The urban cantons of Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich will be the most affected, due to the virtual absence of foreign tourists and business trips.
Heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Swiss tourism will record a fall described this year as “historic” by specialists from the economic institute BAK Economics. Cities are likely to be more affected than the countryside.
Basel economists expect a 34% drop in hotel activity and 24% in gastronomy, but significant regional disparities are expected, the BAK said in a statement on Friday.
The urban cantons of Geneva, Lucerne and Zurich are the most affected with a drop of more than 40%, due to the virtual absence of foreign tourists and business trips.
“From March, the hotel industry had to almost completely cease its activity for almost three months”, recalled the economists. But this sector should benefit from the increase in domestic demand during the summer due to restrictions on international travel.
Tourist cantons such as Ticino, Valais and Graubünden should benefit from solid summer visits. The latter should register a drop in accommodation this year of less than 30%.
In catering, “the situation (…) is only slightly less serious” and it “is gradually improving thanks to the gradual relaxation of health measures and the partial opening of borders, but the return to normal is still far, “added economists.
At the beginning of July, the Swiss hotel industry said it had suffered in May from the consequences of the health crisis. After a collapse of almost two-thirds in March and an evaporation of more than 90% in April, the number of hotel nights recorded by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) fell by 79.2% to 625,054 in may.
According to UN estimates, the Covid-19 pandemic could cost Swiss tourism up to 31 billion francs or 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) if restrictions are extended over a year.
(ats / nxp)