Swiss follow American example of holidaying at home

There was a 12 per cent drop in the numbers of foreign visitors in Switzerland during October.¶ Keystone

The number of American tourists visiting Switzerland fell dramatically in October, after the terrorist attacks of September 11.

This content was published on December 1, 2001 - 11:06

Meanwhile, more Swiss chose to savour the autumn season by exploring their homeland.

The number of overnight stays by visitors from the United States fell by 35 per cent, or 58,000 in October, compared to 2000, according to figures published by the Federal Statistical Office.

However, the number of American visitors in Europe was particularly high last year because of the "passion play" in Oberammergau, Germany, and the Holy Year in Italy. Many of those tourists visited Switzerland during their trip.

The number of Japanese tourists to Switzerland decreased sharply, down by 48 per cent, and visitors from the UK also dropped by 14 per cent. However, there were higher numbers of tourists from Russia, China and the Gulf States, rising by 15, 16 and 14 per cent respectively.

Overall, the Swiss hotel industry suffered a slight setback in October, with the number of overnight stays dipping by 0.7 per cent compared with the previous year, for a total of 2.34 million overnight stays.

Golden autumn

The Swiss chose to holiday in their own country during the autumnal month of October, thereby offsetting the overall 12 per cent drop in the numbers of foreign visitors in Switzerland.

Swiss people travelling inside their homeland accounted for 1.26 million overnight stays, a rise of 11 per cent from the previous year.

From January to October, there were 30 million overnight stays in Swiss hotels, a decrease of one per cent compared with the previous year.

swissinfo with agencies

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