How will the GST affect the travel industry
ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16
1 ANNUAL REPORT 2015/16
2 GSTAAD SAANENLAND TOURISMUS Haus des Gastes, Promenade 41, CH-3780 Gstaad Tel, Fax Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus, February 2017 DESIGN & PRINT: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad PHOTOS: Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
3 CONTENTS 1. LETTER TO THE MEMBERS 2 2. DIVISION OF ACTIVITY Organizational chart Board activities Management Marketing Media relations & PR Guest Relations Info Center & Reservation Counters and tourist offices Infrastructures Training Apprentices Finance, administration & IT services Village organizations 2015 ANNUAL ACCOUNTS / MINUTES OF THE 23rd ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MANAGEMENT MEETING TOURISM STATISTICS WELCOME CARD 40 1
4 1. LETTER TO THE MEMBERS DEAR MEMBERS The time has finally come. In August 2016, all relevant contact groups in our region were able to agree on a new tourist destination strategy. The development of this strategy had taken longer than originally planned. Since the approval of all parties involved was judged to be a key success factor, the additional months until the final approval was definitely worth it. In terms of content, this destination strategy may appear unspectacular at first glance; completely “new” elements can only be made out to a few. Nevertheless, or precisely because of this (!?), It is convincing and must be called a milestone. Firstly, the very broad consultation has shown that the tourist orientation of our destination is well on track and that the course is right. Second, for the first time in a long time, we have succeeded in fully formulating a strategic tourism orientation for our destination and putting it on paper. Thirdly, all relevant contact groups have fully supported this strategy, which is very remarkable. Against this background, the low proportion of new elements is both understandable and correct. Something that works does not have to be completely reinvented, selective improvements and optimizations are just as effective. With this strategy, which has now been adopted, the work is far from over, no, it is only just beginning. It will be a common task for all contact groups or every inhabitant of our valleys should be able to embody these basic strategic ideas and implement them. We can only continue to lead our destination along successful paths if we all pull together in the same direction. The establishment of Gstaad Marketing GmbH in July 2016 can also be described as a milestone. In this, the marketing departments of Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus (GST) and Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG (BDG) were merged, under the sponsorship of these companies as well as the Hotelierverein Gstaad-Saanenland and the Gewerbeverein Saanenland. With the new marketing company, the long overdue pooling of forces in the area of marketing has been achieved in the destination. Operations began in November 2016 and Andreas Wandfluh was in charge. According to the statutes of our association, however, the strategic responsibility and thus the responsibility for the design, implementation and further development of tourism marketing remains with GST unchanged. Based on the aforementioned framework conditions, the GST Management Board has thought about its own further development and the future direction of GST. We look forward to presenting the results to visitors to the Annual General Meeting. Finally, it should be mentioned that, of course, GST's operational business was also handled carefully and competently by our director Martin Bachofner and his team. The requirements in the tourist environment are increasing year by year. Meeting all wishes and needs is a challenge that can hardly be mastered. We would therefore like to say a big thank you to all GST employees for their great dedication to our destination. David Matti, President GST 2
5 2. AREA OF ACTIVITY 2.1 ORGANIZATIONAL CHART Annual General Meeting Board of Directors Village Organizations PR (bis) Management / Marketing Directorate (bis) Infrastructures Finances Administration Guest Relations 2.2 BOARD ACTIVITIES Tasks The Board of Directors has the ultimate strategic responsibility for the business activities of Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus. This includes, in particular, monitoring and influencing the development of tourism in the destination. In the past financial year there was an extraordinary board meeting, which was devoted to the topic of “Future GST”. In addition, the Board of Management met four times in a regular management rhythm. The President, Vice President and Director also met every 3 to 4 weeks in the so-called management committee, where strategic and operational management issues were dealt with. In addition, numerous other meetings were held depending on the topic. For example, the conferences with the presidents of the village organizations that take place four times a year or the three meetings with the business audit committee. MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD David Matti President Günter Weilguni Vice President Christiane Matti Member Jürg Schwenter Member 3
