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As borders re-open, Zurich Tourism makes sustainability a priority

As borders re-open, Zurich Tourism makes sustainability a priority
As borders re-open, Zurich Tourism makes sustainability a priority
Written by Harry Johnson

Lessons from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the continued urgency for tourism to be sustainable

  • ZĂĽrich embarks on a bold and encompassing sustainability platform for the future
  • ZĂĽrich Tourism maintains a strong commitment to sustainable development
  • ZĂĽrich Tourism continues to raise awareness about eco-conscious development

As the world begins opening its borders to tourism, lessons from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the continued urgency for tourism to be sustainable. To that end, the city of Zurich, along with Switzerland as a whole, has embarked on a bold and encompassing sustainability platform for the future.

ZĂĽrich Tourism maintains a strong commitment to sustainable development and has been leading by example since 1998. The organization marked one of its most important milestones in 2010, when it was among the first to sign Switzerland Tourism’s Sustainability Charter, and in 2015, ZĂĽrich Tourism reinvigorated this commitment with the development of the comprehensive Sustainability Concept 2015+, which set credible and ambitious future goals. By continuing to raise awareness about eco-conscious development, ZĂĽrich Tourism covers three main dimensions of sustainability: environment, economy and society. Together with the city and canton, ZĂĽrich Tourism has adopted a comprehensive and long-term approach to the goal of positioning Zurich and the surrounding region as an international blueprint for a Smart Destination. At the heart of Zurich’s sustainable approach are:

Sustainable Eating: 

Whether visitors are looking for 100% organic, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, or entirely vegan, it is easy to find delicious and sustainable eats in Zurich. Most restaurants in the city attach great importance to the origin and seasonality of the produce they use, and many chefs buy their ingredients directly from one of Zurich’s numerous weekly markets.

In addition, Zurich is the proud birthplace of the world’s first vegetarian restaurant, owned by the Hiltl family, whose restaurants have been devoted entirely to vegetarian food since 1898. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants are some of the most popular in Zurich.

City Oases: 

As travelers venture back into the world post-COVID, they will be drawn to less crowded, wide-open spaces. Although Zurich is a big city, it has its fair share of off-the-beaten-path locations and not-always-open cultural oases. Urban adventurers will not be disappointed by the numerous hidden-away spaces in the heart of the city, from exquisitely designed gardens to particularly beautiful public institutions.

Although locals are familiar with them, many tourists don’t know these wonderful spots exist, making a visit to Zurich all the more special and unexpected. Some of these places are not directly on the tourist routes or have special opening hours. But they are well worth seeking out, rewarding intrepid city explorers with beautiful sights and great views.

Sustainable Stores: 

Ecologically minded travelers can also find a wide range of stores selling fairly traded and sustainably produced fashion, as well as a number of zero-waste shops. As the desire for ecologically produced clothing is becoming more widespread, designers are ensuring that their fashion is produced in a sustainable and fair manner, using recyclable fabrics, minimizing their carbon footprints and treating workers fairly. Ecologically minded shoppers can find a variety of zero-waste stores — businesses dedicated to the reduction of food waste and shops that have completely dispensed with individual packaging.

Work and Leisure:  

As the workforce around the world transitions back from remote working to in-office, businesses are already beginning to adapt to the new work-life concept. In Zurich, business and leisure can be wonderfully combined in co-working spaces, cafĂ©s and restaurants. In former factory halls, in a bookstore, or under a railroad viaduct: Zurich’s digital nomads meet other innovative young minds in the start-up scene, and spin new ideas in the city’s creative co-working spaces and cafĂ©s.

In addition to the above, Zurich has a number of other environmentally conscious projects underway, including energy-efficient buildings, a food-waste program for the hospitality industry and a city e-bike program. From tourism to infrastructure and water conservation, Zurich is on the cutting edge of sustainable technology looking toward a more environmentally conscious and healthier future.