Buffet Lausanne Bild Zermatt

Working together for good advertising

Story 112

 Advertising was very important for the Gornergrat Railway from the very beginning. The Gornergrat Railway entered into partnerships to ensure greater national and international awareness. 

Advertising is a joint project 

In its first year of operation, 1898, the Gornergrat Railway invested almost CHF 10,000 in advertising. The 1899 annual report mentions a joint project:  

Based on the view that it does not make any sense for the Visp-Zermatt Railway, the hoteliers in Zermatt and the Gornergrat Railway to advertise separately, since it would benefit everyone equally if foreigners came to Zermatt, we endeavoured to run the advertisement jointly as far as possible and to bear the associated costs jointly.
Annual report 1899

The Visp-Zermatt Railway and the Seiler Hotels in particular contributed to the expenses. 

Brochures, posters, advertisements 

Multilingual brochures with detailed descriptions and details of timetables and prices were an important advertising tool. The first maps with hiking trails were also produced and made available to guests.  

Beautifully designed posters and newspaper advertisements complemented the advertising. 

Presence at exhibitions 

The advertising partners also regularly took part in international exhibitions. For example, at the Milan International Exhibition in 1906, where they set up the world’s largest photograph of the Gornergrat Panorama as an eye-catcher.  

In 1911, 112 years ago, the partners were present in Berlin, as the annual report states: “The exhibition of a large panorama and some pictures of the Matterhorn at the International Travel and Transport Exhibition in Berlin offered a great opportunity to draw attention to the beauties of our region.” 

The Swiss market as a challenge 

In the first few decades, the proportion of Swiss visitors was relatively low at around 10%. This is why the partners also invested money in advertising in Switzerland. In 1907, they had a large photograph of the Gornergrat Panorama mounted in the hall of Lucerne railway station, and in addition in 1908 in Basel railway station. They advertised Zermatt with a large painting at the station buffet in Lausanne. 

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