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Tourism tally Winter season figures show fewer European tourists

Compared to last year, more Swiss chose "staycations" over going abroad for their winter holidays.

(Keystone)

Figures released by the Federal Statistical Office show a slight decline in overnight stays by foreign visitors, especially Europeans during the winter tourism season that lasts from November to April.

Swiss tourism could be feeling the pinch of the strong franc following the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) removal of the CHF1.20 ($1.32) peg to the euro in January. The number of overnight stays by foreign tourists dropped by 1.4% during the winter season. The biggest decline was seen among German visitors (almost 6%) with French, Dutch, Belgian and Italian tourists also opting to stay away in significant numbers.

However, the drop in foreign tourists was compensated by an almost 2% increase in Swiss holidaymakers opting for a “staycation”. In total, Swiss hotels benefited from 15.7 million overnight stays during the season.

Of the fourteen Swiss tourist regions, eight saw declines in overnight stays, with Graübunden experiencing the biggest drop  of 2.6%. Zurich experienced the highest increase in overnight stays with 98,000 additional nights while Basel saw the highest proportional increase with 7% more overnight stays compared to the previous winter season.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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