Geneva voted Europe’s Leading City Break Destination at prestigious WTA ceremony
The city took home the 2017 accolade, completing a hat trick of awards in the last four years.
Geneva was awarded the prestigious award by the annual World Travel Awards (WTA), considered the Oscars of the tourism industry, which this year were held in St Petersburg on September 30th. Geneva also won the award in 2014 and 2015.
This year the Swiss city beat off stiff competition from 15 other European cities, including Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen, Granada, Venice and Dublin to take home the award for the third time in four years.
Resident-friendly – it is known as the 'smallest big city' – Geneva blends culture, history, location, nature and cosmopolitanism at the heart of Europe. The accolades and attributes seem to be having an impact on the number of visitors too.
Geneva has the second highest net occupancy rates for rooms, after Zurich in Switzerland with 64 percent, according to data from the Swiss government. The city registered just under 1.5 million overnight stays from January to June 2017, a new record for that period.
Besides its natural assets, it is Geneva's approach to digital facilitation for visitors that marks it out from candidates both domestically and abroad, says one of the city's promoters.
"Several factors, including the emergence of the internet, have considerably impacted the tourism industry. Nowadays, most Europeans book their own holidays," says Vincent Dubi, head of marketing at Geneva Tourism, in the city's press release acknowledging the award.
"We have successfully negotiated this change by strengthening our digital hub in order to be able to speak the same language as city breakers and therefore promote Geneva in the best and most innovative way possible among our target audience," added Dubi.
"Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Geneva and within a stone's throw of the Alps, Geneva is easy to access thanks to excellent land and air connections. Its accommodation offer is outstanding with the availability of great weekend deals," says a statement by the city's tourism board.
The city of Geneva's website is apparently available in eight European languages (ED: The Local could find four) and the city's social media pages apparently have regular multilingual outreach programmes.
"We are very proud of this award which acknowledges the efforts made this year by various stakeholders in Geneva, including our team. This success confirms that Geneva has all it takes to attract tourists in search of an unforgettable weekend in Europe," said Philippe Vignon, head of Geneva Tourism.