6 2. AREA OF ACTIVITY Selected New tourist destination strategy In August 2016, the ceremonial introduction of the new tourist destination strategy took place at the Landhaus in Saanen. It has space on a beer mat and shows how the region would like to develop further in terms of tourism. Vision: The Gstaad-Saanenland destination clearly wants to be among the best in its class. We stand for the highest quality and are most clearly positioned in the Alpine arc. Our maxims are enjoyment and alpine authenticity, which are expressed in various facets within the destination. Mission: Through meaningful and efficient collaboration, we create value-added collaborations with internal and external partners. We create market-driven products and offers that make the destination an individual experience for our guests. Values: The focus is on Alpine authenticity. This value illustrates the naturally and historically grown tourism destination. This includes cornerstones such as the landscape, the townscape, intact agriculture or lived values and traditions. This overall package must be adhered to. At the same time, keeping an eye on sustainable further development is a major challenge. The focus is on the guest and their needs, while the needs of the local population are respected. Discretion and privacy in dealing with our guests help ensure that you can enjoy your time in Saanenland close to nature, actively and looking for relaxation. Brand: The word and figurative brand Gstaad and its slogan “Come up, slow down” enjoy a high reputation worldwide. Numerous business ideas want and should benefit from this prestigious value. But only if the criteria for using the brand are complied with can the brand's value be maintained. The new tourist destination strategy also focuses on this. Product lines: This is where the transformation process to modern tourism marketing takes place most clearly. The product marketing for the destination is given a clearly sharpened profile. In future, the destination is to be marketed in the target markets with four strategically relevant product fields. The “white” mountain experience describes the winter season. Experiences such as skiing, winter hiking, cross-country skiing or ski touring are part of this and should be further developed and professionally marketed together with the service providers. But innovations such as fat biking should also have a place in the destination offer. The “green” mountain experience describes the snowless time when the focus is on developing a year-round destination. Product groups such as agriculture or alpine farming, enjoyment, mountain bikes, racing bikes or hiking should be managed successfully here in the long term. “Lifestyle / Reputation” takes up the product world of events, culture and high-quality hotels and restaurants. It stands on the historical pillars of tourism development in the Saanenland. This legacy needs to be cherished. For example, new, strategy-compliant events should stimulate tourism, especially during the off-season. The "Touring" product line picks up on a major trend in the travel industry. The guest wants to travel to a country or a region individually. Switzerland Tourism has already launched a product with the “Grand Tour of Switzerland”. MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD (continued) Hansueli Brand member Christa Hauswirth member Matthias Oehrli member 4
7 It fits on a beer mat: the new tourist destination strategy was presented in August 2016. create that specifically follows this trend. The destination Gstaad-Saanenland is one of the main attractions of this Grand Tour of Switzerland. The Golden Pass line is to be expanded further, which in turn means that the “train travel” experience must and will interact even more closely with the destination. Experience dimensions: They serve to offer the guest an orientation aid. Our welcoming culture should ensure at all times that our guests are accompanied personally, individually, according to the «à la carte» approach. We are not mass, we stand for quality and personal approach. We offer platforms and networks where locals and guests can meet and exchange informally, true to the slogan “Come up, slow down”. Founding of Gstaad Marketing GmbH Since 2013, intensive work has been carried out on pooling destination marketing funds. In June 2016 the time had come. Gstaad Marketing GmbH was founded. It started its operative business on. The owners of the company are the Hotelierverein Gstaad-Saanenland, the Gewerbeverein Saanenland, the Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG and the association Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus. The aim is a bundled and efficient destination marketing, which is based on the guidelines of the new tourist destination strategy. In project-specific meetings, the GST Management Board also had a major influence on ensuring that the project could be implemented successfully. Now it is up to the new company to prove that the path taken was the right one. This does not mean, however, that Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus has “delegated” responsibility for destination marketing. According to purpose article 3 of the GST statutes, the association is responsible for destination marketing. Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus must and will continue to do so in the future. In the operational implementation, however, GST is free to design. Controlling via Gstaad Marketing GmbH is ensured by the GST Executive Board and the GST management. The GST director is, for example, represented in the company's management and leads it strategically together with the mountain railway director. VSTM board seminar The Association of Swiss Tourism Managers (VSTM) represents the interests of the management of tourism organizations, tourism associations, mountain railways and tourism service providers. It has around 230 members in all parts of Switzerland and in other countries near the border. The VSTM is chaired by Martin Bachofner. One of the core tasks is tourism training and network maintenance. For this purpose, the VSTM holds a further training seminar every year, both for the operational management and for the strategic management bodies, each separately from one another. GST board members take part regularly. This in the sense of a constant and targeted further education. Of course, the exchange with other destinations or regions is also in focus. In the year under review, it went to Haute Nendaz, where the focus was on the issues of “leadership role of the board's work”, “analysis of a tourism organization” and “composition of the board”. 5
