SWISS SUMMER SEASON 2021: FEWER LOCALS, MORE FOREIGN GUESTS

Laura Maudlin - Oct 4, 2021
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During the summer season 2021, Swiss hotels were able to breathe a sigh of relief. According to a survey by HotellerieSuisse, 64 % of them achieved higher sales than in the same period of 2020, with an average increase of 13 %. However, 26 % of the hotels also suffered a decline in sales.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the hotel industry recorded a total of 3.6 million overnight stays in July. This is an increase of 6 % compared to July 2020. The trend of mainly individual travelers and fewer groups continues.

More Domestic Guests Than Foreigners

Foreign visitors registered 1.1 million overnight stays, a little more than a year ago. The Swiss guests, on the other hand, were a little less loyal to their homeland compared to the previous year with 2.6 million overnight stays.

The reason for this is the fact that holidays in seaside destinations were finally possible again. Despite the slight recovery compared to the previous year, sales and overnight stays are still well below the pre-crisis level.

Campsites Rise in Popularity

Meanwhile, other accommodation facilities were also doing better. Campsites, holiday apartments and others were more booked than before.

The number of online reservations for the summer months of July and August alone was almost 70 % above that of the previous year. Places near the water as well as the regions of Bernese Oberland, Ticino and Central Switzerland were particularly in demand. Youth hostels did less well - mainly due to travel restrictions and canceled major events and school camps.

Slight Recovery to Continue

According to the latest forecasts, the slight recovery in the industry is set to continue beyond the summer season 2021.

Average occupancy rates of 40 % are expected for the months from September to December. Although this corresponds to a slight increase compared to 2020, it is still 12 % points below the pre-crisis level.

It is widely expected that sustained recovery - especially in the cities and in places that specialize in Asian guests - will probably not take place until 2023.

Situation Still Problematic

However, while there is a bit more positivity after the summer season 2021, the situation is still not completely under control.

According to HotellerieSuisse, 42 % of businesses are not yet able to cover their costs, and among municipal businesses it is even two-thirds.

At the same time, the expiry of the simplified short-time work allowance will lead to layoffs in more than every fifth company. Only one in three companies states that there is currently no risk of bankruptcy.

Moreover, three quarters of the companies suffer from a shortage of skilled workers. Many can only partially fill the vacant positions. Particularly, there is a lack of specialists in the catering industry. If the recovery continues, the industry is threatened by a massive shortage of skilled workers.

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