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Tourists flock to Switzerland despite absence of snow

The clouds are gathering but lower-lying regions have yet to see snow

(Keystone)

Poor snowfall has so far failed to deter tourists from coming to Switzerland. Tourism officials say that despite unseasonably warm temperatures visitor numbers are holding steady.

Switzerland Tourism said on Tuesday that visitor numbers were easily equal to those of last year, and there were no indications that a slump was imminent.

One reason, according to Switzerland Tourism spokeswoman, Daniela Gren, is that Swiss people make up the largest proportion of tourists and, because they can ski at any time, they are less likely to be deterred by the temporary lack of snow.

The proportion of overseas tourists has not fallen either. This is partly because some of the more popular resorts - such as St Moritz and Zermatt - lie at high altitudes and are not so badly affected.

However, lower-lying resorts, such as those in the Bernese Oberland, are still fully booked despite the lack of snow. Regi Wittwer of Bernese Oberland Tourism, told swissinfo that this may have more to do with the time of year.

"There are no cancellations so far. This is partly because Christmas time is normally fully booked everywhere - it not easy to get something else - so people are reluctant to cancel.

"If the lack of snow persists, the problems will start in January because visitors don't have to book in advance - they can go from one day to another."

But Wittwer is confident that the Bernese Oberland, like most of Switzerland, will be under a familiar blanket of snow by January. In the meantime, the resorts are concentrating on keeping their full complement of guests happy.

swissinfo with agencies


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