Visitors are seen during the press day of Baselworld watch and jewellery show on March 22, 2017 in Basel. The world's biggest watch fair will open in Switzerland this week, even as slumping exports of luxury Swiss timepieces appear to dash hopes of a market rebound. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Twenty hotels in and around Basel in Switzerland have agreed to work in partnership with Baselworld’s hospitality team to keep down prices for exhibitors and visitors during the watch and jewellery show.

For the past year, Baselworld’s team has been working with hotels, restaurants and other service providers with the aim of making it cheaper to visit the exhibition.

“The availability of lodging during Baselworld is a frequent topic in many of my discussions with exhibitors and visitors,” says Baselworld’s new managing director Michel Loris-Melikoff.


“We must urgently achieve transparency and fairness here so that we can achieve better conditions than in the past for exhibitors, visitors and journalists who are staying in Basel during the show.”

A statement from Baselworld says it is trying to persuade as many hotels as possible to become partners of the show. In return for their partnership, the hotels agree not to raise their prices above a certain threshold and to demand neither a minimum length of stay nor the obligatory booking of additional services.

While the statement does not make clear what the hospitality industry stands to gain from partnering with Baselworld other than playing a part in helping the show to survive long term when two of the industry’s biggest groups, Richemont and Swatch Group, have already withdrawn, but the show says one-to-one discussions are going positively so far.

The organiser says that it will define the benefits and responsibilities for participating service providers by the end of October. It already has the support of the Basel Hotel Association and Basel Tourism.

“We are very pleased by this initiative and the positive signal sent by the hoteliers,” says Mr Loris-Melikoff. “They are aware of Baselworld’s importance for the city and they want to work together with us to find solutions that will bring the prices of overnight stays onto a fair and transparent level.”

Alongside reducing costs for visitors and exhibitors, Baselworld is also working on strengthening the its presentation and promotion of jewellery at next year’s show.

From 2019, jewellery will be much more centrally positioned in Hall 1.2, where there will also be a 240° catwalk hosting three shows a day in order to draw a crowd.

Baselworld MD vows to strengthen show’s jewellery presentation and promotion