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The Swiss hotel crisis


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Many small hotels across Switzerland are fighting for survival because they’re too small to be competitive. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)  

It’s estimated that 40 to 50 hotels will have to close in alpine areas over the next few years.

Small family-owned businesses, which no longer meet the needs of modern hotel guests, are most at risk. Many of them cannot afford to update their rooms or provide extensive wellness facilities, and there is no leeway for expansion. Banks are reluctant to invest. On top of it all, the strong Swiss franc is keeping many foreign visitors at bay. For some hotels,  the bad weather this summer could be the final nail in the coffin.

Tourism director Jürg Schmid says many hotels are failing to properly target their guests. This can be fatal for hoteliers in the internet era. People planning holidays online know they can get more for their money if they look around, and cheap flights have opened up a much larger market.

Swiss public television visited two Swiss mountain hotels facing the same dilemma: sink or swim?