by the organization InterNations.  According to the study, three in ten expats consider the Swiss population rude and unapproachable. About 70% said they had problems making new contacts. This is hampered above all by the restrained culture and the language. Exploring the country through simplified tourism information and offers is therefore a possible first step towards integration in the society.

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