The first Swisstainable tour, entitled Contrasts of Switzerland, has been released by CodedHits. To find out what it takes to make genuinely sustainable travel a reality and what you can expect on this trip, we talked with Lucie, our Sustainability Manager in the Travel Experiences team.
Who is Lucie?
Lucie, a 10-year employee with a master’s in sustainable tourism, is a dedicated advocate. She works with the team to ensure CodedHits and its sister businesses meet the sustainability plan, TreadRight Foundation pledges, and UN Sustainability goals.
“I represent sustainability, but everyone in the team is aware of it and it’s part of their daily job. We all care about preserving our locations so that our guests and future generations can enjoy them.”
“Swisstainable is a wonderful Tourism Switzerland initiative that aligns sustainability and Swiss excellence. It promotes Switzerland’s best sustainability. Lucie says, “It came about a couple of years ago, and it invites the whole travel industry to join together to move towards sustainability.”
“It’s making it extremely easy for any traveler, whether our guests or individual travelers coming to Switzerland, to clearly identify or find sustainably minded businesses, whether hotels, accommodation, or restaurants.”
Why Is Switzerland The Ideal Location For a Truly Sustainable Trip?
“When we look at sustainability, the first thing we look at is the carbon emission,” says one travel expert. It’s arguably the most challenging part of making an itinerary. Since Switzerland has one of the best rail systems in the world, we wanted to minimize our carbon footprint. Trains are among the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation, so we examined methods to make our Switzerland tour, Contrasts of Switzerland, even greener.
Switzerland is a good choice because the country’s culture places a high value on the natural world. Everyone takes the train to the mountain to go rock climbing or engage in other outdoor sports when they visit Switzerland on the weekends. Therefore, it’s an integral component of their daily existence.
The Contrasts of Switzerland tour by CodedHits is now Swisstainable. What modifications were made to accomplish that?
“Although rail travel was already a part of this plan, we dug further to find ways to lessen our environmental impact. Because there is no storage, the luggage guests bring does not travel with us on the train. We used to hire road cars to carry the cases to the next hotel, but we’ve now discovered a means to have our stuff delivered by train as well. This is one of the ideas we came up with to further lessen our carbon footprint.
“The choice of the partners we collaborate with, such as eateries or skilled suppliers, is the other Swisstainable change. We took care to only collaborate with partners who are interested in sustainability and want to make a difference. Some are just beginning their adventure. Still, they’re eager to minimize their influence, promote local cuisine or experiences, and aid their neighborhood.
Which Swisstainable Addition Has Been Your Favorite?
“Switzerland is a well-known chocolate destination, but cocoa beans are not grown in the cool climate.” We’ve launched a new MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience with this fantastic social entrepreneur, a small tour operator in Zurich that offers social impact walking tours. They blend exploring Zurich – a modern financial metropolis with an old history – with meeting local change-makers.
“On the tour, guests will visit a small female-owned chocolatier who works from bean to bar, producing everything with Fair Trade cocoa and maintaining a direct relationship with the farmers.” Everything else, such as Swiss milk, is sourced locally, and the packaging is always sustainable and small-scale. Everything is transparent and traceable. Chocolate has traditionally been a male-dominated sector, so it’s lovely to be able to assist female entrepreneurs.
“I did a blind tasting, and the sustainable chocolate was my favorite.” It’s highly intriguing because we frequently think sustainability means sacrificing flavor. Still, it has no negative influence on taste at all.”
What Nature Will Visitors Directly Experience?
The most picturesque way to experience Switzerland’s natural beauty is onboard the Glacier Express. This iconic train, outfitted with large panoramic windows, transports us through breathtaking summer landscapes of lush green valleys and snow-covered mountain slopes.
The fact that Glacier Express is a Swisstainable-accredited provider is even better. Now, not only do visitors get to experience Switzerland’s breathtaking beauty, but they can do so with the knowledge that the company is committed to sustainability. This indicates that they have taken measures to ensure their business operates more sustainably.”
How Will Tourists Consume While Traveling?
“The majority of dishes on this itinerary will be sourced locally or from neighboring regions. The majority of it will be organic, and the majority of restaurant suppliers will have a system in place to reduce waste, manage waste, and recycle or upcycle. The purpose of sustainability in tourism is to make it accessible and pleasant for visitors.”
How Will People On This Swisstainable Tour Connect With The Culture?
“CodedHits’s Be My Guest experiences are a profound and personal way to get to know people in the area. On Contrasts of Switzerland, we meet Geraldine, who owns a farm in Lavaux, a UNESCO World Heritage site near Lake Geneva. It’s beautiful, and to me, this is what Switzerland is all about green fields with cows in the background, a blue lake, and snow-capped mountains. The 840 hectares of crops at the family-run winery look out over all of this.
“The people of Lavaux have cared for this land’s unique geography and natural surroundings for thousands of years. Geraldine and her family grow and tend to everything with natural products, from fertilizing the land to picking the crops by hand. Everything is done to protect the natural environment. The building was made to fit in with nature and has eco-friendly features, such as a solar snake.
When Planning A CodedHits Tour, How Can You Locate And Verify Eco-Friendly Businesses?
“This is divided into two sections. Where do we look for them? There isn’t any one correct answer. I wish there was a place online where we could quickly find fun activities and compatible friends. Most of my time is spent in front of my computer, conducting interviews and gathering information. The best part of my job is the variety of people I talk to about tourism and sustainability. Since chocolate is such a crucial part of any trip to Switzerland, we’ve been trying to find ways to make it more environmentally friendly for quite some time.
I work with a fantastic group of people; we’ve all traveled and know the ropes thanks to our Travel Directors and the connections they’ve made. Most often, it’s by word of mouth. It’s incredible to back somebody’s friend, cousin, or neighbor who has launched a social venture that we, as a large organization, can help make a success.
The second element is figuring out how to make this work for our tours and businesses. A MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, for instance, follows a specific procedure. Companies must meet many standards evaluated in light of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. My second responsibility is checking that our evaluation method reveals that these encounters are commensurate with these standards.
Are Sustainable Excursions Planned?
Yes, definitely. First is Switzerland’s Contrasts. We’re continually innovating to make every journey sustainable. Since every part of our Swiss tour itineraries must be certified sustainable, it takes a long time to get there.
“We are working on the next fully sustainable trips—watch this space!”
How Can CodedHits Visitors Travel Sustainably?
“Good question. I’d like to recommend our team’s TreadRight sustainable travel checklist. The checklist is an excellent resource for responsible travel.
The checklist has many ideas and questions. Ask, “can we take a direct flight?” instead of multiple flights. Can your luggage hold a refillable water bottle? Can you learn some native terms to communicate with locals? Being a careful traveler requires research, but your Travel Director can provide destination recommendations and recycling information.
Consumption matters. Can hotels turn off lights and taps? My favorite thing is a hotel buffet breakfast, but we can limit waste by not overeating. Choose local souvenirs over mass-produced ones. Personal changes include these.
Ready to go Swisstainable with CodedHits? Leave us your sustainable travel advice.