Richard Moor - Dec 22, 2014
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The autumn gave the Swiss hotel industry the gift of a clear increase in the number of guests. In October, the demand for overnight stays in hotels increased by 5.3%. In the entire summer season the amount of overnight stays increased by 0.7%.

Overall, 20.1 million overnight stays were recorded from May to October, reported the Swiss Federal Statistics Office (BFS). However, the demand was threatened by the continuing period of bad weather in July and August, according to Hotelleriesuisse, the union of the Swiss hotel industry. At the same time, though, the guests from emerging markets such as China and the Gulf States ensured a boost.

The amount of overnight stays by Asian guests in the summer season increased by 7.7% in comparison to the previous year, up to 199,000. Americans as well increased their travels to Switzerland: they were responsible for an increase of 64,000 overnight stays.

On the other hand, the demand coming from Africa decreased by 8%, and Europe (excluding Switzerland) by 2.8%. According to Swiss Tourism, the dwindling demand from Europe is caused in part by the bad weather. Thanks to the geographical proximity, the European guests tend to plan their trips to Switzerland at short notice.

Otherwise, the strong franc has halted the demand as well. With a decline of 118.000 overnight stays, the largest absolute decrease was found in the price-sensitive German guests.

In addition, the sanctions against Russia as well as the sluggish economy in Europe both seem to have had an effect: aside from the German guests, especially Russian and French guests are foregoing holidays in Switzerland.

In total, at 11.4 million, guests from foreign countries were responsible for more than half of the overnight stays during the summer season. In comparison to the previous year, this was an increase of 0.5%.

However, the increase in overnight stays at hotels in the summer season could also be traced back to the demand within the country. October showed its nice side and especially the Swiss were led to book spontaneously. The amount of overnight stays that were attributed to the locals in October increased by 6.3%. In total, there was a surplus of 1.0% between May and October.

Eight of the thirteen tourism regions benefited from the overall increase in demand for overnight stays in the summer. Especially the region Lucerne/Lake Lucerne benefited from it, as well as Eastern Switzerland and the Lake Geneva area. On the other hand, Ticino, Graubünden (Grisons), Valais and the Fribourg and Bern regions experienced a decrease.

The industry is expecting a slight growth in the coming winter season as compared to the previous year. But according to Hotelleriesuisseincreasing economic growth, especially in Europe, a stable Franc-Euro exchange rate, and good snow conditions are essential for this.

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