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Swisscontact in project work

Swisscontact applies a holistic approach to its work, involving all actors and sectors in development.



Expert in tourism development

In addition to stand-alone tourism projects, Swisscontact is implementing tourism components in market and regional development as well as in skills development/continuing education projects.


  • Swisscontact is currently implementing highly targeted tourism projects in TunisiaColombia, and Indonesia
  • Market development projects featuring tourism as a key sector are underway in Indonesia, Laos, Honduras, Colombia, Macedonia, and Kosovo
  • Skills development projects with a tourism/hospitality component are being conducted in Nicaragua, Myanmar, Rwanda, Uganda, Laos, and Cambodia



Role in developing tourism destinations

Swisscontact focuses primarily on the following components:

Destination Management

Swisscontact’s role in the overall process of destination management (DM) encompasses the following, for example: supporting analysis of the destination, moderating working group panels, or supporting the creation of appropriate DM structures. For the time being, Swisscontact itself also fulfils certain DM functions that cannot be covered by local actors. In addition, Swisscontact is training destination advisors.

Product development

Swisscontact is supporting demand-driven development of tourism products and services without playing the role of a service provider itself. Instead, Swisscontact offers platforms for the development of business ideas, actively incorporating sustainability concepts, and links an expanding base of stakeholders with each other while providing guidance on product development.

Advertising and marketing

Swisscontact Supports DM organisations to attract more attention domestically and worldwide to the products and services they offer. Through its broad network, Swisscontact facilitates contacts with international partners and buyers.

Supply chains

Depending on the project focus, Swisscontact is also supporting local food producers and artisans to improve their products and develop marketing channels. We are strengthening actors along the entire supply chain by developing their business management skills.

Business development

Swisscontact supports entrepreneurship and strengthens business management skills on the SME level. Swisscontact trains tourism service providers in sustainable business management.


Building and maintaining road and IT infrastructure.

Skills development

Swisscontact strengthens skills on different formal levels and for various target groups: tourism course trainers and/or students, employees and/or management, members of local municipal administrations and/or practitioners at local destinations.

Strengthening the regulatory environment

Sustainable tourism development can only occur within an enabling political environment that considers the complexity of the tourism sector. Its development must be implemented by competent governments. Swisscontact’s emphasis is on building the capacities of people and not on designing legal frameworks.

Data management

Reliable and secure data constitute the basis of solid Destination Management.

Community Empowerment

Ländliche Gemeinden in den neuen Destinationen sollen von den neuen Besuchern profitieren. Dazu braucht es einen starken und koordinierten Gesamtauftritt und die Kapazitäten, ein attraktives Angebot für die Besucher zu entwickeln. Damit eine möglichste nachhaltige lokale Wertschöpfung generiert wird, bildet Swisscontact die Akteure dieser Gemeinden weiter, unterstützt die Entwicklung und den Ausbau der Angebote, sowie deren Verlinkung mit den Reiseanbietern.



Project development and management

Swisscontact’s approach is based on the destination management organisation (DMO) concept and has been adapted to the „St. Gallen model of destination management“ subsequently developed into:

“Sustainable Tourism Destination Management”

The approach develops a destination based on demand and targeted to the numbers of visitors. One direct result of this process-oriented approach is the improved and more targeted collaboration between key actors who together develop new and improved sustainable tourism packages for their local destinations.


The overall objective of tourism development projects is to ensure sustainable economic success while preserving the destination’s natural and cultural resources.

Swisscontact has already applied the model in numerous countries and proved that the approach can be used for any destination at any stage of its development.


Overview of current projects

Guiding principles of Swisscontact

Through sustainable tourism destination management, Swisscontact actively contributes to the development and preservation of the destinations in which its tourism projects are located. Local stakeholders collaborate to develop and preserve their destination by creating better places for people to live in and to visit, striking the right balance between maximising the positive and minimising the negative, current and future, impacts of tourism on people, planet and profit.


  • Tourism is not to be developed just because of the aim of “developing tourism” as such or bringing tourists to a specific region, but because – and only if – it in the long-run creates observable positive impact in the destination to be visited.
  • Tourism development can only have positive impact if attention is paid to various sustainability issues.
  • Sustainability in tourism can seldom be achieved alone, which is why special attention is required for collaboration and advocacy towards sustainability as well as for systemic destination development approach in which joined forces address the strengthening of all relevant destination functions.
  • Destination management is a process, in which any possible resulting structure comes after and based on the findings of the destination assessment process. Only the dialog with relevant stakeholders takes account of the complexity of the “spider’s web tourism”, in which Swisscontact will seldom take the all-encompassing role of developing all destination functions, but concentrate on our organisation’s strengths and facilitating functions.
  • Whereas Swisscontact’s work is guided by our global convictions, implementation on the ground is only fruitful if aligned to local contexts and realities.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org