9 2. AREA OF ACTIVITY 2.3 MANAGEMENT Tasks The management, consisting of the director and the division heads, is the operational management body of Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus. She works and makes decisions within the framework of guidelines, annual targets and budgets. “Our Gstaad” was not only well received by the readers. Selected magazine “Our Gstaad” With the print magazine “Our Gstaad”, GST and the Hotelierverein Gstaad Saanenland left a lasting impression on the Swiss media landscape and thus on many potential guests. Time and again, the hotel industry wanted to develop and finance an exclusive Gstaad newspaper or magazine supplement together with GST. This wish became a reality in the summer of 2016. However, a lead time of almost a year was necessary for the magazine to appear. The result can be seen. The magazine did an excellent job of focusing on image and hospitality. Authentic stories underline this in an entertaining way. A joint effort that the whole Saanenland can be proud of. Deux in the snow GST has dedicated itself to the promotion of young talent in snow sports in a small but fine project. A pilot project with two ambitious goals started in Gstaad in January 2016: Against the background of intercultural exchange across the “Röschtigraben” and the promotion of young talent for snow sports, ten classes from the cantons of Bern, Geneva and Zurich met for bilingual snow sports camps under the title "Deux in the snow". Together in the snow, together in the holiday home, with other leisure activities and in contact with the local population, they should overcome language barriers and thus promote cohesion in Switzerland. The pilot project was a complete success, as it fully met the following objectives: 1. Promotion of snow sports activities among the population, especially young people 2. Promotion of socio-cultural exchange at schools through snow sports and camp activities beyond language barriers 3. Promotion of winter tourism in general, continue the tradition of the ski camps 4. Make better use of the infrastructure of the destination, especially during the off-season 5. Improve the image of the destination 6. Gain media attention BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (booth) Martin Bachofner Director Michel Matti Vice Director Kerstin Sonnekalb Head of Public Relations Andreas Zoppas Head of Guest Relations 7
10 2. FIELD OF ACTIVITY 2.4 MARKETING Marketing tasks The main marketing tasks are basic and e-marketing, product marketing and sales. In basic and e-marketing, it is important to ensure that all tourist service providers with their data and basic information about the region are correctly mapped on the GST information platforms and can be found quickly and easily by guests. The further development of these platforms themselves as well as active brand management are also part of it. The task of product marketing is to identify relevant experiences as products for Gstaad guests, to develop them with partners and to market them. The focus is on advertising and promotion to end customers in the home market of Switzerland, but it also includes a presence in key European markets. The aim of Sales is to gain a foothold in new markets with the Gstaad region and thus to secure the long-term utilization of the tourist offer. The activities summarized in this area are aimed at business partners such as tour operators or agents. Marketing as a meeting and incentive destination is also part of this area. Cross-market According to the destination strategy, the main focus and largest share of the budget is allocated to Switzerland, followed by Europe, while the long-distance markets receive the smallest share. Swiss market Thanks to a renewed cooperation with the Hotelierverein Gstaad Saanenland, funds were pooled again this year. On fam trips, travel specialists and tour operators from all over the world get to know the advantages of Gstaad. and act together in a difficult environment. A campaign for Switzerland was jointly designed and implemented by GST. The wish of the hoteliers to appear less promotional and instead to communicate the topic of image and hospitality in the most credible way possible was taken up. With the special supplement “Our Gstaad” in 16 selected media in the summer of 2016, the existing and potential Gstaad guests were to be addressed in a targeted manner. The supplement is a fully edited and advertising-free print supplement with very high quality standards in German and French. The content was carried on on the homepage and the social media channels. The magazine has also been translated into English for online use. The hotels have received the web versions to put them on their homepages. The feedback on the special supplement was consistently positive. In addition to this main activity, the home market was opened via BE! Tourism and Switzerland Tourism specifically processed with Gstaad topics and offers. Over 30 million contacts are generated in this way. This included, for example, campaigns before and during the Tour de France days in the canton of Bern, presences at Railaway, Coop newspaper etc., rail posters at EMPLOYEES (booth) Patrick Bauer Head of Products & Events Mirjam Wolf Head of Sales Claudia Tschudin Project Manager Products & Events Sibylle Rüegger Marketing Assistant Thomas Schetty Project Manager Silvio Portavecchia E-Marketing & Services 8
