Alec Hills - May 26, 2023
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Swiss tourism is looking forward to a strong summer, not least because of the return of Chinese tourists. And overall, the record from the pre-Corona period could fall in 2023 regarding overnight stays. It is the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) forecast.

The mood is positive from the cities to the mountain and lake regions. For the 2023 summer season, the KOF expects 1.2 million more overnight stays than last summer, representing a 5% increase.

No Increase in the Number of Domestic Travelers

The upswing is likely to be driven primarily by foreign guests. On the other hand, no further increase is expected among Swiss guests.

After the long Corona break, tourists from China, particularly, are expected back. However, the return is likely to be gradual. Thus, a full recovery is not expected until the end of the year.

At the same time, the positive growth of U.S. guests continues. American travelers returned strongly last year. On the other hand, the situation among European visitors is relatively restrained.

Switzerland is Increasingly Popular in Asia

Meanwhile, Switzerland is becoming increasingly popular with Southeast Asian tourists. For example, regarding overnight stays in March, the number of guests from the Philippines doubled compared to the same period before the pandemic. The situation is similar for guests from Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.

For the winter season, however, only steady growth is expected after the exceptionally high figures of the last year. Therefore, KOF expects an increase of around one percent for the 2023/24 winter season.

Numerous Swiss guests are also expected. However, the exceptionally high number of domestic guests seen during the pandemic is unlikely to be achieved. KOF thus expects a decline of 4 percent among the Swiss compared to last winter. However, this represents an increase of 10 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, climate change is becoming an increasing risk to the Swiss tourism industry. Specifically, it is increasingly impacting winter tourism and making it more challenging to make accurate forecasts. Weather conditions had a very short-term impact on bookings. According to the analysis, the decrease in overnight stays in March refers to snow absence.

2023 Could be a Record year for Swiss Tourism

All in all, local hoteliers can nevertheless expect a record year after the difficult Corona times. For the current year, KOF expects 3.9 million more overnight stays than the previous year. It corresponds to an increase of about over 10 percent.

This year's forecasts for domestic tourism have surpassed pre-pandemic levels and set new records, indicating the industry's resilience despite the global economic downturn.

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