The number of overnight stays in Swiss hotels rose by 4.4% in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period the year before. Tourists from India and China were largely responsible for the increase in demand.
According to figures released by Federal Statistical Office on Monday, tourists – both domestic and international – spent a total of 17.6 million nights in Swiss hotels during the first semester. While Swiss travellers accounted for 8.1 million nights (a 4% increase), the bulk of the stays were from visitors abroad (4.7% increase).
Asian tourists arrived and stayed in larger numbers than the same period in 2016, giving the Swiss hotel industry, suffering from the strong franc, a much-needed boost. The biggest increase was due to visitors from India, with an additional 81,000 overnight stays, while the highest growth was seen by tourists from South Korea (35%). China and Japan also showed sizeable increases: 57,000 (+12%) and 16,000 (+12.8%) more overnight stays respectively.
Results from Europe were mixed. The Belgians came in large numbers (+46,000 overnight stays) but key markets like Britain (-36,000), France (-17,000) and Italy (-12,000) were disappointing. A symbolic low in the value of the Swiss franc against the euro might help boost figures in the second semester.
Comparing regional destinations, the Bernese region benefited most from the extra influx of tourists, followed by Zurich area.