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bookings down

Hotels feel pressure a year after set currency rate removed

The industry association for Swiss hotels says they’re now feeling the impact of scrapping the euro-franc minimum exchange rate, which happened more than a year ago.

In an interview with the German-language Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper, Andreas Züllig, president of Hotelleriessuisse said there had been a decrease in overnight stays at Swiss hotels of 3.9% in January and February. This was the biggest decrease in three years and a consequence of the appreciation of the Swiss franc.

Many tourists had already booked their holidays last year, he added, and they had passed on Switzerland. “The decline has now, one year later, become truly visible,” he said.

Hotels in southeast Switzerland, in canton Graubünden, were particularly hard hit, he added, with overnight stays in the area going down by more than 9% in the first two months of the year.

Züllig noted that bad weather had also had an impact. Tourists can book trips away at short notice via the internet, and if the weather is bad, they simply don’t go. “In the past there weren’t these fluctuations. Guests booked a week’s holiday and came, whether the weather was good or bad,” he said.

He commented that Swiss hotels could benefit from co-operating more with each other, allowing them to lower some costs.

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