Switzerland Tourism and Purpose Lab co-developed The Conscious Travel Project in 2018. The main objective is to research and develop the potential for sustainable holidays experiences in Switzerland that have a minimal burden on the environment and a positive effect on people, culture and nature. In total 25 experts from The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland were involved in this co-creation project.

The first 1.0 phase of the project ran in 2019 & 2020. We started with presenting the idea at the network event StoryMakers in the autumn of 2019. Then the independent research agency RuigRok Netpanel was involved in the co-creation, by conducting a thorough research on specifically knowledge, attitude and behaviour regarding sustainable travel and Switzerland in particular.

In the summer of 2020, a Trip & Summit to Switzerland for so called innovators took place with the purpose of researching and creating new ideas. Qualitative insights and out of the box sketches for new products and campaigns resulted from this study trip and form a ground base for Conscious Travel Project 2.0.


Internal researches of Switzerland Tourism show that the main reason for people to travel to Switzerland is the nature experience. Furthermore, the tourist board notices a growing interest in sustainability in general.

The main reason why this out-of-the-box project was created, is that Switzerland has so much to offer, but there is also a lot to develop and to shed light on in order to attract more conscious travellers. Switzerland Tourism joined up with Purpose Lab to set up a co-creation project for people with fresh pairs of eyes to explore this field and to develop a thorough ground base for a strategy.

Research says Switzerland is rather unknown as a sustainable holiday destination.

Switzerland takes the lead in – mainly ecological – sustainability worldwide according to the World Economic Forum report on Tourism Competitiveness. But, in this project we found out that only 12% of Dutch travellers and 14% of Flemish people know Switzerland as a sustainable holiday destination.

The research also showed that the attractiveness of sustainable traveling increases by approximately 10% after receiving practical information about how to travel sustainably. Another important insight was that among baby boomers, compromising on comfort, is a barrier to travel more sustainable. Furthermore, travellers want to learn something during their vacation.

Co-creation of 25 experts of whom 12 innovators.

Experts from different disciplines like content creation, research, policy making and product development were involved in the co-creation: Ruigrok Netpanel, Travel Impact Accelerator, Incento Train travel Tour operator and the Swiss partners, Lake Geneva Region, Bern Region, Ticino, Wallis and Swiss Travel System.

We contracted twelve top notch experts from the Dutch and Flemish media and travel industry: they played a role as innovator during the Trip & Summit and represented among other brands like National Geographic Traveler, SNP Natuurreizen, Campspace, Columbus, TheHike, Au goût d’Emma, NKBV and Pasar.

Trip & Summit 19-22 August 2020.

The Trip & Summit journey started with a kick-off program to get to know the tailor-made methodology that Travel Impact Accelerator developed for our purpose. This approach was used by the innovators during the trip together with the insights from the research paper. Four teams of each three innovators travelled by train to Switzerland to visit the regional partners Lake Geneva Region, Bern Region, Ticino and Wallis. Workshops, discussions and meet-ups with locals were organised on the way.

The Trip & Summit was finished with a Museum of potential solutions in which the innovators presented an analysis of the current offer and drafted sketches for new Swiss sustainable travel experiences and innovative ways to market them. The programs of the trips can be downloaded below as pdf files, word document can be sent on request:

The first stop was in Basel in GAIA Hotel.

Conscious Travel project 1.0. Group picture Basel
Photo collection Conscious Travel Project
Curious about the journey we have made together? Click on the photo to slide through the album of this project!

Long documentary from the Conscious Travel Project 10.36 minutes, is made by Elise Wiebes / Meraki Studios / www.merakistudios.nl

The innovators were overwhelmed with impressions during the Trips to the regions on the third and fourth day of the Trip & Summit. All four teams exchanged feedback on the sustainable experiences which was summarised by the team leaders. In the listings below you will find a listing of the most remarkable and relevant outcomes from the analysis of the current sustainable product offer:

If you want to receive the full report of 114 pages pdf, please do get in touch with us.