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I’m originally from St. Gallen in the Eastern part of Switzerland and travelling has always been a part of my DNA. Before the age of 20, I lived on a Native American Reserve in Tucson, AZ – did language exchanges in San Diego, and worked in different hospitality-related jobs in St. Moritz and the area of Lake Constance.
I have been within the Hospitality and Tourism industry for almost 20 years: Before my studies at École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL Hospitality Business School), I worked as a front office clerk, wedding planner, and bartender. After that, I went to a small leading hotel of the world in Cape Town, South Africa, and Marriott Bangkok, Thailand. My last job before joining the Head office of Switzerland Tourism was as Director of Sales & Marketing for a property in St. Gallen. At, Switzerland Tourism head office I was Project Manager for Accommodation & Gastronomy, leading several nationwide projects about food experiences within Switzerland.
I like cooking, but also being active in sports such as soccer/football, tennis, running, and cycling. I just cycled 1,200km from Tuscany to Sicily last autumn with a friend. I also engage in an NGO, “Faith in Humanity,” with my father, supporting different projects in Western Africa. For six years, I was also the president of the Alumni Association of EHL Hospitality Business School, responsible for Zurich and Eastern Switzerland – to onboard new graduates and connected the existing 1,400 members in the area.
I am personally very much looking forward to learning more about what Canadians want in a travel experience; we have a broad spectrum of activities, four national languages that differentiate in the region, cultural heritage, and culinary — beautiful seasonalities with peak and lake experiences in winter, spring, summer, and fall, etc. In the end, we need to talk to the right audience to attract travellers to Switzerland – so we must learn what they want in order to adapt to their needs while keeping travelling as sustainable as possible.
This is a hard one to answer, but out of my background, I love hospitality: Hotels, Food and Wine. So there are great areas to discover. To maintain my weight, I have to level it out with some nature experiences: Mainly biking and hiking. The lifestyle in Switzerland is so integrated with the outdoors whether in the cities or in the Alps or on one of our 1500 lakes.
St. Gallen Bratwurst with Roesti – that is a sausage from my hometown that you eat traditionally without any sauce (no ketchup, no mustard) accompanied with ruffled, pan-fried potatoes.
Fondue, as well as Raclette, are also a must when in Switzerland. One is to dip a piece of bread into melted cheese; the other is melting cheese and putting it on potatoes or eating it without a side. I also recently discovered the many vegetarian options the country has to offer, e.g., the oldest vegetarian restaurant by Guinness World Records was founded in Switzerland, and Hiltl in Zurich. No matter what you choose in Switzerland, it is fresh. We have the highest per capita consumption of organic food.
I know that sustainability is a big word – particularly when it comes to travel. But one thing is sure: the more mindful and responsible we are when we travel, the smaller our negative footprint. Switzerland Tourism follows this path with the Swisstainable program to discover Switzerland in a more environmentally friendly, respectful, and intense way. Maybe we will see Roger Federer and his friends doing this sometime soon, too.
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