Carl F. Bucherer is trying to rev up tourism in its hometown of Lucerne, Switzerland.


BORDER CROSSING: Online and store traffic are the bedrock measurements for many brands but Carl F. Bucherer has a new initiative to generate actual foot traffic in its hometown of Lucerne, Switzerland.

The Swiss luxury watchmaker’s take on the buy-local movement is geared for its hometown and includes a digital Lucerne City Guide. The travel tips are part of a new digital “Made of Lucerne” campaign that was inspired by the company’s origins. Instead of just directing tourists to Chapel Bridge, Mount Pilatus and The Old Town, the guide is supposed to be an experiential undertaking.

The company has deep roots in Lucerne, where founder Carl Friedrich Bucherer started a family business making watches in 1888. Carl F. Bucherer is now overseen by a third-generation family member, Jörg G. Bucherer. The luxury watch company has generated considerable growth, having increased its annual watch sales to 25,000 from 6,500 in the past five years.

While the campaign was developed in collaboration with the London agency Havas, the city guide was created with the Digital Luxury Group and is meant to reflect the company’s Swiss roots and Lucerne’s Baroque influences. The city guide features regularly updated insider tips from Carl F. Bucherer chief executive officer Sascha Moeri, global brand ambassador Li Bingbing and a diverse batch of bloggers. Bingbing has such a following that 200 members of the Chinese media showed up in March when her brand ambassadorship with Carl F. Bucherer was announced. As of last year, China was the fourth largest source of tourists for Switzerland, after Germany, the U.S. and the U.K., respectively. Carl F. Bucherer’s city guide initiative comes at a time, when Lucerne has seen a 2 percent decline in overnight visitors for the first nine months of this year compared to the same time last year, according to a Lucerne Tourism Board spokeswoman.

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