Foreign guests return with a delay
When Swiss tourism professionals expect a rush of guests again
The Swiss are already going abroad again for their holidays. In the opposite direction, things are not going that fast. When foreign guests come, it is mainly the wealthy.
Published: 16 minutes ago
Markus Berger, spokesman for Switzerland Tourism: “We do not expect the same number of foreign tourists in 2023 as before Corona.”
Jean Claude RaemyEditor Economics
With the end of the corona turmoil, the holiday fever returned: the Swiss travel abroad much more often again.
Significantly more guests from abroad are needed to ensure that the tills of Swiss tourism companies ring louder again. There are still no figures on hotel overnight stays by foreign guests for December and January. A holiday survey by the marketing organization Switzerland Tourism gives hope. According to spokesman Markus Berger, it indicates a “large increase” in foreign guests. There is no breakdown by nation.
Berger knows from talks with the industry that many tourists from Europe are staying in Switzerland these weeks – especially wealthy travelers from Great Britain. The numbers for guests from North America and the Gulf States are “almost the same as before Corona”.
Not yet full recovery
For wealthy tourists, Switzerland is as attractive as ever. The demand for cheaper hotels and leisure activities for the masses is less strong among foreign guests. “We do not expect the same number of foreign tourists in 2023 as before Corona,” says Berger. Because inflation is high in neighboring countries, demand from there is already noticeably flattening out.
Special case Switzerland-China
What about the Chinese tourists? They have been able to travel the world individually since January 8th. In the context of commercially organized trips – according to Berger, 90 percent of the Chinese travel this way – the situation is different: China clearly specifies which countries Chinese travel companies are allowed to include in their offers. 25 countries are on this preliminary list. In Europe there are only two: Hungary and Switzerland.
According to Berger, the fact that Switzerland was chosen also has to do with the fact that the Chinese do not have to do any corona tests for entry. He doesn’t expect groups of tourists from China to arrive until summer at the earliest. There are currently bottlenecks in issuing visas and few flights. Because demand has been low so far, Air China has postponed the resumption of flights to Switzerland, which was scheduled for January 26, to the end of February as a precaution.