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Five reasons to meet up in Geneva in 2019

Together is a powerful word. It’s one that - no matter what - evokes feelings of love and joy. Geneva, a Swiss gem at the gateway to the Alps, is the ideal place to get together in 2019, and this is why.

Five reasons to meet up in Geneva in 2019
Photo: Geneva Tourism

Water sports on the lake, hiking in the surrounding mountains, family walks and dinners with friends, we give you five reasons you’ll be #BetterTogether in Geneva.

1. There’s always something happening

Photo: Geneva Tourism

Catch up on all you’ve missed and create new memories in Geneva at one of the city’s many annual events. Bol d’Or sailing race, movies and open-air festivals, free concerts, Christmas markets, winter festivities, the Fête de l’Escalade or the famous international Motorshow, there’s always a good reason to get together in Geneva.

2. Chocolate and fondue: two reasons in one

Photo: Geneva Tourism

If there’s one food that’s meant for sharing, it’s fondue.

Geneva is a city made for foodies. Enjoy delicious Swiss cheese fondue by the fire with a lakeview, but a word of warning: Don’t lose your bread in the fondue. If you do, you’ll have to pay the traditional penalty…covering the wine bill!

If you like your fondue sweet then you’re in the right place. Swiss master chocolatiers exalt the art of great vintage chocolate and you can even find ruby chocolate here!

Find out why you’re #BetterTogether in Geneva

3. Year-round outdoor activities

Photo: Geneva Tourism

Geneva is famous for its awe-inspiring landscapes. Nestled between Lake Geneva, the Alps and the Jura, this small urban gem at the foot of the most beautiful mountain resorts is a magical spot. You can venture up Europe’s highest mountain peak (Mont-Blanc) in only an hour and a half, enjoy a full day skiing in the Alps or play with the kids in the snow of the Jura mountains.

In the summer, lake activities such as wakeboarding or windsurfing are available in the exact same spot, and some of the world’s most beautiful hikes, biking roads or paragliding spots are only a few kilometres away.

4. Stunning scenery

Photo: Geneva Tourism

Geneva boasts landscapes that can take your breath away! What about a rooftop spa with a view of the still snow-laden Jura, an open-air cinema on the shimmering lake shore, or the rosy-tipped peak of majestic Mont Blanc as the sun sets? These moments are always better shared together. Our advice: support each other to climb the 157 steps that lead to the top of the Cathedral’s towers, the view is worth the effort!

5. Because you can enjoy every moment

Photo: Geneva Tourism

Geneva airport is just four kilometres from the city and takes just seven minutes to reach by train (you can even walk there!). Gone are the final days of panic calculating the long journey to catch the return flight, farewell to the moments shortened by the stress of being late; instead, in Geneva you can enjoy every moment together.

Read more about everything there is to see and do in Geneva

This content was produced by Geneva Tourism. 

TRAVEL

How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans

After long months of lockdowns and curfews Europeans are looking forward to jetting off for a bit of sun and sand -- only to find that their long awaited holiday plans go awry due to a shortage of rental cars.

How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans
Tourists wait outside of rental car agencies in Corsica. Photo: PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

In many areas popular with tourists cars are simply not available or subcompacts are going for a stiff €500 euros.

Car rental comparison websites show just how expensive renting a vehicle has become for tourists this summer.

According to Carigami, renting a car for a week this summer will set tourists back an average of 364 euros compared to 277 euros two years ago.

For Italy, the figure is 407 euros this summer compared to 250 euros in 2019. In Spain, the average cost has jumped to 263 euros from 185 euros.

According to another website, Liligo, daily rental costs have nearly doubled on the French island of Corsica. At the resort city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca, rental prices have nearly tripled.

Today’s problem is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faced with near absence of clients, selling off vehicles to raise cash made a lot of sense for car rental firms struggling to survive.

“Everyone drastically reduced their fleet,” said the head of Europcar, Caroline Parot.

Until the spring, most companies still had fleets roughly a third smaller than in 2019, she said.

Car rental firms are used to regularly selling their vehicles and replacing them, so rebuilding their inventory should not have been a problem.

Except the pandemic sent demand for consumer electronics surging, creating a shortage of semiconductors, or chips, that are used not only in computers but increasingly in cars.

“A key contributor to the challenge right now is the global chip shortage, which has impacted new vehicle availability across the industry at a time when demand is already high,” said a spokesman for Enterprise.

It said it was working to acquire new vehicles but that in the mean time it is shifting cars around in order to better meet demand.

No cars, try a van

“We’ve begun to warn people: if you want to come to Italy, which is finally reopening, plan and reserve ahead,” said the head of the association of Italian car rental firms, Massimiliano Archiapatti.

He said they were working hard to meet the surge in demand at vacation spots.

“But we’ve got two big islands that are major international tourism destinations,” he said, which makes it difficult to move cars around,
especially as the trip to Sardinia takes half a day.

“The ferries are already full with people bringing their cars,” he added.

“Given the law of supply and demand, there is a risk it will impact on prices,” Archiapatti said.

The increase in demand is also being seen for rentals between individuals.

GetAround, a web platform that organises such rentals, said it has seen “a sharp increases in searches and rentals” in European markets.

Since May more than 90 percent of cars available on the platform have been rented on weekends, and many have already been booked for much of the summer.

GetAround has used the surge in demand to expand the number of cities it serves.

For some, their arrival can’t come fast enough.

Bruno Riondet, a 51-year-old aeronautics technician, rents cars to attend matches of his favourite British football club, Brighton.

“Before, to rent a car I was paying between 25 and 30 euros per day. Today, it’s more than 90 euros, that’s three times more expensive,” he said.

In the United States, where prices shot higher during the spring, tourists visiting Hawaii turned to renting vans.

In France, there are still cars, according to Jean-Philippe Doyen, who handles shared mobility at the National Council of Automobile Professionals.

“Clients have a tendency to reserve at the last minute, even more so in the still somewhat uncertain situation,” he said.

They will often wait until just a few days before their trip, which means car rental firms don’t have a complete overview of upcoming demand, he added.

He said business is recovering but that revenue has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels as travel is not yet completely unfettered.

SEE ALSO: British drivers will no longer need an insurance ‘green card’ to visit Europe, EU rules

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