This winter, there is one Swiss ski resort where tourists won’t suffer the effects of the strong Swiss franc: Grächen in canton Valais. (RTS/swissinfo.chexternal link)
Back in 2011, the euro started falling during the eurozone crisis, and bookings decreased rapidly for the winter season because it was too expensive for tourists from abroad. So Grächen declared itself a financial microclimate, and introduced a fixed Euro exchange rate of CHF1.35.
The situation worsened for Swiss resorts in January 2015, when the Swiss National Bank scrapped the minimum exchange rate with the euro of CHF1.20 that it had introduced in September 2011. The franc soared and eurozone ski destinations become even cheaper compared to their Swiss counterparts.
But Grächen’s adherence, year after year, to its microclimate scheme is paying dividends. More and more German and Dutch visitors are coming. In January, March and April 2016, Grächen will implement a euro exchange rate of CHF1.30.
Most of the village’s hotels, shops, mountain lifts and restaurants are participating in the scheme, which is unique in Switzerland. The only hitch is that visitors have to pay in cash.