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Tourists rediscover Switzerland

Summer in St Moritz: visitor numbers are expected to soar this year Keystone

The Swiss tourism industry is booming. After the most successful winter season for years, the economics ministry is forecasting a leap in overnight stays at Swiss hotels this summer.

This content was published on July 7, 2000 - 12:50

The ministry is predicting that the number of nights spent at hotels around the country will increase by 4.2 per cent this season, compared to the same period last year. It put the leap down to a strong global economy and domestic measures to improve the competitiveness and attractiveness of holidays in Switzerland.

Foreign guests in particular are expected to account for a large share of the rise. The economics ministry said Asians and Americans would be streaming back to Switzerland on the back of a strong dollar.

It said other events around Europe, such as holy year celebrations in Rome and the Passion Play in Oberammergau in Germany, were encouraging more US citizens over the Atlantic.

But the Swiss, too, appear to have rediscovered the attraction of holidays at home. The number of overnight stays from Swiss residents is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent this season, an increase which the authorities ascribe to the strength of the economy and growing consumer confidence.

The boom is forecast to boost income from tourism, Switzerland's second largest industry, by about eight per cent to SFr15.6 billion this year.

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