Demand from Asia helps fill Swiss hotel rooms

Updated 2017-08-08 10:55:24 Xinhua

The number of overnight stays at Swiss hotels rose by 4.4 percent in the first half of 2017 over the previous year with tourists from Asian countries the main drive behind the increase, the national statistics office said Monday.

The Swiss Federal Statistical Office said that both domestic and international tourists spent a total of 17.6 million nights in Swiss hotels during the first six months of the year.

The bulk of the stays were from visitors abroad who showed a 4.7 percent increase, against the 4 percent increase registered by Swiss travellers.

Asian tourists arrived and stayed in larger numbers than the same period in 2016, boosting the Swiss hotel industry which has been suffering recently from the strong Swiss franc.

The biggest increase was due to visitors from India, with an additional 81,000 overnight stays, while the highest growth percentage was seen by tourists from South Korea (35 percent).

At the same time overnights stays from Chinese visitors gained by 12 percent, while those from Japan up by 12.8 percent, showing sizeable increases of tourists to Switzerland.

Results from Europe were mixed with Belgians coming in large numbers, up by 46,000 overnight stays. But key markets such as Britain, were down 36,000, and France down 17,000, while tourists from Italy slid by 12,000.

A recent symbolic low in the value of the Swiss franc against the euro might help boost figures in the second semester, the Swiss national broadcaster reported on its website, Swissinfo.

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