Authentic and modern, local and international, vibrant and relaxing, Verbier displays its contrasting features masterfully, resulting in a unique resort. Its dynamism is also reflected in new infrastructures and an embellishment of the rural attractions of its surroundings. Interview with Simon Wiget, Director of Verbier Tourism and Florian Michellod, President of the Verbier Development Company.
New Sports Centre Under Construction
The construction of the future Verbier sports centre is a large-scale project that is particularly important for the tourist development of Verbier and its valley. The modernization of these sports facilities will further enhance the attractiveness of Verbier for tourist customers. The new sports centre, which could come into operation in 2026, will focus on the “indoor” offer with a large swimming pool as well as on well-being with an outdoor pool dedicated to relaxation.
Following the fire that damaged the sports centre in June 2017, the project was completely redesigned in order to better match current trends. The sports centre will thus be more flexible, allowing it to evolve according its users’ expectations.
Verbier is renowned for the many and varied occasions it hosts: sporting events, music festivals and contemporary art exhibitions. A new partnership now brings together Verbier and the Italian town of Alba, two destinations that have a strong base in terms of their rural attributes, heritage and culture. Verbier and Alba also share the desire to develop agri-tourism and develop local products. The two destinations are also united by common values such as conviviality and sharing. This partnership is already proving to be very beneficial. This innovative vision, which is based on cross-marketing, has also enabled Verbier to set up other partnerships, in particular with the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIG).
Verbier has long been committed to sustainability – economy, environment, society – with particular emphasis on soft mobility. The Châble-Verbier line is part of this initiative, as well as the direct train connections from Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg to Le Châble during the winter season.
In order to improve the coherence between the various sustainable activities carried out by the destination’s actors, Verbier is currently listing the initiatives of each, in order to promote these efforts while encouraging other actors to do the same.
The municipality has started a process aimed at obtaining the Cité Énergie Gold label and is working with local teams and universities to set up a genuinely sustainable development programme.
The masterplan in progress is ensuring that Verbier develops a long-term tourism vision, based on the hundred interviews conducted with tourism stakeholders to identify their needs, reinforced by workshops and studies.
The main objectives of the masterplan are to generate firm guidelines that will ensure all actors are pulling in the same direction, listing all the projects in progress and providing a uniform steering document for both public and private participants. The goal is an improved consistency in the resort’s development.
A reunification process has been underway for almost three years between Verbier Promotion and the Verbier Tourist Office, allowing both to benefit from a more efficient working organisation. The definition of the guideline, which is structured according to the needs of the region’s tourism providers, then facilitates the implementation of a common plan of action.
In 2019, after more than thirty years’ presence in the central square of the resort, the Tourist Office was relocated two minutes away opposite the Ermitage car park, which is a strategic place even more actively involved with the town’s future redevelopment project. The car park will eventually become a place dedicated to events and meetings, while car parking goes underground.