ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss tourism industry, notably the hotel sector, had it worst decline in months due to the strong Swiss franc, figures for July released 5 September show. The number of overnight stays was down 7.2 percent, with stays by foreigners down 8.8 percent to 2.2 million of the 3.8m total.
European visitors, traditionally the backbone of Swiss tourism, were down by 12 percent, with the number of German visitors falling by 14 percent. Visitors from the UK were also down by 14 percent.
The number of Russian overnight stays rose by 20 percent, while visitors from Gulf states fell 26 percent.
The largest percentage increase came from China, up 26 percent, while Japanese visitors also increased, up 8 percent. But the 98,000 Chinese visitors fall far short of the 498,000 German visitors, still the largest group in absolute numbers of overnight stays, although Chinese tourism to Switzerland is growing rapidly. And German visitors stay for an average of 2.3 nights, while the Chinese average is 1.2 nights.