EuropeHotel overnights rose by 3.8% to 38.8 million, with increases across domestic, European and SEA markets.

Swiss tourism bounced back to field record performance last year

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Destination weddings 190307
Switzerland has seen increasing numbers of destination weddings from Asia as a result of its efforts to promote the country to honeymooners. Photo Credit: Switzerland Tourism

Nature-based experiences such as hiking will also get a bigger push this summer season under its Nature Wants You Back tourism campaign. In the spotlight are some 65,000km of hiking trails.

It was a record year for Swiss tourism in 2018, propelled by gains in the number of domestic and European visitors. 

The country registered a total of 38.8 million hotel overnights last year, a rise of 3.8%, mainly built on the core of a strong domestic market of 17.4 million visitors (+2.9%). 

Another strong factor is the regaining of European arrivals (+3.7%), reversing the losses from several markets over past years. The rest of the world generated 21.4 million visitors for Switzerland, a marked 4.5% growth. 

Switzerland’s tourism performance has also benefitted from its bigger market presence in South-east Asia.

Collectively, five markets in the region notched a 10.3% growth, with 630,000 arrivals in 2018, revealed Ivan Breiter, Switzerland Tourism’s director for South-east Asia at the Singapore leg of its annual sales mission.

All markets across the board hit new records. Thailand, the largest source market in the region, generated 246,000 overnights (+12.6%), followed by Singapore’s 160,000 (+8.3%). Markets Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines also grew by 5.6%, 13.9% and 4.1% respectively. 

Tourism growth from other major Asian markets has also stabilised. China (excluding Hong Kong) generated the greatest rise of 6.3%, with an additional 80,000 nights, followed by India, which provided an additional 71,000 nights (+9.6%).

Much success has come out of efforts to promote Switzerland as a honeymoon destination under its InLovewithSwitzerland initiative. The country has seen rising numbers of destination weddings from Asia year round, and it plans to continue extensive promotion in 2019.

Nature-based experiences such as hiking will also get a bigger push this summer season under its Nature Wants You Back tourism campaign. In the spotlight are some 65,000km of hiking trails.

The trails range from family-friendly hikes that are suitable for small children in strollers to barefoot hikes with tree climbs. 

Visitors can also go on scenic hikes across vineyards along the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lavaux at Lake Geneva, or through the flower gardens of the Ticino, the southern part of Switzerland that boasts a Mediterranean climate.


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