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Weather adds to Swiss tourism woes

A rainy view of the Swiss capital Bern as seen on August 7 Keystone / Anthony Anex

The summer tourism season in Switzerland is “just as bad” this year as in 2020, the national marketing body Switzerland Tourism says. The reasons: Covid-19 and the weather.

This content was published on August 10, 2021 - 13:57
Keystone-SDA/SWitzerland Tourism/ilj

A season-end survey of sector members showed that summer 2021 had been comparable to summer 2020: for example, the number of overnight stays dropped by -1%, but day trips increased by 1%.

“Summer 2021 is just as bad as the previous year and will remain at around 40% under the record 2019,” a Switzerland Tourism statementExternal link said on Tuesday.

Covid-19

A big culprit was the coronavirus pandemic – meaning that most guests were domestic tourists. But these guests often spent more than their foreign counterparts.

Some foreign tourists are reaching Switzerland, especially from Germany and the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). But very few are coming from further afield, with Asian tourists almost completely absent this year, Switzerland Tourism reported.

And the weather

“The exceptionally wet and cold summer weather also strongly affected guest movements,” the statement continued.

Switzerland suffered many weeks of rain and storms this summer, which caused water levels to rise dangerously in some parts of the country.

Almost two thirds of those surveyed said that the weather had resulted in cancellations or bookings not being carried out. There were far fewer spontaneous bookings.

"For trips but also for mountain tourism and stays in mountain guest houses, the weather was a bigger factor this year than the pandemic,” said Guido Buob, director of Appenzellerland Tourism, in the statement.

But Switzerland Tourism said people were cautiously optimistic for autumn. If the epidemiological situation stayed the same, there were hopes for more events and business seminars.

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