The FDFA launches a smartphone app and a flyer for safe travel abroad
Bern, 27.06.2013 - With the free itineris app, travellers now have smartphone access to travel advice from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. They can also directly register to the itineris internet registration platform and, in the event of an emergency, contact the FDFA Helpline. At a press briefing, Gerhard Brügger, Head of the FDFA's Consular Directorate, informed the media about the FDFA's new services.
The Swiss are among the world's most enthusiastic travellers. To prevent a dream holiday from turning into a nightmare, the FDFA is continuously expanding its range of services for Swiss nationals travelling abroad. The current range of services includes a brochure entitled "If you are planning a trip" (available in German, French and Italian), a travel checklist with useful tips, travel advice on 176 countries, and the FDFA Helpline. At the end of 2012, the FDFA also launched the itineris internet platform, where travellers with Swiss citizenship can register details of their travel destination, any people they are travelling with, and how they can be reached in an emergency. The service has proved very popular, and already boasts some 25,000 registered users. There have already been about 20 cases in which the FDFA has been able to quickly send information about significant changes in the security situation in various travel destinations to people who had voluntarily registered with itineris.
At a press briefing, Gerhard Brügger, Head of the FDFA's Consular Directorate, together with other FDFA representatives, provided information about the latest services for people travelling abroad. Travellers with a smartphone equipped with an iOS or Android operating system are now able to download the free itineris app in German, French or Italian. The app offers them current FDFA travel advice around the clock and around the world on the security situation in their travel destination. They also have worldwide access to the intineris platform. Travellers who need the assistance of a Swiss representation abroad can also use the app to find the relevant address details and opening times on Google Maps to contact the representation directly. In an emergency, they also have the option of contacting the FDFA Helpline 24/7 by phone at 0800 24 7 365 or by email. Since 2011, the FDFA helpline has answered some 60,000 enquiries, mainly concerning visa, marital status, citizenship and residents' registration issues.
Another innovation is the FDFA Helpline Flyer, which was published today in four languages and provides information about the FDFA's travel advice, itineris and the FDFA Helpline. Like the brochure and the travel checklist, the Helpline Flyer can now be ordered from the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FBL). The Helpline Flyer is addressed to private individuals and to travel agencies, which hand it along with other travel documents to their customers. The Helpline Flyer will also be inserted in every newly issued Swiss passport.
During the press briefing, Gerhard Brügger pointed out that on any given day, numerous Swiss nationals find themselves in emergency situations abroad, and that these latest innovations will not be able to prevent such situations. He noted that last year alone, the FDFA provided consular assistance to Swiss citizens involved in thousands of incidents, primarily accidents, illnesses, deaths, and arrests. He also stressed that good preparation and planning are the best form of travel insurance.
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Last modification 03.10.2018