Swiss tourism up despite strong franc


More tourists came to Switzerland last year than the year before, but the trend’s continuation is threatened by the strength of Swiss franc. This was the forecast delivered at the Swiss Tourism press conference in Zurich today.

The Federal council will pour CHF 24 million into both tourism and export industry this year. Both sectors are threatened by the strengthening of national currency. Ramped up tourism campaigns abroad are also planned.

Swiss Tourism counted 36.2 million overnight stays last year – an increase of 1.7% from 2009.

The majority of those hotel guests were Swiss citizens, but the tourism sector can thank visitors from China too. The number of Chinese tourists was up by almost 49%.

Switzerland was also a popular destination for tourists from India and the Gulf countries.

The strongest growth was felt in the canton of Zurich, which saw an 8% jump in the number of visitors.

Ticino on the other hand saw a 4% drop in tourist numbers.

Unsurprisingly, the unfavorable euro-franc exchange rate led to 2% drop in the number of travelers from the eurozone.

Swiss Tourism said it managed to avoid a mess in 2010, but warned of a two to three percent decrease in overnight stays for the this year.