The return of the strong franc is forcing Switzerland’s tourist industry to come up with new measures to survive and attract guests. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
Swiss hoteliers are worried. After three years with the safety of a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 francs to the euro, the peg is now gone. Many are left wondering just how the recent, sudden decision by the Swiss National Bank to scrap that peg will affect their business.
Overnight the Swiss franc cost 15 per cent more for guests from European countries, and the Swiss have saved 15 per cent when they holiday abroad. As a result Swiss hotels have been receiving a lot of cancellations - and hardly any new bookings.
The resort of Arosa tries to tease guests with free offers, like ski school for children. This was introduced after the first euro plunge in 2011. Since then overnight stays of families have increased. For Valais hotelier Markus Schmid, the most effective way to combat the strong franc problem would be to lower staff costs. This way rooms could be offered at a lower rate.