11 SBB, monthly partnerships at Ticketcorner and a promotional campaign in the Migros calendar.This serves as a valuable basic carpet for additional, own activities. Key markets in Europe The key European markets are Germany, England, France and the BeNeLux countries. The focus here is on using the platforms and partnerships made available by our partners, such as entries and reports about Gstaad in magazines, websites, portals, e-marketing platforms and catalogs. Participation in trade fairs and the planning and accompaniment of inspection trips for travel agencies from these countries in Destination Gstaad are also part of it. The aim is always that we stand out from the competition by means of authentic and high-quality offers. At the same time, care is taken to distribute the presentation options fairly among local service providers. The activities are aimed partly at travel agencies (B2B) and partly directly at potential guests (B2C). Other European markets are being worked on reactively. The negative trend in the markets of Germany, France and BeNeLux continued this year (-9.65%). The reasons for this are clearly the lower prices of foreign competition and the price sensitivity in these countries. A positive counter-trend continues to come from the UK, where overnight stays rose again this year (+ 3%). Long-distance markets In partnership with Switzerland Tourism and partly also BE! We work tourism in the USA, the Gulf States, China, Southeast Asia and India. The focus is on B2B processing (i.e. the travel agencies), which in the upscale segment focus on individual travelers. In the long-haul markets, the Gulf States (+ 17%) and North America (+ 3.1%) were able to hold their own. North America remains the most important long-distance market for Gstaad, followed by the Arab markets. Southeast Asia recently turned slightly into the red (-126 LN), but shows a positive trend throughout the year. India and China were able to confirm the upward trend of last year for the first six months (up to April), but due to the temporary closure of Steigenberger, which was the most booked hotel in Gstaad in Asia, these numbers turned around predictably in the following months into the minus. Further reasons for the decrease in China and India are the difficult visa conditions in the EU area and at the same time the very easy visa acquisition for other potential travel destinations. This should, however, be simplified again this year or next. The third reason is the terror in Europe, to which the Asians in particular react. Nonetheless, we see growth opportunities for all of the long-distance markets we are actively working on, especially because we do not focus on cheap travel or group travel, but on well-heeled, individual travelers. It remains to be seen how the policies of the new US president will affect Americans' willingness to travel. The somewhat stronger US dollar compared to previous years is definitely contributing to more bookings. Gstaad advertising on a bus in New York Products In spring, the racing bike season was launched with the new, regional racing bike ambassador and young talent Luca Cairoli. The highlight of the racing bike year took place in July with the Tour de France, and in September the “Racing Bike Test Weekend” was again offered together with partners. In the mountain bike sector, the Snow Bike Festival was successfully launched with partners in January 2016. Already in the first year the event achieved a lot of media coverage worldwide and exceeded all expectations with more than 430 hours of TV time. A partnership was concluded until 2019. 9
12 2. FIELD OF ACTIVITY In the background, as part of the sponsorship of “Gstaad Bike World GmbH”, work continued to develop offers for mountain bikers. On existing mountain bike routes, individual optimizations such as passable fence crossings or path adjustments could be implemented with the municipalities. Further new trail offers could not yet be implemented due to external circumstances. Furthermore, external sponsors also help to position Gstaad as a bike sport region: A group of enthusiastic downhill mountain bikers has implemented a downhill route on the Rellerli with great commitment and has already carried out two successful events with the DH Swiss Championship and the ixs Rookies Cup. In Zweisimmen, with the participation of Claudio Caluori (Team Manager Gstaad-Scott Team), the pump track was implemented in record time and opened together with the team. The Grand Tour of Switzerland, the flagship in the touring sector of Switzerland Tourism, was further expanded. In Gstaad, too, guests have the opportunity to purchase or refill their Grand Tour snack box with local products. And behind the Huus Hotel there has been a Grand Tour photo spot since autumn. In the cross-country area, the NvS training route was opened in honor of Nathalie von Siebenthal (NvS) and the entire range of cross-country trails was integrated into the interactive map for the winter. The enjoyment aspect of the region is to be emphasized more strongly in the next few years together with the «enjoyment network» Saveurs. Event presentation of the Swiss Orienteering Week. In the summer of 2016, 4 offers were already drawn up and offered to guests and hotels as possible package elements. GSTAAD CARD We are planning to replace the Gstaad easyaccess card in summer 2017. The new GSTAAD CARD includes roughly the same services and activities, but will be more convenient to use, issue and bill for service providers, hotel partners and guests. Extensive preparatory work was carried out with numerous local partners in the reporting period. Events GST supported various events with benefits in kind or in cash and the work group helps with various events with benefits in kind and working hours throughout the year. In the year under review, among other things, the Ride On Music, the Swiss cross-country championship, Calder in the Alps and the freeride days at Glacier 3000 were supported. However, there are also ongoing clarifications for possible new events or longer-term event projects such as the Swiss Orienteering Week taking place in 2019 are supervised. E-Marketing & Services The website was enriched by continuous small adjustments and the content was regularly adapted depending on the season and weather conditions. The usability of the portal has been increased through various improvements, e. For example, the filter “Open / Closed / Closed today” for the categories of shops, restaurants and hotels. The content of the special supplement “Our Gstaad” was also shown in the e-marketing area and could thus be used across media. In addition, the region’s core products have been better placed on the front. The illustration of the "Hiking" theme has been revised and linked to the interactive map. The Google Search was implemented in the page. This helps to find the content of the page more easily, but also enables greater relevance on the Google page. The website recorded more visits and slightly more new visitors compared to last year. The igstaad app has not been further developed, but has been retained as a «placeholder», as a relaunch is planned for the next financial year. A redesign is also planned for the website in the 2016/17 financial year. 10
