Strong Swiss franc to keep hotel guests, skiers away this winter31 Oct, 2011 By: David Eisen
Switzerland is known for its pristine ski slopes and high-end hotels. Too bad this winter could have hoteliers singing the blues. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and other outlets, the strong Swiss franc, coupled with a still dim economic outlook, will more than likely keep guests and skiers away.
The BAKBASEL economic research institute expects hotel stays to fall 2.6 percent this winter, with foreign skiers shying away on the strength of the franc. The institute predicts a 4.2-percent reduction in the number of nights spent by foreign tourists in Switzerland from November 2011 to April 2012 compared to the same period last year.
According to an early October story by The Wall Street Journal, the number of Europeans vacationing in Switzerland "dropped sharply in August due to the strong Swiss franc."
Reuters writes that "the Swiss National Bank imposed a cap of 1.20 francs to the euro in September to try and shield the Alpine economy, but the tourism sector is still seeing fewer visitors."
The Swiss government and central bank have "warned that the tourism sector could be one of the industries hardest hit by the franc's gains against the euro, which makes skiing for Germans, one of the hoteliers prime customer groups, too expensive," writes The Wall Street Street Journal.
The Local Switzerland reports that the wan winter season comes on the heels of a poor 2011 so far. Between January and August, hotels suffered a dip in reservations of 1.7 percent compared to the year before.
Mountain resort hotels were hit hardest with an average decline of 5.1 percent.
External Source : Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The Local Switzerland