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Football championships bad for hotel business

The Euro 2008 football tournament, hosted by Switzerland and Austria in June, did not bring the expected boost to the Swiss hotel industry.

Swiss hotels registered a 2.6 per cent drop in bookings in June compared with the previous year, despite predictions by the country’s hotel and tourism industry that football fans would account for an additional 500,000 nights during the month.

Foreign visitor numbers were down 1.1 per cent, while the number of Swiss overnights was down five per cent.

The situation was even worse in Austria, which saw a drop of 4.1 per cent.

However, the first five months of the year more than compensated for the poor June results in Switzerland.

An excellent winter season and strong May meant that guests spent 4.6 per cent more nights in hotels than they did in the first half of 2007.

The increase for May was a striking 11 per cent, evidence that many people chose to take their holidays early and that companies and organisations moved their seminars and meetings forward by a month.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR