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Bumper Winter Bonanza for Swiss Hotels

The Swiss hotel industry has reported glowing winter results for the 1999/2000 season, with an increase of nearly two per cent in overnight stays compared to last winter.

The Swiss hotel industry has reported glowing winter results for the 1999/2000 season, with an increase of nearly two per cent in overnight stays compared to last winter.

Despite a spell of stormy weather in December, the increase is mainly down to the fact that the rest of the season had good snow conditions. In addition to good weather, a favourable exchange rate and package deals combined to produce 125,000 more overnight stays than in the previous winter (period from December to February).

The figures, released by the Federal Statistics Office, also show that hotel stays are becoming slightly shorter, with guests taking a room for an average of 2.7 nights rather than 2.8 nights last winter.

It appears more Swiss people are choosing to stay in the country for their winter breaks, with an increase in overnight stays of 2.2 per cent.

The number of overnight stays by foreign guests has also risen slightly, up by 1.3 per cent to 4.24 million over the whole season. The majority of these were due to visitors from other European countries, especially Britain, France, Germany and Italy, as well as the United States. There were fewer stays by Belgian and Dutch tourists. The number of overnight bookings by guests from beyond Europe and the US stagnated with an increase of just 0.1 per cent.

Business travel and city breaks appear to be the biggest growth areas, with Zurich and Geneva taking the lion's share of the increase in overnight stays, while cantons featuring winter resorts like Valais and Graubünden showed slight decreases.

swissinfo and agencies


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