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Euro 2008 brought in cash but little kick

Euro 2008 filled coffers and brought thousands of first-time visitors to Switzerland, but the long-term impacts of the country's largest sporting event are few.

A study released on Monday by the sport ministry analysed the effects the European football tournament had on the country in terms of tourism and the economy.

Euro 2008 was held in June in four Swiss and four Austrian cities.

Almost 40 per cent of all foreign guests were visiting Switzerland for the first time, while more than half of all visitors said they would probably return to Switzerland in the coming years, the study found.

The matches produced nearly SFr1.5 billion ($1.25 billion) in total sales and created the equivalent of 7,000 yearlong jobs, but the economic shot was short-lived.

"Switzerland fulfilled its expectations but didn't exceed them," said Hanruedi Müller, director of the research institute for leisure and tourism.

Most people who came to Switzerland did so by car, motorcycle or camper van. More than a quarter of all foreign visitors stayed with friends or relatives or in their cars, while about 25 per cent complained of high prices, alcohol consumption and friction between fans.


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