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Crisis hits tourist industry

Overnight stays at Swiss hotels were down by nearly ten per cent in February compared to the same period in 2008. February is traditionally the busiest month of the winter season.

All tourist regions were affected, according to provisional data released by the Swiss Statistics Office on Friday.

In total, hotel guests spent 3.2 million nights in Swiss tourist accommodation in February.

British tourists were most conspicuous by their absence; with 21 per cent fewer spending a winter vacation in Switzerland.

The city of Zurich – which usually attracts a lot of business travellers – saw a significant 15 per cent reduction in overnight stays.

The total decrease for the first two months of 2009 is 7.3 per cent. There were 6.2 per cent fewer Swiss holidaymakers, who account for the lion’s share of hotel guests, and an 8.2 per cent drop in foreign visitors.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR