Back sustainable development

Sustainable development has become an increasingly important factor in federal-level tourism policy, and now occupies a central position as a separate objective of the new Federal Government Tourism Strategy. The Confederation's tourism policy contributes to the Sustainable Development Strategy 2030 adopted by the Federal Council on 23 June 2021 and to its three priority themes "sustainable consumption and production", "climate, energy, biodiversity" and "equal opportunities". It thus also contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with its 17 global Sustainable Development Goals.

As one of its priorities, the Federal Government’s Tourism Strategy supports the financial productivity of tourism actors, which also includes their resilience in the face of crisis. It helps to ensure that the tourist sector tackles the necessary processes of transformation, improves its resource-efficiency and, in addition to its economic efficiency, deals responsibly with the environment and fulfils its social responsibilities. Improving the appeal of jobs in tourism and the accessibility of tourist attractions are two ways of achieving this. The Federal Government’s Tourism Strategy therefore addresses all three dimensions of sustainability: economic, environmental and social.

The contribution of the Confederation's tourism policy to sustainable development will focus on the following activities in the coming years:

Action Item 7: Preserve and valorise architectural heritage, landscape quality and biodiversity

Switzerland's appeal as a travel destination is essentially based on its qualities of its landscapes and architectural heritage, which requires coordination and cooperation between the Federal Government’s Tourism Strategy and other sectoral policies, specifically those on the countryside and parks, and architectural heritage. To this end, cooperation and networking channels will be expanded and, if necessary, new ones will be created. Experts in the field of landscape, biodiversity and architectural heritage on the one hand and the tourism industry on the other are to be made mutually aware of the respective concerns and potentials, among other things within the framework of suitable projects. This activity is also anchored in the Baukultur Policy and the Swiss Landscape Concept.

Action Item 8: Support adaptation to climate change

As a tourist destination, Switzerland is impacted heavily by climate change. This demands adaptations to winter tourism, in particular, to counter increasingly unreliable snow conditions. As the climate warms, the snow line becomes higher and higher, diminishing the appeal of winter tourism at lower-altitude destinations especially. Along with the risks come opportunities, however, and these must be taken. Rising temperatures and fewer days of rain put Switzerland in a better position with regard to both summer tourism and the longer and more attractive autumn season. Specific adaptation measures for the Swiss tourism industry have been defined in the 2020–2025 action plan that forms part of the Federal Council’s strategy for adaptation to climate change. Tourism strategy funding instruments are to be used to help develop services and attractions for tourists and encourage diversification. In addition, snow sports are promoted and further developed.

Action Item 9: Support the implementation of "Swisstainable"

In consultation with the tourism industry, Switzerland Tourism launched the ‘Swisstainable’ sustainability initiative to provide targeted support for the development of sustainability-oriented tourism and tourist products in Switzerland, and to position Switzerland as the most sustainable travel destination in the world. Under the initiative, businesses and organisations that engage with the issues surrounding sustainable development are recognised with the ‘Swisstainable’ label. It is based on existing certifications and programmes rather than creating any new scheme, the idea being to give guests a better point of reference. The further development of "Swisstainable" is to be supported by SECO within the framework of tourism policy funding instruments in the coming years.

Last modification 20.07.2022

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