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Hotel occupancy Swiss hotels fail to make hay while sun was shining

Fewer foreign guests visited Switzerland this summer compared to 2014

(KEYSTONE/Sigi Tischler)

Despite the exceptionally sunny and warm weather, Swiss hotels didn’t profit from increased business this summer. Instead there was a slight decline compared to the year before. 

The Swiss hotel industry booked 20 million overnight stays from May to October 2015, a decrease of 0.7% (-142,000 overnight stays). Foreign hotel guests accounted for 11.3 million overnight stays, down 0.8% on summer 2014 (-94,000 overnight stays). 

Domestic visitors registered 8.7 million overnight stays, i.e. a decline of 0.5% (-48,000 overnight stays). These figures are provisional results from the Federal Statistical Officeexternal link (FSO). 

At the start of the year, Swiss hoteliers braced for the worst when the national bank scrapped the franc-euro exchange rate ceiling – making Switzerland an even more expensive island in the middle of the eurozone. Indeed, compared to 2014, the first half of 2015 saw a small decrease (0.6%) in room sales for Swiss hotels – with about 2% fewer foreign guests. 

In July, however, sensational weather helped spark a 3.7% increase in overnight stays and 3.5% increase in foreign stays. However, August saw the very opposite results, with a 3.6% decrease in overnight stays and 5% fewer foreign guests compared to last year. 

Over the past decade, Switzerland has been struggling to fill its hotel rooms. Between 2009 and 2011, overnight stays dropped by nearly 5% and fell another 2% in 2012 – before going up 2.5% the next year.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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