13 Tour de France passage in Saanen Sponsoring and cooperations The sponsoring activities relate on the one hand to successful Saanenland athletes who act as brand ambassadors for Gstaad. They include the “Gstaad come up slow down” curling team, Priscilla Annen (ski cross), Simone Oehrli (telemark), the “Freestyle Jürgs” (freeski) and, now, the racing cyclist Luca Cairoli. On the other hand, the cooperation with the mountain bike world cup team Gstaad-Scott ensured worldwide awareness thanks to good results. Selected: Tour de France In July, the climax of the cycling year took place with the Tour de France. Together with Lenk-Simmental Tourismus, Diemtigtal Tourismus and other stakeholders, these days were supported in terms of media and marketing. In addition to the support for numerous media trips in the racing bike sector and the presence at the Tour Village in Bern, a temporary website, the VeloPass campaign and a diverse guest program in Zweisimmen and Saanen were implemented thanks to the respective village representatives. The day brought numerous additional guests to the region. The perfect weather and the right setting made it an unforgettable experience. Brand protection The Gstaad brand continues to have great steel power. In this reporting year, too, various warnings had to be drawn up and steps taken to prevent the Gstaad brand from being misused. The effort is on a similar scale as in recent years. Luca Cairoli is one of the Gstaad brand ambassadors. 11
14 2. AREA OF ACTIVITY 2.5 MEDIA WORK & PR Tasks and Activities The Public Relations (PR) department oversees the proactive and reactive public relations work of GST in the target markets of Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK, in the remote markets and now in the USA. The financial year was characterized by various collaborations with service providers and events, the refurbishment of the new media center, the new destination strategy and the establishment of Gstaad Marketing GmbH (operational from). The field of activity in the year under review included: Media text and image database GST provides a constantly updated selection of basic media texts as well as an attractive media gallery. The PR picture archive has been largely refurbished. The construction of the new image database was a major administrative task. Media releases. In the other new markets, GST relies on cooperation with Switzerland Tourism and BE! Tourism, which also includes PR activities. Due to falling efficiency, we ended our cooperation with the agency in the UK market at the end of the 2015/16 financial year. A new one is being sought. Media events and PR projects Two road shows took place in the European core markets: in January on the subject of racing bikes with the Tour de France passing through and the top events with a focus on the new women's tennis tournament, in October on the subject of winter news with external and internal communication with numerous media releases and internal communication, the PR department accompanies the offer and company development. The execution of the mandate for BDG AG was significantly reduced due to a decision by its management, which led to some uncertainty. The exchange with the other service providers went smoothly as usual. 37 media releases (previous year 77) were sent. With a focus on target groups, some texts were also published in French and English. Media agencies With PR agencies in France, Germany and Great Britain, a total of 18 (previous year 25) country-specific ones were created. As with the golf media trip, media trips will in future be advertised internationally. EMPLOYEES (stand) Kerstin Sonnekalb Head of PR Antje Buchs Project Manager PR Selin Gempeler Employee PR 12
15 media inquiries The PR team handled 102 (144) media inquiries. Other activities Other activities include creating the seasonal news list (central tool in PR work), the monthly newsletter, program offers for media work by Switzerland Tourism and BE !, maintaining basic data on around 60 external Internet platforms as well as maintaining the social media channels: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter had (14,583) and (1,566) followers at the end of the FY (no previous year's figure available). In campaigns such as an Instameet, Gstaad comes into direct contact with social media users. the highlight of winter biking, the Snow Bike Festival and the new Hotel Huus. The main projects included the editorial team of the magazine “Unser Gstaad” with the hotelier association and the advertising agency, the communicative support for the new tourist destination strategy as well as the introduction of the new Gstaad Marketing GmbH, including a kick-off event in October 2016 on met with a great response. In cooperation with the marketing department and other service providers, various projects were staged in a media-effective manner, for example the inauguration of the Nathalie von Siebenthal training trail in Turbach and the launch of the racing bike season in April GST. Our goal is to keep our standards of service quality in this area high in the new structure of Gstaad Marketing GmbH. Changeover of media travel from the market to the topic of our Gstaad We were overwhelmed by the great feedback. A great project, albeit a complex one. The cooperation between GST and the five-star hotels was revived. This resulted in a luxury media trip, target market USA. Media trips / travel reports In the year under review, a total of 226 (193 previous year) journalists were supported in their research on site. The PR department proactively organized 15 (17) media trips and supported 79 (72) media trips by hotels, Switzerland Tourism, BE! Tourism and other tour operators reactively. GST achieved an advertising equivalent of around CHF 1.54 million (1.06 million) through proactive media trips. «Our Gstaad» editorial team together with hoteliers 13
