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When Alexander Seiler arrived in Zermatt in 1853, tourism was still in its infancy. The first visitors to the alpine village were mountaineers and naturalists, who were drawn by the atmosphere of adventure they sensed in the mountains. Seiler's hotels, the Monte Rosa and Mont Cervin, provided them with comfortable accommodation. The hotelier was one of the first individuals to recognise the potential of the tourist capital of the Alps, and used his untiring pioneering spirit to ensure that Zermatt opened itself further to foreign guests.
In 1891, the first train reached the mountain village on the newly-constructed railway line between Visp and Zermatt. This was the cue for Alexander Seiler to depart this life. His contribution to the development of Zermatt, not to mention to Swiss tourism, is immeasurable.
Much has changed since these early beginnings. Fashions have come and gone, and technical advances have exercised a considerable influence. However, one thing has been preserved: the power of hospitality as understood by Alexander Seiler.
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