Re- ‘calling’ the week in London for Verbier, Switzerland

After a fantastic week for Verbier Tourisme and its partners in London, it’s time to take stock of the flagship event in 2023.

From 25-30 September 2023, Verbier Tourisme and its partners were based in London to talk about remote working and to launch the 2023/24 winter season. To do this, the tourist office team took up residence at Iron Bloom in Shoreditch, London. The event space was redecorated for the occasion in the style of Verbier, and coworking spaces were made available for the destination’s partners looking for a place to tackle their to-do list or meet customers.

Simon Wiget, Director of Verbier Tourisme, says: “For Verbier, it has never been so important to get out and meet its visitors, partners and secondary residents. And because of the historic links between Verbier and British visitors, London was an obvious place for us to go. The other reason for this move to London is Verbier’s interest in promoting remote working, a trend that is already well established in our region, which has several major advantages to offer: its connection to the rest of the world via transport and fibre, its proximity to nature and numerous activities in both summer and winter, and a stimulating and cosmopolitan working environment”.

Part of Verbier Tourisme welcomed and informed visitors who were curious to learn more about the destination at Iron Bloom, while the rest of the team took over two city-centre locations using one of London’s famous buses dressed up in the destination’s colours.

A unique opportunity to meet the British media
The week was also an opportunity to promote the destination to the media, with a programme specially dedicated to them. In all, more than thirty meetings took place, ranging from the major British media to specialist magazines. An evening was also organised for them at Iron Bloom. Here, Tom Avery, explorer and entrepreneur in Verbier, led a panel about tourism and sustainability. Speakers included Vicky Smith, a sustainability specialist with several tourism companies and founder of Earth Changer, Richard Hammond, a videographer, photographer and journalist who has specialised in sustainability and sustainable travel since the 90s, and Warren Smith, one of the UK’s best-known ski professionals and ambassador for Protect Our Winters UK. This was a unique opportunity for Verbier to learn and showcase its sustainability measures.

Meeting between secondary residents and local authorities
Wednesday 27 September brought together 50 of Verbier’s secondary residents living in and around London. The Val de Bagnes Commune authorities were also on hand for the evening, a sign of the importance of secondary residents to the destination and the Commune. And to mark the historic link between Verbier, Switzerland and British visitors, Verbier was honoured to welcome Markus Leitner, Swiss Ambassador to the UK. The UNLTD, powered by Verbier Festival, also made its presence felt, with performances by Catherine d’Oex and Germain Umdenstock, as well as Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Harry Baker – all of whom are present at this year’s Verbier Festival.

The Palp Festival and Eddy Baillifard to close the week
To round off the week in style, two events – open to members of the public – were organised with the help of the destination’s best ambassadors. On Friday and Saturday evening, the destination exported the Palp Festival and its famous Electroclette, with artists such as Claire McGregor and Garance. Of course, the week would not have been complete without raclette! Eddy Baillifard, the ambassador of Valais raclette, came to Shoreditch to “râcler” on both evenings.

Local products and destination partners in the spotlight
Products from Verbier, Val de Bagnes, Grand Entremont and the Valais were also given pride of place, including Vollèges and Verbier beers, Domaine Jean-René Germanier wines, products from Grand Entremont, and Verbier Spirit and Ibex gins. In addition, the Carrefour restaurant’s chefs were on hand to treat the guests. Not to mention the many partners who supported the event: the hoteliers’ association, AGIV (property managers and agents), APCAV (chalet and flat owners), Mountain Hub, Gotham and SunGod Ltd.

What was Verbier Calling?
Verbier Calling was an original initiative set up by Verbier Tourisme with the help of its partners. Its aim was to promote remote working in Verbier and to launch the next ski season. Therefore, the tourist office and its partners moved to London to organise various activities and evenings for a week during September 2023.