The village organisations are mobilizing - join them!

  16.02.2024 Advertising, Gstaad Saanenland Tourism, Local News, Business, NewsUpdate, Traditions

In every village within the Gstaad holiday region, a village organisation plays a crucial role. But what exactly is its purpose?
Solveig Lanz, President of the Saanenmöser Village Organisation (SL):
Village organisations act as a vital link between the local population, our guests, and Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus (GST). We gauge the zeitgeist by understanding the needs and concerns of specific interest groups, responding on-site, or collaborating with GST to develop projects and concepts. Additionally, we breathe life into our villages through seasonal decorations and social events, fostering community spirit. Acting as a triage point, we relay improvement suggestions or concerns from residents or guests to the relevant organisations, service providers, or authorities.

How significant are the village organisations within Gstaad Saanenland Tourism?
Flurin Riedi, Director of Gstaad Saanenland Tourism (FR):
The collective village organisations form the bedrock of Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus. They are integral to the tourism organisation, with each member having voting rights not only at their village organisation’s general meeting but also at the annual GST meeting. This ensures us optimal access to the people and their needs, be they those of the locals, second homeowners, or holiday guests. We at GST can only fulfil our mission as a tourism and living space developer if we also know what moves people and where they would like to see improvements. We deeply rely on these valuable insights obtained through the individual village organisations.

Who is eligible to become a member of a village organisation?
Anyone who has the region in their heart and feels connected to it! Whether you are a local, a second homeowner, a business operator or just a regular visitor, anyone who wants to have a say and make a difference can help shape the region and should become a member of a village organisation. Every member has a say in how the village/region develops in terms of tourism. Together, we guarantee the ongoing attractiveness and authenticity of the Gstaad holiday region for all interest groups.

What can members expect from joining?
Members can anticipate a platform for dialogue on current village issues, engaging events that strengthen the village’s character, and the ability to contribute to shaping the region’s tourism. The village organisation’s board manages the task of conveying thematic input and initiating projects, with no obligation for members to attend events, as their annual membership fee already constitutes a significant contribution to the village.

Where do the village organisations get involved to improve regional development?
The themed trail or the new playground in Schönried are good examples. It unites different interests: This offer benefits both holidaymakers looking for great deals for their children and local families who consider the trail/playground an essential part of their community. It serves as a meeting place for diverse groups of people. In designing the new playground, we collaborated closely with the village organisation to address the users’ needs. The organisation understands local requirements to ensure an enjoyable experience for guests and provide a family-friendly option for residents.
SL: Infrastructure projects illustrate our commitment to considering the community’s interests. While we address the needs of both local residents and holiday guests through village organisations, the genuine appreciation and support of locals significantly enhance the appeal of a product or project. Strengthening our holiday region is achieved when the local population values, utilises, and supports initiatives, creating an authentic and positive experience for tourists who can sense the community’s enthusiasm for their attractions.

Can the village organisation assist in specific areas?
One key area is addressing the ongoing challenge of the car park situation, especially with cross-country ski trails or mountain railways. This issue involves balancing various interests, and it demands a village organisation that listens attentively, seeks solutions, and fosters understanding. Achieving a healthy equilibrium among business, the hotel industry, agriculture, the local population, and tourism is a major challenge. Village organisations play a crucial role in maintaining this balance. They actively engage in political processes, whether through participatory submissions for development regulations or promoting non-motorized traffic, consistently advocating for the interests of their village to enhance its overall attractiveness.

Do village organisations share information among themselves?
Yes, they do. The presidents of the respective village organisations convene every six months for a conference. These gatherings are invaluable for coordinating and harmonising projects. Given the similarities in challenges faced by different village organisations, the mutual exchange of information is highly beneficial.
FR: Additionally, being present at these meetings is crucial for us at the GST. It allows us to gain insights into the issues villages and their members are grappling with. Depending on the topic, the GST can offer support to the village organisations in their endeavours or even take on projects on their behalf. This collaborative approach enhances the effectiveness of our collective efforts.

Events organised by the village organisations

1st August celebrations
Whether on the Blatterli in Lauenen at the 1st August bonfire, at the speech on the Pfruendacher in Saanen or at the market stalls in Saanenmöser: the festive programme on Swiss National Day is as varied as the village organisations themselves! Each village voffers culinary delights, an entertaining supporting programme for young and old and traditional performances. The population and guests are spoilt for choice!

Santa Claus
The children’s eyes are wide when they see the Samichlous standing in front of them. They nervously recite their verses and look forward to the sacks filled with chocolate and nuts. Every year, the village organisations invite all families to spend a reflective Samichlous evening.

Gstaad Züglete
The highlight of the Gstaad village organisation is the Züglete, which takes place at the end of the alpine summer. Decorated cows parade through the promenade packed with spectators, the farmers wear their most beautiful traditional costumes – and everyone toasts to a living tradition!

Learn interesting facts, always accompanied by the best entertainment: in Saanen, the village organisation invites you to the Abesitza every year. It is a series of lectures that is always dedicated to one main topic.Experts, specialists, personalities or people like you and me: with a wide variety of speakers, excitement is guaranteed.

In Abländschen, it’s not just the cheesemaker himself who makes cheese: Every year, the village organisation organises the Chäsete, where young and old can make their own “Mutschleni”. Fun and enjoyment at the same time!

Schönrieder Dorfgespräch
What’s going on in the village of Schönried – or rather: what’s going on in the village of Schönried? The local village organisation invites locals and guests to an evening of exchange where current and future topics are discussed.

Every spring, the village organisation Gsteig-Feutersoey opens the fascinating Fairy Tale Trail: the challenge on the trail is to find the ten signposts with the QR codes. Hidden behind the codes is the ongoing story of Aluna, the fairytale dwarf. If you listen to the story to the end, you should have no problems solving the final puzzle. With the correct answer, hikers of all ages will receive a surprise at the Hotel Bären or in the village shops in Gsteig or Feutersoey.

These and many other events are organised by the village organisations.

Where are membership fees allocated?

The annual membership fees paid go entirely to the respective village organisation. Gstaad Saanenland Tourism provides a budget for other expenses, such as village decorations and flowers in the village. The village organisations can use the membership fees to organise events and functions and support organisers.

Take part in shaping the region

If you are a member of a village organisation, you have no obligations – apart from having fun at the various events! However, if you would like to get more involved, you can always contact the board of the respective village organisation with topics and ideas. Members also have the right to vote at the village meeting of the village organisation and the general meeting of Gstaad Saanenland Tourism.

Revitalise and promote the village: this is where the village organisations are active

Villages in the Gstaad holiday region boast beautiful flower arrangements in summer and sparkling Christmas beads in winter. Village organisations ensure a welcoming, enchanting atmosphere, creating a sense of a well-protected home for locals and captivating beauty for guests.

Village decoration – a year-round endeavor

Village organisations actively contribute to innovative playgrounds, parking solutions, and the sustainability of village shops. Their boards offer financial support, co-develop projects, and promote services, embodying a commitment to maintaining a balance between business, hospitality, agriculture, the local population, and tourism.

Become a member now

033 748 81 81 |

Single: 75.– | Couples: 100.–
Company: 100.–

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