In the sector of congress tourism and incentive trips, Switzerland stands out for the quality of its services and facilities. At least 50 large projects are now underway for the construction, renovation and extension of conference facilities and accommodation. These schemes show the importance of conference and business tourism in Switzerland, as well as the necessity of developing the country’s facilities in order to meet the future needs of conference and event organisers.
Between 2008 and 2014, more than 30 projects for the refurbishment or extension of existing conference facilities and business hotels will be completed in Switzerland. During the same period, 21 new hotels, meeting facilities and exhibition spaces are due to open for business. Within six years, nearly 3,000 new hotel bedrooms in the three-, four- and five-star categories will be available in the business and conference tourism sector. Total investment during this period is expected to exceed one billion Swiss francs.
“After a weak year in 2009, business and conference tourism in Switzerland is recovering, as demonstrated by the increase in the number of hotel overnights in the main Swiss cities in the first half of 2010,” said Barbra Albrecht, Manager of the Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau . “The renovation, improvement and continuing development of facilities is a decisive factor in maintaining Swiss competitiveness in this sector. The current number of renovation and development projects shows that investors have confidence in the future of business and conference tourism in Switzerland.”
New business, conference and seminar hotel facilities: some examples.
• Spring 2010: opening of the Starling Hotel on the campus of EPFL in Lausanne. 154 rooms, as well as meeting rooms able to accommodate up to 250 people. The hotel is located close to the new Rolex Learning Center at EPFL, where the Rolex Forum has room for up to 600 people.
• Summer 2010: inauguration of a new auditorium (accommodating 1,200) at the Casino Kursaal in Interlaken, the only Swiss member of Historic Conference Centres of Europe.
• November 2010: opening of the new congress centre in Davos, which includes a new hall for 2,000 people, and six smaller meeting rooms. In 2013, the InterContinental Davos Resort & Spa, notable for its daring architecture, will open its doors (210 rooms, 37 residences – investment: CHF 180 million).
• 2011: inauguration of a new trade fair hall (10,000m2) at the BEA Bern expo exhibition centre, and modernisation of the conference centre (new foyer and entrance area). Investment: CHF 45 million.
• 2011: opening of three new hotels for conference and business guests in Zürich. Located on the site of the former Hürlimann brewery, the B2 Boutique Hotel will offer 61 rooms. The Renaissance Zürich Tower Hotel will be located in the new Mobimo Tower near the city centre (284 rooms, 1,000m2 of conference space). The Ramada Hotel, in which Credit Suisse has invested CHF 48 million, will open with 159 rooms.
• 2011: completion of the 2nd stage of the extension and renovation of the Beaulieu Lausanne conference and exhibition centre. This is part of a large-scale project for the city of Lausanne, due for completion in 2020, which will also include construction of a hotel on the site. (Estimated investment for the exhibition buildings and renovation of the conference centre only: CHF 100 million of public and private funds).
• 2012: on the southern side of the Alps, opening of the new Ibis & Novotel hotels at Lugano Paradiso (200 rooms, conference premises accommodating up to 300 people).
• 2012: in Gstaad, opening of a five-star property, the 124-room Grand Hôtel Alpina. Total investment: CHF 300 million.
• 2013: completion of the extension of the Basel exhibition ground. This project, devised by the architectural practice of Herzog & de Meuron, represents an investment of CHF 430 million.
A selection of projects for the renovation, extension and construction of conference facilities and accommodation can be found at: www.MySwitzerland.com (enter webcode 49471 in the Search field).
The Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB) is a division of Switzerland Tourism. The SCIB offers advice to organisers of conferences, meetings, incentive trips and other events in Switzerland, to help them find facilities that are suitable for their specific needs. SCIB has representatives in Switzerland, North America, Great Britain, the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Russia and the Nordic countries.
For further information, contact:
Barbra Albrecht, Manager, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB)
Tel. +41 44 288 12 62, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org