This brings a breath of fresh air to the hotel industry in the Engadin! In total, almost two dozen hotels are investing a three-digit million amount in new buildings and renovations, as Jan Steiner from Engadin St. Moritz Tourismus (ESTM) says in an interview with the AWP news agency. The hoteliers have confidence in continuing to invest in the Upper Engadin.
That started before Corona and will continue after Corona. “It is not self-evident that investors and locals believe in the Engadin and St. Moritz as a location when you compare it to other destinations.”
40 new rooms
According to Steiner, the largest projects include the extensive conversion of the Parkhotel Margna in Sils, the renovation of the entire entrance area of the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina, the complete renovation of 40 rooms of the Cresta Palace Hotel in Celerina or the conversion and new annex of the Grace La Margna in St .Moritz.
In addition, several large hotels would be opened in the next few years. These include the Maistra 160 and Sunstar hotels in Pontresina, the boutique hotel Scaletta in S-chanf and the Hotel Furtschellas in Sils.
Steiner estimates that the numerous major investments in hotels should be completed by 2025/2026. Around half of the hotels will create additional beds, while the other half will remain the same size.
1000 hotel beds gone
The number of beds in the Upper Engadine will therefore increase again, although it is still lower than 15 years ago. In the years after 2007, more than 1,000 hotel beds in the Engadin disappeared, says Steiner.
According to Steiner, there is no danger of mass instead of class. The investors are aware that the Engadin does not want mass tourism and does not tolerate it. The newly built hotels would seek their niche in a targeted manner and would not compete with one another. “They are all positioned a bit differently,” says Steiner.
«We are not afraid of new hotels, but of bad hotels. The bad hotels ruin a destination. New hotels, on the other hand, bring new guests,” says Steiner.
No hotel deaths due to Corona
Corona did not lead to any hotel deaths. No hotel was closed because of the pandemic, says Steiner. However, as a result of the Ukraine war, a hotel in St. Moritz could not continue because its owner was Russian.
The good business of the last few months is the basis for confidence in investments. In the current winter season, almost 828,000 overnight stays were counted by the end of March. This is a top result, which is 44 percent higher than last year’s winter season. According to Engadin St. Moritz Tourism, the average for the past five years has been exceeded by 12 percent.
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St. Moritz recovered particularly strongly. By the end of March, the posh ski resort was able to increase the number of overnight stays by 80 percent compared to the previous year to almost 390,000 overnight stays. The five-year average was exceeded by almost 14 percent. This is the best result at the end of March in 11 years.
For the hotels in the rest of the Upper Engadine, the plus at the end of March was “only” 22 percent compared to the previous year. The 438,000 overnight stays are a good 10 percent above the five-year average. That is also a top value, it said.
influx of domestic guests
The Upper Engadin benefited from the influx of domestic tourists. The number of Swiss guests increased by 8.9 percent compared to the previous year and accounted for almost 57.7 percent of all guests. With a share of 15.4 percent, the Germans are in second place ahead of the British with 4.5 percent.
If in April there were about as many overnight stays as a year ago, then the best winter season since 2010 beckons. That was the last time there were more than 900,000 overnight stays in a winter season. The April figures for 2022 are not yet available.
With a good 835,000 overnight stays, the 2021 summer season was already the best in over a decade. The last time there were more overnight stays in a summer was 2009 with 837,000 overnight stays. (SDA/pbe)