After being distinguished as the Best in Education for training travel agents last year, Switzerland Tourism has received the award for the best rail tourism campaign at the third edition of the European Rail Tourism Awards.
1. Rail Tourism Awards
Launched in 202 by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail, the Rail Tourism Awards aim to acknowledge the most outstanding marketing campaigns showcasing the thrill, freedom and sustainability of travelling Europe by train. This year’s winners were announced during the World Passenger Festival in Vienna.
The competition has grown year-on-year, with the third edition receiving a record 31 entries submitted by a diverse array of participants in the European travel sector, including rail operators, tourism organisations and marketing agencies.
2. Best Rail Tourism Campaign
“Grand Train Tour of Switzerland: The Ride of a Lifetime” by Switzerland Tourism was awarded Best Rail Tourism Campaign. The short film starring Roger Federer and Trevor Noah showcases Switzerland’s breathtaking scenery and outstanding rail infrastructure. “Through this campaign, Switzerland Tourism demonstrates the joys of in-country travel with wit, precision and mesmerising cinematography showing the beauty of Swiss rail journeys”, the jury lauded the winner.
The jury praised the film’s storytelling and creative brilliance, as well as the impressive reach of the campaign, with 82 million views on YouTube. In addition, the 99% positive comment rate serves as a testament to Switzerland Tourism’s ability to capture the public’s enthusiasm for sustainable travel and engage a broad spectrum of potential holidaymakers.
Roger Federer is frequently partnering with Switzerland tourism, the campaign for the Grand (road trip) Tour of Switzerland being one of the most ingenious tourism campaigns of 2022. Featuring Anne Hathaway along the Grand Slam winner, the campaign’s message is that no one, no matter how good looking or famous, upstages the Grand Tour of Switzerland.
3. Best Regional Campaign
“Occitanie Rail Tour” by Occitanie Regional Tourism and Leisure Board was awarded Best Regional Campaign for its innovative and inclusive approach to connecting with a wide spectrum of travellers. “Through the combination of several promotional channels, including TV and social media advertising, a collaboration with a cycling app and tailor-made Michelin Guides, the Occitanie Regional Tourism and Leisure Board successfully demonstrated to each demographic the allure of a rail tour of Occitanie”, the judges said.
The campaign was praised for managing to respond to the challenge that environmentally conscious tourists often encounter when looking for sustainable transportation options for the final leg of their journey. It presents rail travel as the solution to traversing ‘the last mile’, demonstrating how this sustainable mode of transport can connect tourists to breathtaking natural landscapes and authentic cultural experiences without the need for a car.
4. Best Cross-Border Campaign
“Vienna by Train – Uniting Cities” by Vienna Tourist Board was awarded Best Cross-Border Campaign for championing rail tourism by connecting cities across borders and promoting inter-cultural exchange between tourists and locals. The campaign, comprising various promotional initiatives, is led by a video illustrating how city trips by train can provide vital support to local businesses, foster rich cultural encounters and breathe new life into a community, all while delighting viewers with the distinctive Austrian sense of humour.
Receiving the Rail Tourism Award is an important acknowledgement of the industry’s efforts. I am particularly pleased that the Vienna Tourist Board is among the winners.Susanne Kraus-Winkler, Susanne Kraus-Winkler
The judges commended the ingenuity, imagination and wit of the campaign. They praised the portrayal of rail tourism as a means of promoting solidarity across borders and between cities and enhancing the quality of life for local residents. They were particularly impressed by the campaign’s remarkable reach, amassing not only 143 million impressions but also gaining the attention of leading media outlets such as Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung and La Repubblica.
5. Honourable Mention
“Trenes turísticos en Galicia (Galicia region tourist trains)” by Renfe and Turismo de Galicia received an Honourable Mention from the jury for providing tourists with an engaging, slow travel experience of Galicia via 14 tourist rail lines. The initiative introduces travellers to the unique gastronomy, landscapes and history of Galicia, promoting slow, sustainable tourism through the promise of more authentic experiences and the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of the region.
The jury was impressed by how the campaign promotes the symbiotic relationship between travellers and locals. The itineraries connect tourists with the independent businesses and attractions that rely on them to thrive, in turn preserving regional traditions and crafts. “By achieving a remarkable 90% seat occupancy and experiencing significant growth in the past year, this campaign has undeniably made a substantial impact on a region that typically sees fewer tourists”, the judges said.