Swiss Hotels Head For Bleak Winter After Summer Stays Slump
Summer stays at Switzerland's hotels dropped by 41%, and the winter ski season outlook is bleak, with the coronavirus pandemic keeping foreign tourists at home and Swiss guests being unlikely to fill the empty rooms.
From May to October, overnight stays by people from outside Switzerland fell by 75% to 3.2 million people from more than 12.5 million overnight stays in the year-earlier period, the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics has said.
Overnight hotel stays by domestic guests rose by 3.9% to 10.2 million, with visits by Swiss residents rising especially strongly in July, August and September as the first wave of COVID-19 infections passed, new cases slowed and people within the country began moving about more freely.
Switzerland, in contrast to Germany, France and Italy, is keeping its ski resorts open during the upcoming holidays for domestic tourism, with some capacity limits in gondolas in a bid to limit the second-wave spread of COVID-19.
Neighbouring Austria has also introduced a plan to open skiing from Christmas Eve at its resorts, with limits designed to prevent foreigners from coming for ski holidays.