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From chaplin to 'bubble hotels' How Swiss tourism is trying to regain its footing

Swiss tourism is picking up some momentum, thanks in part to tourist operators focusing on creative new ideas, quality and cultural offers. (SRF, swissinfo.ch)

The Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) at Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) last week issued its Summer 2017 economic forecastexternal link which in general paints a reassuring picture of the Swiss economy. The report highlights how the Swiss economy is expected to benefit from a global economic upswing with Swiss companies having adjusted to the appreciation of the Swiss franc.  All in all, although unemployment is expected to remain at current levels, prices are expected to rise, with KOF anticipating a 1.3% increase in GDP for this year.

The report also offers cautious optimism for the tourism industry, one of the sectors that suffered the most from the sharp increase in value of the Swiss franc in relation to the Euro. It also highlights the irreversible trend that sees city breaks favoured over classic alpine destinations. 

The strong franc is a direct result of the Swiss National Bank (SNB)'s decision on the January 15, 2015 to remove the peg which had been introduced in September 2011 to prevent the overvaluation of the franc against the Euro.  A move that immediately resulted in Swiss exports becoming 10 to 15% more expensive than their European competitors, as well holidays in Switzerland becoming less attractive for tourists from other parts of Europe.

But some tourism operators are reacting. Canton Thurgau is attracting Swiss tourists with their “Bubble-Hotel” made of inflatable hotel rooms located in a pristine natural setting. The French-speaking canton of Vaud is betting on the new Chaplin-Museum in Corsier-sur-Vevey which has already attracted 40% more visitors than projected.

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