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Foreign tourists spent $17.4 billion in Switzerland in 2013, a 3.6% increase over 2012, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Tourism figures rose in 2013 after several years of decline due to the strong Swiss franc. According to the latest figures published on Monday, last year international tourists spent CHF550 million more in Switzerland than in 2012. Approximately two-thirds of the CHF15.6 billion total were spent on overnight stays in hotels and tourist accommodation in Switzerland.
Spending by Swiss tourists abroad also increased (+4.4%), reaching a new peak of CHF14.9 billion. 2013 was a successful one for Swiss hotels, with 35.6 million overnight stays – a 2.5% increase over 2012. Guests from China and the Middle East helped boost the numbers and there were small increases in the number of visitors from Britain, France and Italy. The upturn follows a lean period for the Swiss tourism industry. Overnight stays in Swiss hotels went down 4.9% overall between 2008 and 2011 and another 2% in 2012. High holiday costs and the strong Swiss franc have been having an impact particularly on European visitor numbers.
According to the first estimates of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the foreign tourists spent 15.6 billion Swiss Francs in the year 2013 in Switzerland. This is 550 million (+3.6%) more than a year before. Around two thirds of the earnings come from the tourism with hotel overnight stays. The expenses of the Swiss travelers abroad also increased (+4.4%) and reached a new peak level with 14.9 billion Swiss Francs. Due to both of these developments, the balance of the tourism records went back slightly as compared to the year 2012.
Rise in Touristic Earnings
About 2/3rd of the earnings from people living abroad traveling through Switzerland come from the tourism with overnight stays. After the expenses of these travelers slightly went back in the years 2011 and 2012, they increased in the year 2013 by 225 million Swiss Francs (+2.2%) and reached a total of 10.6 billion Swiss Francs. This tipping point can be traced back to a growth in overnight stays in the hotel industry and non-hotel industry such at it is registered in the BFS. The average expenses per overnight stay remain unchanged so that the earnings from both of these areas increased by 0.8%.
The earnings from education and hospital stays continued to increase in 2013 (+170 million Swiss Francs; +5.5%), mainly due to a large number of foreign college students as well as higher earnings from hospital stays. The prices became a bit more attractive for the persons not living in Switzerland which lead to an increase of the earnings in 2013 from the day- and transit traffic. The increase of the number of foreign border crossers as well as persons staying for a short-term reflected in the increase of their consumer spendings by 5.0 percent to 2.3 billion Swiss Francs.
Although the purchases abroad lost some of their appeal due to the minor devaluation of the Swiss Francs and an inflation incline favorable to Switzerland, they remain extremely attractive. The expenses of the Swiss tourists abroad recorded a new growth in 2013 (+4.4%). First and foremost, this development can be traced back to the expenses from tourism with overnight stays which increased by 5.7% to 11.1 billion Swiss Francs. For the day- and transit traffic, the expenses stagnated (+0.6%), after they recorded a significant increase in 2011 and 2012.