Swiss tourism enjoys new boom
Switzerland's tourism industry is facing a rosy future after rebounding from the serious problems it faced in the 1990s, according to a report issued on Tuesday. Overnight stays in hotels rose sharply last year - and the trend is set to continue.
The report, released by the state secretariat for economic affairs, showed a five per cent rise in overnight stays in 2000 - a rise not seen since the early 1990s.
The tourism trade was badly hit a decade ago by the high value of the Swiss franc, and a general perception that tourism resorts were not providing sufficient attractions to compete with their alpine neighbours.
Signs of a significant recovery over the past few years are supported by the report's findings. It says the number of overnight stays is expected to rise by a further 1.8 per cent this year, boosted by a forecast boom over the summer months.
The tourism trade is also likely to benefit strongly from next year's national exhibition, Expo 02, which will bring in another 400,000 overnight stays, according to the report.
The growth rate in overnight stays is forecast to slow in 2003, but the skiing world championships in canton Graubünden are expected to provide a major boost to the tourism industry.
Tourism is one of Switzerland's main sources of revenue. The report said revenue for the industry was set to rise by four per cent in 2002 to SFr17 billion. Hotels and restaurants are expected to see their business rise by 2.7 per cent.
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