Via Francigena

The Via Francigena in Switzerland: involvement of local communities

Redazione AEVF
Redazione AEVF

The team of the European Association of the Via Francigena ways continues the journey in Switzerland.

This journey made of kilometers of walking, traveled daily with a backpack on shoulders, but also made of meetings and appointments with administrators, managers of tourism offices and associations in the end of the stages. The main objective is to develop the network of regional and local actors along the Via Francigena in the cantons of Vaud and Valais, along 200 km of the Swiss route.

The fourth day “on the road” included a city break in Lausanne, a splendid city overlooking the Lake Geneva and a crossroad with the Santiago de Compostela path.

On the morning of July 31, a fruitful meeting took place in the Tourist Office in Morges with the director Jacqueline Ritzmann and the marketing manager Stefanie Harris.

In the afternoon the director Luca Bruschi and the head of international development Elena Dubinina met with François Michel, deputy director and head of marketing for Vaud Tourism.

The two meetings were used to share the ongoing projects along the Via Francigena and to present the EAVF activities, which actions are increasingly projected internationally: the new French guide “Canterbury-Grand Saint Bernard Pass” published by Favre represents a significant element for the promotion of the journey.

The topics dealt with in the business meetings put the route in the center of attention, underlining that in the Swiss section the path is safe and well signposted. The discussion also dealt with the pilgrim hospitality. Already at the end of this journey, in agreement with the tourist offices, the hospitality database will be updated on the website with new pilgrim structures included in the reception circuit.

Finally, it was decided to invest into the Via Francigena  promotion and animation to enhance the visibility of the entire Swiss section of the route. First of all by conducting “press trips” with international journalists and inserting the Via Francigena into local and regional tourist programmes.

The meetings will also continue in the next 7 days of walking with appointments in Montreaux, Evionnaz, Saint-Maurice, Martigny, Orsieres, Bourg Saint Pierre.