Posted on 11 July 2019
There is much-celebrated news in the Swiss Tourism Industry as the country continues to bounce back after a disastrous period saw visitors stats and revenue slump. Having produced disastrous results since 2015, when the National Bank lifted the minimum euro exchange rate, the country has worked hard to regain its footing by offering affordability and value for money, although it is still known as a premium destination.
The beginning signs of a new era was an increase of 3.8% Y-O-Y in overnight stays for the first half of 2018. This was credited to Europeans and the German market, which is contributing the strongest growth. Although for the whole of 2018, Canadians visitors also increased by 9.8% year-on-year, and there was a 10% increase in Americans.
Swiss Tourism Industry and the Future
Despite the favourable results, the industry still realises it has much work to do if it is to produce sustainable, long-term results and match other alpine countries like France. The increase is also not countrywide, with only central regions growing in terms of overnight stays. Winter alpine destinations aren’t seeing any significant change and sometimes, dramatic decreases, from European markets.
Hurdles to overcome include a portfolio of luxury experiences, hence the lack of budget holidaymakers, and since they are a landlocked country, they cannot tap into the beach, cruise, and sailing niches.
The official tourism board just appointed its new trans-Tasman director Livio Goetz. His goal is to encourage new and repeat visitors from New Zealand and Australia by working with tour operators and existing and new media outlets.
Overall, he will look to strengthen Switzerland’s brand in both countries. The experience he brings to the role includes the Convention and Incentive Bureau and Lucerne Convention Bureau and Travel Centre.
Upon taking up his position, he said…
“Switzerland may be a small country, but it is chock full of incredible experiences and unforgettable moments which we would like more Australians and New Zealanders to learn about, explore and enjoy. I look forward to building on the legacy of my predecessors.”
Tourism in Switzerland
The Swiss first embraced tourism in the early 19th century, when mountaineers flocked to the Bernese alpine range. Fast forward a few decades, and it took off once again when mainstream travel companies like Thomas Cook sold the first package holidays.
These days, major attractions include the Rhine falls, Zoo Basel, and Berne Bear Exhibit. Top city break destinations include Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Basel, Geneva, and Lausanne.
In 2010, stats said 145,000 people worked in the Swiss tourism industry, while stats from 2014 revealed the top visiting nationalities as Germans, Brits, Americans, French, Chinese, Italians.
Switzerland Overview: A guide as to the country’s highlights and most celebrated regions. Including things to do, reasons to visit, and popular alpine destinations.