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Swiss tourism steams ahead despite rainy July

The month of July saw the kind of cold, rainy weather one expects during a Swiss winter, not at the height of summer. Nevertheless, the summer months were apparently the best the tourism industry had seen in five years.

According to press reports, the number of nights spent in hotels was the highest since 1995. Pleasant weather in the months of June and August coupled with a strong dollar, were the likely reasons for the upbeat results.

June saw a year-on-year increase of one fifth, and even dismal July, though not ideal for holidaymakers, was a good month for hoteliers. They saw six per cent more beds booked than in 1999, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

But not all regions of Switzerland were equally fortunate. The director of the Bernese Oberland’s tourist office, Hannes Imboden, said “In our part of the country, the number of tourists coming for excursions was severely restricted by the rain in July.”

Generally, though, the tourism industry in Switzerland was able to benefit from the high rate of the dollar against the Swiss franc. Visitors from Asia, in which tour operators have boosted their marketing of Swiss destinations, and the United States were said to be among the highest spenders.

However, local holidaymakers remain the industry’s main source of revenue. “The Swiss themselves continue to be the pillar of Swiss tourism,” said Olivier Federspiel, director of canton Graubünden’s tourist office.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR