Foreign tourists spent CHF15.6 billion ($17.4 billion) in Switzerland last year, a 3.6% increase over 2012, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Tourism figures rose in 2013 after several years of decline due to the strong Swiss franc.
According to the latest figures published on Monday, last year international tourists spent CHF550 million more in Switzerland than in 2012.
Approximately two-thirds of the CHF15.6 billion total were spent on overnight stays in hotels and tourist accommodation in Switzerland.
Spending by Swiss tourists abroad also increased (+4.4%), reaching a new peak of CHF14.9 billion.
Last year was a successful one for Swiss hotels, with 35.6 million overnight stays – a 2.5% increase over 2012. Guests from China and the Middle East helped boost the numbers and there were small increases in the number of visitors from Britain, France and Italy.
The upturn follows a lean period for the Swiss tourism industry. Overnight stays in Swiss hotels went down 4.9% overall between 2008 and 2011 and another 2% in 2012. High holiday costs and the strong Swiss franc have been having an impact particularly on European visitor numbers.
swissinfo.ch and agencies