A promising first semester for the hotel industry

A woman with a hiking backpack in a hotel room.

(27.09.2023) The tourism sector has recorded a pleasing overall performance in the first half of 2023. According to Switzerland Tourism, accommodation establishments have seen a 3.5% increase in occupancy compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019.

With nearly 20 million overnight stays in total and more than 10 million booked by Swiss tourists (a 16.8% increase compared to the same period in 2019), the winter season has been particularly productive, allowing the industry to achieve a good overall result in the first half of 2023.

However, the upcoming summer season, whose full assessment will be conducted later, already appears to be facing numerous challenges. On one hand, local demand, which had surged during the health crisis due to cross-border travel restrictions, has notably receded, with travelers now opting for more exotic destinations.

On the other hand, foreign demand has not fully recovered its pre-COVID strength in the first half of 2023 (down 8% compared to 2019). Some categories of foreign tourists are finding it challenging to return, particularly Indians (with a 31% decrease in the number of overnight stays) and Germans (down by 5%), who were much more numerous before the pandemic.

Conversely, leisure tourism in Swiss cities appears to be experiencing renewed interest. Despite being severely impacted by the abrupt and prolonged interruption of business travel, urban tourism has successfully diversified.

Thanks to two successive promotional campaigns conducted by Switzerland Tourism and its partners, the number of overnight stays recorded in major cities has risen to 5.9 million, marking a 4.7% increase. In Zurich, the share of overnight stays linked to leisure tourism has grown from 25% to 50% in the span of a decade, indicating that the cities' efforts at repositioning are paying off.


Last modification 27.09.2023

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