Geneva is one of the world’s major political and humanitarian centres. |
However, what’s sometimes less well-known is how this city is a great centre of business and no, that’s not just the slightly ethereal world of high-finance. In fact, large numbers of major (and smaller) companies use this city as either their home base or for conventions, training and meetings.
Well, there are several factors that make Geneva very attractive to business.
Perhaps the most obvious of these is geography. As the EU has expanded eastwards, Switzerland has become ever-more geographically central even though, paradoxically, it’s not itself part of the EU. However, it’s an ideal half-way point for EU businesses travelling north to south or east to west.
This is also an international and (even if French is the native spoken language) largely multilingual city, which is a huge advantage for many enterprises.
It’s not widely known outside of Switzerland that Geneva comprises of seven main areas, each of which has its own unique characteristics in terms of business travel facilities.
In this district that runs towards the Rhone, you’ll find some excellent international business hotels.
Very professional in terms of the orientation of its infrastructure, Saint-Gervais is walkable to the city centre.
Le Grand Saconnex
Heading towards the northwest of the city, this area isn’t exactly renowned for its scenic attractions but it is attractive to business travellers because of its proximity to the airport. Moreover, it has a lot going for it in terms of accommodation.
More pertinently, it’s also home to the major Palexpo Convention Centre.
Les Nations is arguably the best-known of Geneva’s districts, due to it being home to many international and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The figures here are impressive, as its very contemporary architecture houses around 35 international and 250 non-governmental organisations including the United Nations, Red Cross and World Health Organisations.
It’s also where business visitors will find the excellent Centre International de Conference Geneve (CICG).
Proudly claiming to be Geneva’s most ethnically diverse district, Les Paquis is home to many immigrants and expats from different cultural backgrounds. It gives this part of town a very cosmopolitan feel.
Popular with businesses for its nightlife and corporate entertaining opportunities, it’s also close to Les Nations and the lake.
Furthermore, you’ll find here several major luxury business hotels, including the luxurious Hotel President Wilson and the lakeside Hotel Kempinski.
Local people consider this to be the city centre and it’s where you’ll find the Gare Cornavin rail station. Inevitably popular with corporate and recreational visitors due to its large numbers of cafés, bars and shops, it also has a slightly ‘alternative’ feel to it. The odd-shaped Strumpfs buildings are perhaps the district’s most famous landmark.
You’ll find it a very lively area at virtually any time of day.
A part of town to be found just to the south of the centre, it’s perhaps most well-known for its restaurants and magnificent if traditional architecture.
Last but by no means least, is the old town.
Sitting just across the Rhone and Lake Leman (the official name for ‘Lake Geneva’), it is widely regarded as the most picturesque area of the city and certainly the most historic one.
The streets are rich in history and the district has particularly strong associations with the Reformation. Granted, history probably isn’t top of the agenda for most business travellers and their visitors, but the leisure opportunities are here in plenty if required.
In the end, each of the city’s main districts have something to offer from a professional perspective and they’re all contributing to Geneva’s success in the business domain. Which one will be your next destination?
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for business transfers to Geneva, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport surely, swiftly and safely.
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