The 6th Swiss Innovation Day focused on the economic development of the tourism industry, post-corona marketing, hospitality technology, loyalty and brand management in the hotel industry, trends and the future of gastronomy, and learnings from outside-hospitality sectors.

Renowned speakers such as Dr. Daniel Kalt (UBS Chief Economist), Stephan Widrig (CEO Zurich Airport), and Jürg Schmid (President Graubünden Holidays) shed light on the future of the future of Swiss tourism.

Swiss Innovation Day host and moderator Wilhelm K. Weber (SHS Swiss Hospitality Solutions) discussed with Andrew Boshoff (CFO at Global Hotel Alliance), Christoph Hoffmann (Founder & CEO at 25hours Hotel Company), and Markus Lehnert (International Hotel Development at Marriott International) the role of hotel loyalty programs, and brand-concepts for the hotel industry.

[Video] Interview with Andrew Boshoff: Loyalty and independent hotels.

[Video] Interview with Christoph Hoffmann: Bikini Hotels, the importance of freedom and what's new with 25hours Hotels

[Video] Interview with Markus Lehnert: Why loyalty matters, soft hotel brands and hotel development trends

Gastronomy experts and entrepeneurs such as Simone Müller-Staubli (CEO Schatz AG), Urs Heller (Chief Editor Gault Millau Switzerland), and Andreas Caminada (Swiss Star Chef) spoke about trends and developments in the Food & Beverage Business.

[Video] Interview with Simone Müller-Staubli: Technology, Guest Experience and Labour Shortage in Gastronomy

Mixed feeling on the macro-economy level

Dr. Daniel Kalt looked at the future from a macroeconomic perspective. Optimistic were the forecasts that the euro will move towards 1.10 against the Swiss franc and that the dollar will strengthen somewhat. The global economy has also adapted well to the situation, and various sectors benefited above all the technology sector.

Zurich airport expects a recovery phase of 3-4 years

Stephan Widrig, CEO of Zurich Airport, expects a recovery phase of several years to reach pre-pandemic levels. The decisive factors here are vaccination rates and the associated digital proof. Only half of the available aviation capability is in the air - strongly driven by domestic flights within China and the USA.

Only 14% of international Asian flights take place. Widrig's prognosis is clear: America is coming back faster than Asia. The first groups from Asia in Switzerland cannot be expected until the second half of 2022. In the longer term, business travel within Europe will tend to decline.

[Video] Interview with Stephan Widrig: Key take-aways of his keynote and expectations regarding travel industry recovery.

Proximity, experience, eco-travel and workcation are the future

Jürg Schmid, the president of Graubünden Ferien and owner of the agency Schmid Pelli & Partner, highlighted the trends of the coming years. The sense of security will strengthen domestic tourism, the desire for meaningful moments will increase focus on the experience. With the trend of sustainability, the eco-traveler will become increasingly important.

Meetings and events will take on an entirely new meaning due to "zoom fatigue," and the boundaries between leisure and business will become increasingly blurred (workcation). Schmid believes that we've reached a turning point in terms of mass tourism. But the main challenge of the pandemic is the shortage of skilled workers.

[Video] Interview with Juerg Schmid: Key take-aways of his keynote, and role of Eco-Tourism

The closing keynote was held by Mathieu Jaton (CEO Montreux Jazz Festival).

More than 300 hoteliers, F&B managers, hospitality and tourism professionals attended the first physical in-person meeting of the Swiss tourism industry after the pandemic break.

Sentiments and thoughts of hospitality professionals attending #SID21

[Video] Interview with Sascha Dalig, Regional Director Central Europe at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts about labour shortage, technology and the importance of values.

[Video] Interview with Fabian Bartnick, CEO at Infinito about hotel commercial strategy essentials, technology adoption

Save The Date for the #SID22

The Swiss Innovation Day will be back next year at 25th August 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland. Find more information here.

Images by Ben Wyssen