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Tourist in Lucerne

Lucerne is the most popular overall tourist destination in the Alpine region


Overnight stays in Swiss Alpine resorts have increased for four consecutive seasons since winter 2016/17, with summer destinations doing better than winter destinations. Lucerne topped an international study of 145 resorts. 

Overnights in the Swiss Alpine region grew by 5% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018, according to a study, BAK Topindexexternal link, by the BAK Economics research institute. 

The Topindex looks at the competitivity of the Swiss tourism sector as part of the Alpine region, which comprises Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein and Slovenia. 

Alpine resorts in Switzerland were hit badly by the financial crisis of 2008 and the so-called Frankenshock of 2015, with tourist numbers dwindling as many preferred to go to more affordable destinations, often Austria or France. 

The 21 million overnights in 2017 were the highest level since 2011, although still off the record of 23.1 million in 2008. 

Summer vs winter 

Five Swiss resorts made it into the summer top 15: Lucerne (1), Interlaken (4), Weggis (9), the Jungfrau Region (12) and Lago Maggiore and surrounding valleys (14). 

When it came to winter resorts, Switzerland was, as usual, comfortably beaten by Austria; only Verbier (10) placed in the top 15.

Map of most popular Swiss tourist destinations
(Kai Reusser /

Lucerne also came top overall in the Topindex 2017 thanks to its summer tourism, beating Kleinwalsertal in Austria. The only other Swiss resort in the overall top 15 was ninth-place Zermatt, thanks to its high booking rate and above-average profitability.

Of the 145 selected destinations, 34 were in Switzerland. Of these, 29 improved their ranking.

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