Hotel industry enjoys long-awaited renaissance
The Swiss hotel sector is showing signs of a revival, after 10 years in the doldrums. The number of overnight stays leapt by 8.7 percent in June compared to the previous year, boosted by a weak Swiss franc, better marketing and warm June weather.
The latest figures, from the Federal Office for Statistics, show that overnight stays in the first six months of the year rose by one million (or 6.5 per cent) compared to the same period in 1999. The biggest increase was in June, where overnights were up by 250,000 compared to last year.
Jean Pflückiger, a spokesman for the Office, said the trend was proof that the Swiss hotel industry was experiencing a long-awaited renaissance. "Switzerland is emerging from a low in the hotel sector. From 1990 to 1997, we saw a continual decline in overnight stays, but over the last three years we have seen the number rise steadily.
"We are still 3.3 percent below the 1990 figure for overnight stays in June, but the new figures are encouraging. We put this down to the cheaper Swiss franc, increased marketing, improved international economic conditions, warm June weather and the fact that the Whitsun holiday fell in June this year," he said.
Pflückiger said bookings from Japan and the United States had risen most, probably because of the relative strength of the two countries' currencies.
Japanese tourist numbers were up by 21 per cent, followed by US visitors, up 17 percent. Switzerland also attracted more French (up 10 percent) and Belgian (up 7.4 percent) travellers.
The British and Italians were less keen - the number visiting Switzerland fell by half a per cent, or 1,000 compared to last June.
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