16 2. AREA OF ACTIVITY 2.6 GUEST RELATIONS INFO CENTER & RESERVATION Tasks and activities The Info Center & Reservation department is an important point of contact for guests, locals and service providers for all inquiries and feedback. It can be seen that the trend towards online bookings continues. The new chat on was initially little frequented by guests and locals, but is now one of the main tasks of the direct reservation staff. The contemporary way of communication is well received by locals and guests. Despite chat and the phone is still a very important means of communication. compared to the previous year increased by 36%. The turnover from internet bookings remained stable at the previous year's level. The total turnover of the direct reservation of CHF decreased by 2.2%. Relationship / development of bookings via the various channels compared to the previous year: 20% 2014/15 GST headquarters The activities at a glance Customer advice & information In the 2015/2016 financial year, calls were received. Compared to the previous year, this is a small decrease of 2%. The decline can be attributed to the newly introduced chat. The most frequent inquiries concern the weather and the operating times of the mountain railways. Written, individual inquiries and group inquiries are answered within 24 hours. Rental of holiday apartments As of the end of October 2016, 210 holiday apartments and 11 bed & breakfasts were bookable online at GST. Some contract terminations had to be accepted (sale of properties, generation change). In return, many new properties were added to the portfolio. The cooperation with Interhome and e-domizil was successfully continued. The turnover of both platforms was 31% 28% 31% 49% 41% 2015/16 GST Internet Interhome / e-domizil / Switzerland Tourism GST Headquarters GST Internet Interhome / e-domizil / Switzerland Tourism EMPLOYEES (Stand) Andreas Zoppas Head of Guest Relations Madlen Carini Head of Info Center & Reservation Eliane Bachmann Info Center & Reservation Susana Da Silva Info Center & Reservation Ana-Maria Esposito Info Center & Reservation 14
17 The Guest Relations department made a major contribution to the success of the “Deux im Schnee” pilot project, a bilingual ski camp. Hotel reservations The number of hotel bookings via the reservation system increased by 25.3% in the year under review. An increase of 35% was recorded in sales. The large third-party platforms such as booking.com continue to skim off a large part of the turnover. The completion rate for hotel and holiday apartment bookings is a good 37.4% (number of offers made compared with completed bookings) and is above the average of the past 5 years. Group inquiries / company inquiries Group business continues to take up a lot of time. There was a slight increase of 10% in the number of group inquiries. The completion rate has fallen from 39% to 31%. Despite a lot of work, this service is gladly used by companies and groups. Gstaad is often one of many destinations that are allowed to offer. Selected As in the 14/15 financial year, the delayed onset of winter and the strength of the Swiss franc led to a slight decline in total sales in direct reservations (-2.2%). A lack of snow at the beginning of the winter season almost leads to a «booking stop» for the following winter months. If the summer of 16 is considered separately, a gratifying increase in sales of almost 11% could be achieved. Unfortunately, the good summer could not compensate for the rather weak start of the winter season. Sales in CHF / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 16 Deux in the snow The bilingual snow sports camp “Deux in the snow” took place for the first time in January 2016 for 3 weeks. It was a pilot project of the cantons of Geneva and Bern in partnership with Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus. GST was responsible for the entire organization and logistics on site (accommodation, meals, ski equipment, ski tickets, supporting program, etc.). A total of 10 classes from the cantons of GE, BE and ZH took part in the project. 200 students and 34 supervisors stayed in three different accommodations in the region. The pilot project can be viewed as a complete success from a tourism as well as an educational point of view (exchange G / F). Those in charge will do everything in their power to ensure that a slightly adapted version of “Deux in the Snow” can also be carried out in 2017. The aim is to further expand the warehouse and integrate other cantons. 15th
18 2.DIVISION OF ACTIVITY SWITCHES AND TOURISM OFFICES EMPLOYEES (Stand) Tasks and activities The guest advice and tourism offices department is responsible for running the Gstaad, Saanen, Saanenmöser tourist offices and, since June 1, 2015, the Zweisimmen office. Saanen Bank and its two long-term employees have been looking after the two information points in Gsteig and Lauenen for years. In Schönried, Goldenpass takes over the management of the tourist office, while GST “looks after” the Saanenmöser train station. The Turbach and Abländschen information points have been privately run for several years. There is a lively exchange between the listed tourist offices, and operational management is the responsibility of the people in charge in the Gstaad office. On a very busy day, Andreas Zoppas Head of Guest Relations Lisa Fahe Head of Tourism Offices Andrea Wehren Head of Ticketing The Zweisimmen Tourism Office is now run by GST. Irene Kappeler Deputy Head of Ticketing Marlis von Grünigen Clerk Tourist Office Mara Milani Clerk Tourism Office Janine Romang TB Saanenmöser Rebecca Ballif TB Saanenmöser Barbara Rubin Clerk Tourism Offices 16
