The tourism industry is making a slow recovery, according to the annual report of the Swiss Federation for Tourism. The report also points out that hotels continue to face problems with profitability.This content was published on August 9, 2000 - 12:17
The number of nights spent in Swiss hotels increased marginally over last year, by 0.9 per cent to 32 million. This is still significantly less than the record 35.7 million set in 1990.
Tourism remains Switzerland's third biggest industry, and the report attributed the slight upturn to improvements in quality, more competitive prices, better advertising and the overall strengthening of the economy.
Swiss customers were responsible for most of the increase in overnight stays. They accounted for 13.6 million nights - a 3.4 pre cent rise over last year - and made up 40 per cent of all hotel patrons.
Foreign guests were less numerous, with a 0.9 per cent drop in overnight stays to 18.5 million over 1999. The federation said this was probably down to bad weather in the previous year.
However, the first few months of this year have given Swiss hotel owners cause to celebrate as early snowfalls allowed ski stations to open ahead of schedule.
In the first five months of the year overnight stays rose 5.9 per cent compared to the same period in 1999, with a 4.4 per cent increase in Swiss clients and a seven per cent increase in foreign customers.
Despite the positive performance so far this year, Franz Steinegger, president of the Swiss Federation for Tourism, observed in his preamble to the report that "The patient is getting better slowly, but a full recovery remains some way off."
swissinfo with agencies
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