Wet summer mars mountain tourism

A sunny day at Lake Oeschinen in the Bernese Oberland on August 6 were rare this summer Keystone

Switzerland’s mountain tourist destinations have been badly hit by the poor weather over the summer months. Hotels and cable car operators say they expect a slump in revenue of up to 30% for July and August.

This content was published on August 24, 2014 - 13:07
Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch

Officials from the Graubünden tourist region, including St Moritz and Davos, estimate that overnight stays will drop between 10% and 20%.

A majority of hoteliers in the southern Ticino region say they expect a drop of more than 10%, and the Valais tourism association – expect for the resort of Zermatt - is also pessimistic according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

Jürg Schmid, director of the Switzerland Tourism marketing organisation, is quoted as saying it is impossible to reach a 1.7% growth rate this summer as initially forecast.

“The weather was not average, but abysmal,” he told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper.

Data from mountain cable car operators show a decrease of more than 30% for July compared with the same month last year. Huts, run by the Swiss Alpine Club, apparently recorded a slump of up to 50% - the lowest figures in 20 years.


Schmid also blames the political crisis in Ukraine and the strained relations with Russia for the poor result.

Some Swiss holiday destinations, including St Moritz and Gstaad, suffered a 30% decrease of Russian tourists.

Schmid is pessimistic whether guests from China, India and Indonesia can make up for the shortfall of European tourists.

He calls for better coordination among the many smaller holiday destinations in Switzerland and urges hotels to focus on customers above the age of 50.

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