19 Gstaad can advise up to 620 guests and locals. The village of Saanen and with it the tourist office are also enjoying increasing popularity. Since the completion of the entire village, the frequency of switches has increased every day. Extract from the advisory and sales services in the various tourist offices: Gstaad - Tourist advice and information - Ticket sales for top events and mountain railways - Ticket sales for various, smaller events in the region - Sales of boutique items, hiking maps, books, parking cards, fishing permits, Cross-country ski passes etc. - Book holiday apartments and hotels in Saanen - Tourist advice and information - Sale of tickets for various events and top events - Sale of hiking maps, boutique items and cross-country ski passes etc. - Sale of typical Saanen souvenirs - Book holiday apartments and hotels in Saanenmöser - Tourist advice and information - Sale of ski tickets in winter - Swiss Post Agency - Sale of hiking maps and boutique items - Book holiday apartments and hotels in Zweisimmen - Tourist advice and information - Ticket sales for various, smaller events in the region - Sales by Boutique Ar articles, hiking maps, cross-country ski passes, etc. - Book holiday apartments and hotels in Schönried, Saanenmöser, Lauenen, Gsteig, Turbach and Abländschen. The smaller offices in the region also provide information about the entire tourist offer. The long-term cooperation with Goldenpass and Saanen Bank has proven itself, is regularly reassessed and should be continued. Ticketing The number of tickets sold for top events (Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Country Night Gstaad, Les Sommets Musicaux, Swiss Open Gstaad and the new Ladies Championship) increased by 14%. In terms of sales generated by GST, the two classical music festivals Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Sommets Musicaux in particular increased their sales. The number of mountain railway tickets sold is just below the figures for the previous year (total subscriptions). Jolanda Romang TB Turbach Franziska Gerber TB Schönried Hanspeter Dänzer TB Abländschen Corinne Bürki TB Saanen Josefine Stattaus Head of TB Zweisimmen Cécilia Buri TB Zweisimmen Nicole Schulze TB Zweisimmen Elisabeth Brand TB Lauenen Kathrin Hauswirth TB Gsteig 17
20 2. AREA OF ACTIVITY 2.7 INFRASTRUCTURES Tasks and activities Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus operates, maintains and looks after several tourist infrastructures in the three municipalities of Saanen, Gsteig and Lauenen with its four-person work group and the help of third parties. In addition, the work group supports various events during the year. Operation of infrastructures Winter hiking trails The total of 120 km of winter hiking trails in the Gstaad holiday region are used more and more from year to year and are a very important tourist offer in the Gstaad destination. They were entertained in cooperation with various subcontractors for hours (143 hours above the average of the last 5 years), seven days a week. The GST work group carried out 54% of this effort itself. The team spent hours clearing snow, pressing paths and picking ice picks. Cross-country ski runs Of the total 170 km of cross-country ski runs in the destination, the Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus group maintains 78 km (classic and skating) cross-country ski runs. The maintenance is very cost-intensive, as we need 4 cross-country ski machines worth CHF each. The GST team was out and about for (1,327) hours even in snowstorms and very cold. The trails were open on 112 (94) days, but unfortunately only from mid-January onwards were 592 (645) Swiss season passes and (4,351) day tickets sold. Winter hiking trails are now pressed instead of cleared in black. Children's playgrounds In Saanenland, ten children's playgrounds are made available to guests and locals free of charge by GST. To ensure safety, old devices are repaired or replaced with new ones every year. All play equipment is checked periodically according to the recommendations of the bfu - Advice Center for Accident Prevention. 651 hours (previous year 634) were spent on maintenance such as mowing the lawn, disposing of waste, etc. EMPLOYEES (stand) Michel Matti Head of Infrastructure Toni Ryter Head of Plant Group Peter Oehrli Employee of Plant Group Markus Schwizgebel Employee of Plant Group Heinz Weber Employee of Plant Group 18
21 Fireplaces and benches To ensure cleanliness and to fill up the approx. Sterling of firewood for the 14 public fireplaces and to maintain the over 225 benches (previous year 1 522) working hours were expended. Camping Saanen Bettina Schopfer has leased our campsite for a good 10 years (2006). With a lot of commitment and passion, she does everything to ensure that guests have a pleasant and unforgettable stay in the beautiful Saanenland. Selected winter hiking trails are mostly squeezed: Since winter 2015/16, most winter hiking trails are no longer cleared. H. cleared the snow with a snow blower or snow plow. The winter hiking trails are now pressed and milled with a cross-country ski trail machine or a specially developed milling machine behind a tractor. With this type of maintenance, much less ice forms and there is no need to spread split. The snow sole formed in this way can be roughened with the tiller when it is slippery and it becomes much more pleasant to walk on. 2.8 TRAINING APPRENTICES In the financial year, as every year, six apprentices were trained at Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus. The apprentices acquire in-depth specialist knowledge in the four different departments over a period of 3 years. Selin Gempeler and Sibylle Rüegger completed their apprenticeship in July 2016 with top results (both in the ranks) and were both recognized for their special achievements. Since completing her apprenticeship, Selin Gempeler has been working in PR and Sibylle Rüegger in marketing. Both were taken over into the new Gstaad Marketing GmbH. Selin Gempeler (left) and Sibylle Rüegger (right) have completed their training very successfully. EMPLOYEES (stand) Laura Annen 3rd year of apprenticeship Sina Marti 3rd year of apprenticeship Yves Zürcher 2nd year of apprenticeship Tamara Elsässer 2nd year of apprenticeship Raymond Turrian 1st year of apprenticeship Levi Brand 1st year of apprenticeship 19
