The Swiss population travels a bit less than before. In 2011, overall 16 million trips with overnight stays were registered, that is 2 percent more than the previous year. However, as opposed to 1998, this corresponds to a decrease of about 20 percent.
As stated by the Federal Statistical Office, out of the 16 million trips, 10 million lead to foreign countries and 6 million trips had a domestic travel destination.
Switzerland seems to have lost its appeal in the meantime. Compared to the previous year, 12 percent less domestic trips with overnight stays were taken. An 11 percent decrease of trips was also registered for one-day trips within Switzerland.
Switzerland still remains the population's most popular travel destination with a rate of 36 percent of the trips with overnight stays. Most common destinations abroad for Swiss were Italy (12 percent), Germany (11 percent), France (10 percent) and Austria (5 percent). From that, only the trips to France had an increase registered (+28 percent) compared to 2010. 19 percent of the trips with overnight stays were taken in the remaining European countries. Less than 8 percent were long-distance travels outside of Europe.
The duration is of importance for the tourist industry in addition to the amount of trips with overnight stays. That is how the total number of trips in Switzerland in 2011 decreased compared to the previous year. Especially for domestic travels with a single night stay. About 62 percent of the travelers booked 1 to 3 domestic night stays. 71 percent of the travelers stayed overnight for more than 4 times when traveling abroad.
Overnight stays in hotels are preferred
Swiss foreign travelers stayed the night primarily in hotels (57 percent) when on second place, with a significant gap, trips with overnight stays at relatives and friends (20 percent) followed. In Switzerland, the largest part also falls back on overnight stays at a hotel (40 percent), however, the difference to the number of trips with accommodation at relatives and friends (24 percent) and in the holiday apartments (23 percent) is far smaller than during trips abroad.
Even though the number of trips with overnight stays, as compared to the first survey in 1998, has decreased at about 1/5, the Federal Statistical Office evaluates the annual sum of overnight stays as steady.