Swisstainable Veggie Day

The Swisstainable Veggie Day promoted Swiss cuisine and encouraged chefs to source local produce and better serve the needs of vegetarian travellers

On 1st October 2022, Switzerland celebrated the Swisstainable Veggie Day focusing on highlighting colourful and tasty vegetarian cuisine, while also taking an active stance towards reducing ecological footprints. The campaign garnered stakeholder support from catering providers and helped to strengthen the branding of Swiss Tourism.

On 1st October 2022, Switzerland celebrated the Swisstainable Veggie Day to focus on highlighting colourful and tasty vegetarian cuisine, while also taking an active stance towards reducing ecological footprints.

Changing Perspectives

The Swisstainable programme is a key tool to help brand Switzerland as an eco-friendly destination, which focuses on heritage, reliability and safety to effectively offer relaxing, natural and authentic tourist experiences. The programme aims to change mindsets by placing tourists at the heart of sustainability-thinking and to convince and reward them for taking positive actions that protect Switzerland's socio-cultural and environmental resources, while contributing to the economy. This is achieved by placing a strong focus on nature and regional assets.

Swisstainable Veggie Day promoted Switzerland's agricultural produce on the international stage. This enabled the diversity of Swiss gastronomy to be presented to international tourists and demonstrate the country's ability to produce exceptional culinary experiences. The campaign was launched with the collaboration of key actors across the Swiss tourism industry. 1,255 restaurants, hotels and other gastronomic providers from across the country participated - including Swiss International Air Lines, Swiss Federal Railways, ETH Zurich and major hotel and restaurant chains.

The objectives were to highlight the appeal of vegetarian meals and to demonstrate that they can be a tasty alternative to meat-based diets. Secondly, Switzerland Tourism aimed to incentivise chefs and inspire them to develop their vegetarian offerings and incorporate Veggie Days into their future offerings. The campaign successfully resulted in over 150 restaurants and cafes solely serving vegan or vegetarian menus on the day.

With the Hiltl restaurants in Zurich considered as a pioneer in vegetarian cuisine, Switzerland already has a strong reputation in veggie restaurant experiences, and this campaign helped to consolidate and enhance this differentiator in Switzerland's brand offering. This is of significant importance given the growing demand globally for vegan and vegetarian diets as it helps reassure prospective tourists that they'll have a varied choice of restaurant options on a future Swiss holiday.

Infographic: The Rise (or Fall?) of Vegetarianism | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Sustainable Gastronomy

The community-wide effort is a good way to promote sustainable gastronomic tourism experiences in Switzerland. By using local and seasonal produce from Swiss farmers, the fruit and vegetables are fresher and tastier as they do not require long journeys to be transported from other parts of the world. It's estimated that the Swisstainable Veggie Day saved 75 tonnes of CO2 - the equivalent of a space flight! With vegetarian meals on more restaurants' menus and placed higher on their agenda, the positive environmental impact can be multiplied based on the success of the campaign. On an annual basis, 3.7 billion kilometres of car emissions could be eliminated if everyone in Switzerland went meat-free for just 1 day a week.

While the Swisstainable Veggie Day was mainly targeted towards catering establishments, it also benefits agro-tourism providers. For example, farm shops and local markets can improve connections with Swiss restaurants. Additionally, the increased attention by Switzerland Tourism placed on agricultural produce provides visibility of these offerings among international and domestic travellers through the increased awareness of regional dishes and the 100 different varieties of vegetables grown in Switzerland.

Key Takeaways

1. Corporate buy-in and engagement from key stakeholders are essential for running a successful campaign.

2. Destinations shouldn't only focus sustainability marketing towards tourists, but also train and encourage the tourism workforce to innovate and design products that adapt to consumer trends.

3. Destinations should consider the entire value chain and consider the linkages between different sectors and how they can collaborate with each other.

4. NTOs should highlight the regional diversity of their tourism offerings and leverage this to encourage longer trips or repeat visitors.

Published on:
January 2023
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