The alpine train station at the ‘top of Europe’ in the Bernese Alps welcomed 1,042 million visitors last year – a 13.6% increase over 2016.
The figures were announced on Friday by Jungfrau Railways as a new record, and the second time in the company’s history that more than one million visitors have been counted. This landmark was first recorded in 2015 with 1,007 million.
The Interlaken-based company attributed the surge in visits to a head-start on the winter ski season thanks to an early first snowfall, as well as increased demand from Asian clients. About 70% of the railway's annual visitors to the Jungfraujoch come from Asia – mostly from China, South Korea, India and Japan.
The Jungfraujoch is the glacial saddle connecting the Jungfrau and Mönch mountain peaks in the Bernese Alps, and is a popular tourist and winter sport destination. The rail station there sits at an altitude of 3,454 metres (11,332 feet) – the highest in Europe. The Jungfrau Railway’s cogwheel train provides the only public access to the site.