Customer and partner testimonials: 5 questions to Kaspar Howald

Corina Büsser
Kaspar Howald has been director of Valposchiavo Turismo since 2014. Here, he outlines the benefits of graubünden360 for the region, its service providers and visitors, and reveals what he likes most about Valposchiavo.

Kaspar, you have been director of Valposchiavo Turismo since 2014. What do you like most about Valposchiavo?

Oooh, that’s always a tough one to put into words. The wide variety of local products is certainly one aspect, but the rich history, unspoilt nature and cultural landscape are captivating too. I’d say the most important thing though is the “Valposchiavinità”, the fact that everything here is always just that little bit different to everywhere else, often simpler, more relaxed and more straightforward. Everyone knows each other, which makes it easier to come up with creative ideas for solving any problems that may arise. Someone always has a practical solution. I think visitors feel it, too, which makes their stay all the more pleasant. 

Where do you see the biggest benefit of graubünden360 for your region and its service providers?

Everyone is talking about digitalisation. But this often passes smaller destinations by, because the initial (financial and technical) hurdles are often too high. We don’t have an IT department keeping up with the latest industry developments and therefore able to find the best possible solution. This applies even more so to our service providers; while they may offer wonderful experiences, they are by no means professional tourist operators. Just six months ago, I’d have said that booking experiences online for a region such as ours isn’t an issue, because where would we find the service partners to take part in such a project. But thanks to graubünden360, we can now easily afford to hop on the digital bandwagon and drive the digital transformation of the region and our service partners – the likes of which we wouldn’t have dreamt of a year ago. 

How do you think visitors will benefit from graubünden360?

Graubünden360 shows visitors the comprehensive range of experiences available at a glance and even offers them the opportunity to book online. This allows them to make their stay in Valposchiavo as interesting, varied and enjoyable as possible, which makes them more likely to return.

What hopes do you have for the future of your region?

We have very high hopes for the future. To ensure that our hotel infrastructures can continue to be economically sound in the long run, we need to significantly increase the number of overnight stays. The duration of guest stays plays a key role in this. At the moment, these are still very short. If we could make the extent of our experiences much more visible to our guests, this would make it easier to convince them to consider taking a “proper” holiday in Valposchiavo rather than just a mini break in the South. I hope we manage to achieve this – especially with the help of graubünden360.   

What does Valposchiavo have to offer that the world needs to see?

Wolfgang Hildesheimer, a German author, who lived in Poschiavo from 1957 until his death in 1991, believed Valposchiavo’s biggest attraction to be in the “unexpected”: “It takes no time at all to get used to the Leaning Tower of Pisa: it’s a monument, you’re prepared for it. But experiencing the unexpected, the strange, the unique and even the eccentric will never become routine – especially when buzzing with life and imbued with soul. Every new vista feels as fresh and as new as the very first experience.” This description is still relevant today. You have to have seen and experienced this sense of the unexpected to understand what I mean.     


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