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Tourism should become more sustainable

A new campaign, "At last, vacation, your landscape", has been launched to promote sustainable tourism. The organisers said they wanted to ensure that the country's tourist regions pay as much attention to ecological as well as economic concerns.

The tourism authorities together with Foundation Landscape Switzerland said the campaign would last one year and would include workshops, symposiums and special days designed to increase public awareness. The president of Foundation Landscape Switzerland, Eugen David, said it was up to tourism officials and tourists "to make equal partners out of the unequal twins - tourism and landscape."

He said the tourism industry and environmental groups also had to have a better understanding of each other's interests. The tourism official, Gottfried Künzi, said Switzerland could never become a cheap holiday destination and therefore had to remain competitive by providing "quality" vacations. He said this also meant ensuring a high-level of "quality" in the landscape.

"Tourism is not an end in itself, but should serve the local community," Künzi added.

The campaign organisers pointed out that there were already excellent examples of environmentally friendly tourism, but more had to be done.

And a tourism official from the eastern canton of Graubünden sounded a note of caution. Olivier Federspiel said the challenge would be to find financing for sustainable tourism projects because they were unlikely to have a wide appeal.

swissinfo with agencies

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