SWISS HOTELS FIGHT DECREASING OVERNIGHT STAYS

Gregory Dolgos - Aug 10, 2015
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After the dissolution of the Euro minimum price, Swiss hotels had to deal with a decrease in overnight stays of 0.6 percent compared to data from the same period one year earlier. There was a slight increase in June, as reported by the Federal Statistics Office.

In total, Switzerland’s hotel industry recorded 17 million overnight stays between January and late June, as the Federal Statistics Office (BFS) announced. These are 109,000 fewer stays compared to last year’s first half. This decrease can mostly be traced back to foreign tourists, which had a 1.9 percent smaller demand. Domestic tourism, on the other hand, increased by 0.9 percent.

European overnight stays decrease significantly

The dissolution of the Euro minimum price by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) left an especially strong impression on European guests, leading to decreases in overnight stays of 8 percent.

Most notably, there was a lack of price-sensitive German tourists. With a minus of 198,000 overnight stays, Germany recorded the largest absolute decrease. That’s 9.1 percent less than one year earlier. The demand in France (-7.1 percent), Italy (-7.6 percent) and the Netherlands (-9.4 percent) dropped as well. On top of this Swiss Franc shock, another strong factor was the Russian/Ukrainian crisis, leading Russian overnight stays to lose a third of their previous value.

Strong increase in Asian tourists

Asia, on the other hand, compensated for a large chunk of this decrease. The overnight stays of Asian tourists increased by 16.1 percent. One of the biggest contributors was China, where the number of overnight stays increased by a third.

With 135,000 overnight stays, China (excluding Hongkong) displayed the strongest increase of all foreign tourist nations, with India (+26.7 percent) and Thailand (+35 percent) being strong contenders. On the opposite end of this development, the Gulf States recorded a minus of 14,000 (-5.9 percent) and Japan a decrease of 13,000 units (-8.7 percent). The demand from the American continent increased with a plus of 70,000 overnight stays (+6.7 percent).

A few more overnight stays in the month of June

In June 2015, Switzerland’s hotel industry recorded 3.2 million overnight stays, which is an increase of 0.2 percent (+5,800 overnight stays) when compared to June 2014. Domestic tourists generated 1.3 million overnight stays, which corresponds to an increase of 0.8 percent (+11,000 overnight stays). In total, 1.9 million overnight stays can be traced back to foreign tourists, which is equivalent to a decrease of 0.3 percent (-4,900 overnight stays).

When it comes to foreign tourism, European tourists alone (not including Switzerland) accounted for a decrease of 97,000 units (-8.9%) compared to June 2014. Germany recorded a minus of 53,000 overnight stays (-13.8%), which makes it the largest factor of this overall decrease.

There was an increase of 67,000 overnight stays (+14.8%) from Asian tourists. China (excluding Hongkong) recorded 44,000 additional overnight stays (+45.0%), making it the strongest of these countries.

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