A bouncy winter for Swiss tourism

Swiss tourism bounced back last winter. In total, Swiss hotels recorded 14.6 million overnight stays between November 2021 and April 2022, an increase of 54%, the Federal Statistical Office (SFO) said on Tuesday. This strong increase was driven in particular by the return of international travelers.

Guests from abroad were more likely to stay in Switzerland, with a total of 5.6 million overnight stays, almost three times more than in the same period a year ago. Last year, travel restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic weighed heavily on foreign demand.

The number of overnight stays by guests from Switzerland also rose, from 18.9% to 9.0 million, a new record, according to the SFO. Overnight stays rose every month under review, with the exception of April, when the decline was 10.5%. Indigenous demand seems to have been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic, which has encouraged many Swiss to rediscover their country.

Cities recover better than mountain regions

All tourist areas have benefited from the beautification. Demand for mountain areas is on the rise. Overnight stays in the Bern region increased by 47.3%, those in Valais by 41.1% and in Graubünden by 31.6%.

The city regions also saw strong increases, including Geneva (+ 189.2%), the Zurich region (+ 152.0%) and Basel (+ 112.0%), a catch-up effect, while these regions had most affected by national and international restrictions related to Covid-19.

While overnight stays in mountain areas are on the rise compared to the 2019/2020 winter tourist season, ie before the pandemic, those in urban areas are still below pre-crisis levels, with a decrease of -7 .6% (Basel region) and -6.1% (Zurich region).

Find the tourism figures in our Swiss economy dashboard

Return of the Americans

The main countries of origin of the hosts between January and April were Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The number of overnight stays by customers from Germany doubled to more than one million from January to April 2021. In fourth place was the United States, ahead of Italy.

The Americans totaled more than 300,000 overnight stays, ten times more than a year ago, while health restrictions drastically limited travel between countries. With the exception of the United States and Brazil, in tenth place, the top ten countries of origin of foreign hosts were composed only of European countries.

Other far-flung markets, which played an important role in pre-pandemic Swiss tourism, such as the United Arab Emirates and India, have seen strong rebounds, but have not reached pre-crisis levels. China, which peaked at 300,000 overnight stays between January and April 2019, generated only 18,824 overnight stays over the same period this year.

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