22 2. AREA OF ACTIVITY 2.9 FINANCE, ADMINISTRATION & IT SERVICES EMPLOYEES (Stand) Michel Matti Head of Finances & Administration / IT Tasks and Activities The Finances and Administration department performs the following tasks: Payment transactions and accounting The processing of GST payments as well as operational and financial accounting are the core tasks of the area. However, various partial invoices and mandates are also settled: including the Welcome Card System, Gstaad easyaccess card, event ticketing, Swiss Open AG. Some key figures: paid accounts payable invoices, processed accounts receivable invoices, including tourist taxes, invoices for tourism promotion tax and miscellaneous. Controlling Each division manager carries out a detailed control of expenditure. In order to recognize budget deviations and to be able to take measures as quickly as possible, two comprehensive controlling measures are carried out per fiscal year. In the spring of 2016, various savings measures were taken due to the discontinuation of community contributions. Welcome Card System The employees in the department take care of the administration of the Welcome Card system (86 members). They also take care of the delivery of the respective service packages, process customer contacts and manage the sponsorship contributions for small and irregular occasions. Personnel administration GST employed 44 people in 40.3 job percentages, 11 employees left GST, which corresponds to the average of the past 10 years. The average term of employment is 4.5 years. The mean value for the last ten years is 4.1 years. Information technology Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus, Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG and the Gstaad Mountain Rides association operate shared server systems and an integrated network with more than 110 workstations, 50 printers, 71 branch offices and more than 100 network devices. The IT server system, which was put into operation in spring 2010, is running to full satisfaction. Hours were spent on IT services throughout the fiscal year. The system was and is continuously updated. Selected cooperation with Zweisimmen The Zweisimmen tourist office has been successfully run by GST since spring 2015. The accounting was also handed over to GST. The cooperation is going very well. It can be seen that many synergies have been used and that the administration has been professionalized overall. Clarifications are currently underway as to whether Zweisimmen should be fully integrated into the GST. Monika Marti Head of Accounting / Visitor's Taxes Jasmin Sauer Visitor's Taxes Adrian Naegeli Head of IT Services Gerhard Nydegger IT Services Irma Oehrli Cleaning Service Maria Olivia Miranda Da Silva Cleaning Service 20
23 2.10 DORGANIZATION Tasks and activities Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus has village organizations in every village in the holiday region. According to the statutes, they are responsible for the local decoration, the maintenance of regular guests and local events. Details are summarized in the village annual reports. The focus: Abländschen Abländschen was again the destination of touring skiers, cyclists and hikers. The entire Federal Council made a stop there on July 8 on its trip to the Saanenland. The Wandfluh holiday home was sold to the Mudita association. It should be run as a meditation center. The homepage «ablaendschen.ch» is finished. The winter panorama was hung up, the barbecue area in the Herrenschwändli was renovated. The Abländschen-Jaun hiking trail project is still not moving. As a new project in 2016, the board dealt with the use of the Abländschen logo. Gstaad A flyer was developed to attract new members to the village organization. In addition, the cooperation between the existing structures and organizations is to be further promoted and consolidated. The village organization Gstaad successfully launched the “Züglete” together with the three main associations in the region and was a member of the jury for the Prix de Gessenay innovation prize. Events like the Nordic Winter Sprint, the 40th anniversary of the MOB panorama trains, the Chüejer breakfast on August 1st, the first Snow Bike Festival, the first Tennis Ladies Championship, the Glacier 3000 Run and the Gstaad “Züglete” contributes significantly to the variety of offers. The regular guests aperitif was more popular than ever before. Gsteig / Feutersoey December 2015 without snow, mild temperatures and little snow at the beginning of 2016 were the undoing of the Gsteiger 24h Race. The splendid autumn weather, the continuity and the good organization made the Gsteigmäret a great success. Visits to the alpine dairy always make interesting encounters possible. The winter concert “so tönts im Gsteig” and the alphorn concert in summer on the occasion of the Schönried Alphorn Days have a permanent place in the event calendar. New to the program are full moon bike tours with fondue fun from December to March. Lauenen The lake was ideal for ice skating. The rush for this offer in the snow-poor winter raised numerous organizational questions. In a hurry, the village organization was able to find solutions with GST and the municipality. In the addendum, solutions and rules for the next time were searched for and found. Improvements for the following year were also negotiated for the Snow Bike Festival. A new landing stage was built in the summer. 21
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