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Australians are flocking to Switzerland in record numbers, drawn by the mountains, the valleys, the lakes….and the chocolate.

The news was unveiled at Switzerland Tourism’s 2024 Australia and New Zealand Showcase event held in Sydney on Wednesday night and attended by more than 100 agents and travel media.

Some 12 tourism partners from across Switzerland and representing a variety of activities and attractions have travelled Down Under for the four-city tour of Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Sandra Babey, Director Australia & New Zealand/APAC, Switzerland Tourism, told Traveltalk that the Australian market was “very important”.

“I just mentioned at the event that 2023 was the best year on record for visitation from Australia,” she said.

“Australia is currently at number 14 in all of the 29 markets that we cover so it’s in a pretty good position.

“It’s a very important market for us because Australians stay a long time and that’s what we are really trying to encourage with the Travel Better strategy that Switzerland Tourism has been promoting. Australians are perfect for that.”

Agents were able to get first-hand updates on Switzerland’s impressive rail and general transport system which enables visitors to travel easily around the country on a single pass.

“Switzerland is a small country but there is a lot of variety,” continued Sandra. “Europe is a destination per se but Switzerland really deserves a week because there is so much to see.

Among the many highlights Ms Babey was keen to promote were the Christmas markets and the Swiss autumn between September and November.

“We have this explosion of colours. It’s really beautiful in some areas, it’s less crowded and it’s still quite warm.”

Special guest at the Sydney event was Thomas Schnetzler, who stars in the Lindt chocolate TV ads in Australia.

Thomas is one of only six Lindt master chocolatiers around the world (they have their own WhatsApp group) but lives in Sydney with his Australian wife.

He told Traveltalk that he always travels with some chocolate in his possession. Now that’s what we call essential luggage!