On-Site: Switzerland Travel Mart's Opening Ceremony

GENEVA, Switzerland -- The Switzerland Travel Mart 2011 kicked off this evening, April 28, with a bang at The Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva. Approximately 800 delegates and suppliers convened at the Theatre du Leman, Geneva, part of the hotel, for the official opening ceremony. The theater hosts about 150 performances a year including dance, opera, comedy, classical and modern music. It brings in approximately 140,000 people annually.

Travel Agent learned from Alex Herrmann, director for Switzerland Tourism's Americas office, that the U.S. accounts for 7.4 percent of Swiss tourism, the third most important market for the country. According to Hermann, arrival numbers are back up to 2008 levels, before the recession, showing an 8.9 percent increase in 2010.

Tourism Switzerland paid special heed to one particular supplier from the United States, one who has shown great support for the Swiss tourism brand and has worked collaboratively and effectively with the country. Harry Dalgaard, president of Avanti Destinations, which supplies tours to Europe, was awarded the Gold Flower Award, a credit given selectively by Switzerland Tourism to a notable partner.

Tomorrow, Travel Agent hits the trade show floor, so stay tuned for more updates.


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