Swiss hotel group launches deluxe deals to attract Middle East travellers

Noemi Bloch, left, and Inge Steiger of Swiss Hotels show the group's properties.

A group of 35 leading Swiss five-star hotels have launched special packages to attract visitors from the Middle East.

The packages were launched at special presentations in Bahrain and UAE by a Swiss Deluxe Hotels team led by its general manager Peter Marti. It also included public relations manager Inge Steiger, sales and marketing director Noemi Bloch, and executive assistant manager and sales and marketing director of Le Montreux Palace hotel Henk J Van Buren.

Pre-bookable through travel agents and, the Swiss Deluxe Hotels Hotel Pass Classic programme offers a uniform double room daily rate of US$285, including breakfast, service and taxes. The package represents a 30 per cent discount on the rack rate of member hotels.

Travellers can make reservations at any of the hotels on a "go-as-you-please" system allowing complete flexibility in their itinerary.

For families travelling in Switzerland, Swiss Deluxe Hotels has also launched a special package, the Hotel Pass for Families, offering a 50 per cent discount on additional room accommodation with a $142 rate for an extra standard double room.

An extra benefit is the Hotel Pass for a Junior Suite Upgrade, available for just $100 on top of the special $285 room rate.

Swiss Deluxe Hotels includes the country's best-known independent hotels, numbering 8,000 beds with 40 per cent of the country's five-star capacity.

The group which was first established as an informal grouping in 1934, operates out of a permanent headquarters in Zurich, is also in charge of all marketing operations.

Swiss Deluxe Hotels has been active in the Middle East for the past five years and in the Gulf, the major focus is Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said general manager Marti.

Marti said the group aimed to increase the regional market's share from the current 3 to 4 per cent levels.

He said Switzerland was an attractive destination for Middle East visitors because of its natural beauty, moderate climate as well as neutrality and status as a financial centre.

He said families from the region often used Switzerland as a base when they visited Europe for business or leisure because of its proximity to major cities and markets on the Continent.

Swiss Deluxe Hotels has been promoting newer destinations such as Interlaken, St Moritz and Lugano in the Middle East.

"Travel agents in Bahrain have expressed a keenness to sell the new destinations," said Marti.

The group operates a quality assurance programme, ensuring guests receive the very best standards in accommodation and facilities. This commitment to excellence is backed by quality controls including annual anonymous inspections and its customer care training programme, "Service Excellence".