Switzerlandmobility.ch won the 'Globe' category at the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Annual Gala Awards Dinner held last night in London.
The Guild Tourism Awards are presented for successful and environmentally sustainable projects that benefit local communities. The evening was attended by more than 300 of the UK’s top travel media professionals as well as high-profile representatives of the international travel world. It was sponsored by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Elite Island Resorts and Virgin Holidays.
The winner of the Globe Category (receiving more than 250,000 visitors a year), nominated by cycle and train journalist Anthony Lambert, was Switzerland Mobility, an online map and guide for car-free recreation, with advice and routes for cycling, kayaking, hiking or inline skating through thousands of kilometres of Switzerland's most beautiful scenery.
“It is the essence of sustainable tourism, using the lowest impact modes of transport, encouraging tourism in undeservedly neglected parts of the country, helping small businesses and spreading the economic benefits of tourism,” said Lambert.
Switzerland Mobility is the largest national network of non-motorised routes ever created: 20,000km of itineraries have been devised, all marked with standardised colour-coded signposting and a single point-of-contact booking service that covers accommodation, luggage transfer, equipment rental and discounted use of public transport.
The network covers every canton in Switzerland and spreads the benefits of tourism, using 1,100 mostly family-run smaller hotels, B&Bs and even haylofts as staging posts geared to the needs of outdoor recreationalists.
Click on the cycle part of Switzerlandmobility.info and the visitor is taken to Veloland.ch. Tick boxes allow the visitor to choose an itinerary based on level of fitness, interests and time available. It includes gradient charts and maps showing the routes.
The zoomable maps feature a slider which superimposes a satellite view under the topo map. However, unlike Google Maps, it's not an either/or map or satellite view, it's a graded transparency which allows the user to see topographical data gradually turn into aerial photo views.