SWISS in joint effort to lure Gulf travellers
By Salvador AlmeidaSWISS airline and Switzerland Tourism are working in tandem in the Gulf with plans in progress to have a representative of the tourist authority permanently based in the carrier's Dubai office. "We are proud to strengthen our links with Switzerland Tourism and promote all that is great about Switzerland, including the fantastic Expo 02," said the airline's Arabian Gulf manager Felix Rodel. Rodel has promised further initiatives and joint promotions to bring more Middle East travellers to his land on the new carrier. Already signs are that the traffic from the Gulf is gathering strength. Lending a helping hand is Switzerland's consul general in Dubai, Jean-Claude Hagmann, who is deeply involved in the effort to boost tourism. The focus of tourism in Switzerland until October 20 will be Expo 02, and visitors from the Gulf can fly to the SWISS hub of Zurich from where a scenic train journey takes them to the picturesque towns surrounding the Three Lakes and where the expo sites are located. Visits to other regions are an option, and well-connected overland routes make it possible to extend the Swiss experience. SWISS, officially inaugurated in the Gulf on April 2, operates 30 weekly flights from the Middle East to Zurich including daily flights from Dubai, six weekly flights from Cairo, four weekly flights from Karachi, three weekly flights from Riyadh, Muscat and Abu Dhabi and two weekly flights from Jeddah and Tehran. In all, it flies to 126 destinations in 59 countries utilising a fleet of 128 aircraft.