Swiss towns cut prices for winter

Crans-Montana is a family-friendly destination

CRANS-MONTANA, also known as the sunniest destination of the Swiss Alps and the one with the purest air to breathe, is now reaching out to GCC travellers with a new ‘33 Carat’ offer.

Despite the weak euro the Valais resort expects the new campaign will entice visitors into Crans-Montana this winter.

The offer includes a reduction of 33 per cent off hotel accommodation, ski pass, ski hire and skiing lessons, valid from four nights and three days skiing during the period until December 24, 2011 and again from the January 7 to February 11, 2012 and also from March 10 to April 6, 2012. It also include fixed-price menus in restaurants, sports accessories and leisure activities.

“This campaign is being led jointly by the resort’s suppliers and the tourist office, with financial support granted by Crans-Montana’s local council. The 33 Carat campaign should enable us to counteract the effects of an excessively strong franc which is undermining the purchasing power of visitors from the euro zone, and through it, we also hope to encourage people from GCC and Middle East to visit us,” said Philippe Rubod, CEO, Crans Montana Tourism Board.

“It has been a challenging year for tourism in Switzerland and we are no exception to the rule, mainly because of the exchange rate of the Swiss franc against the euro. Last year (November 2010 – October 2011), we saw a drop in visitors arrivals by five per cent. This was in fact better than anticipated, since Europe is our key source market.  Also we are financed on tourist tax, which is at CHF2.5 ($2.7) per person per day. In the non-hotel sector, largely consisting of apartments and chalets, we were much less affected,” added Rubod.

Crans-Montana has a portfolio of 30 hotels offering 1,200 rooms. 60 per cent of this falls under the luxury segment. There are over 2000 apartments and chalets of the serviced and non-serviced variety too.

Looking ahead, Rubod says: “Our new financial year, which started last month, will see the tourism board increase resources to promote the destination. We also have plans for aggressive promotion activities. The Gold Fever campaign is part of this promotional programme. This offer will give our guests 50 per cent additional buying power and will be applicable in our hotels, restaurants, ski lifts and rentals as well as shopping.”

“We will also be creating and developing new events for the destination as well as looking to boost our infrastructure and lastly we are looking to meet and invite investors to Crans-Montana, to further develop the tourism industry.”

The two neighbouring resorts of Crans and Montana form one of the biggest holiday destinations in the Valais.

A paradise for skiers and for golfers, Crans-Montana is ideally located on a plateau at an altitude of 1,500 m, facing the widest mountain panorama of Switzerland.

The destination has earned itself the reputation of a family friendly destination, a very safe place to stay, to unwind and relax in lush surroundings. The twin towns also offer the most comprehensive range of sport, cultural, shopping and business infrastructures in the French-speaking Swiss Alps, including a cultural and congress centre, is home to Switzerland’s most popular summer camp.

Crans-Montana is also a golfing paradise as positions itself as the number one Swiss Alpine destination for golf. It has been hosting the Omega European Master since 1948.