Switzerland's hotels are enjoying a boom, with the number of overnight stays in January reaching the highest level ever. Hotels have had one of their best winters, despite unseasonably warm weather and a shortage of snow.
The Federal Statistical Office said on Tuesday that Swiss hotels chalked up 2.77 million overnight stays in January, a rise of 4.3 per cent - or 114,000 nights - over the same month last year.
The record number of stays comes on the back of one of the industry's best winters yet, despite poor snow conditions in many resorts. Guest numbers outstripped those of 1999 in every month apart from October.
The statistics suggest the Swiss are becoming ever more enthusiastic about holidaying in their own country. Overnight stays in January reached 1.17 million - a rise of 2.7 per cent or 31,000 nights over January 2000 - making it the best month for local visitors in the industry's history.
Overseas guest numbers also rose significantly - by 5.5 per cent or 83,000 nights - to 1.6 million nights. Most of the increase was accounted for by British and French tourists, whose numbers rose by 17 per cent, or 26,000 and 14,000 respectively.
swissinfo with agencies