Credit Suisse has published an outlook for the coming summer tourism season. The war in Ukraine is likely to have a greater impact on Swiss tourism than expected.
The Swiss travel industry has suffered greatly from the Corona pandemic. Following the relaxation of restrictions, the omens were good for a rapid recovery. The war in Ukraine is now likely to dampen this upswing, as Credit Suisse predicts.
Instability in Europe Discourages Tourists
The war will probably have less of a direct impact on Swiss tourism. This is because Ukrainian and Russian tourists do not account for a significant proportion of visitors. But the instability across Europe is likely to have a deterrent effect on long-haul travelers from America and Asia.
A similar effect was observed after the series of terrorist attacks in Europe in 2015. Even though Switzerland was never directly affected, a large number of Asian guests were unable to travel. A similar effect was observed among Americans after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The war has also led to an increase in energy costs, the CS analysts write. On the one hand, this will lead to price increases for air travel. On the other hand, consumer sentiment in the USA and China is already declining. This is likely to lead to an additional decline in the desire to travel.
Chinese Travelers Continue to Drop out because of Corona
The fact that covid restrictions remain high in China, of all places, is having a major impact on Swiss tourism. In 2019, the Chinese were still the fifth most important group of visitors.
The negative consequences are likely to be particularly evident in central Switzerland. In Lucerne, 9 percent of all overnight stays were booked by Chinese in 2019. In Obwalden and Nidwalden, the share was as high as 12 percent each.
Swiss Travelers Want to Go Abroad Again
In the report, Credit Suisse also assumes that Swiss citizens will again increasingly want to spend their vacations abroad. After the last two years at home, a majority would long for vacations at the beach or in faraway countries.
For the analysis, the major bank analyzed search queries from Google as of the end of March. An important part of domestic tourists is likely to be lost in the period from May to August. Swiss tourism in the summer could therefore not rely on this important pillar of the two pandemic years.