A total of 16.9 million overnight stays were made in Swiss hotels between January and June, an increase of 47.3% on the same period in 2021, when Covid health measures and travel restrictions were still largely in force, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) announced.
Domestic clients made up over half of all bookings (10 million), rising by 8%. However, the return of international visitors after the lifting of restrictions also meant an explosion of overseas guests – from 2.2 million to 6.9 million.
Of these, Europeans still dominated (70%), despite the Swiss decision in April this year to normalise entry requirements for all countries. US and Asian visitors were nevertheless also back in numbers after being virtually absent the past two years.
And while the overall figures for the first half of this year show a return to something like normality after the pandemic, they are still 10% less than for the same period in 2019, the FSO said.
Domestically, all regions of Switzerland saw a rise in hotel stays, with the notable exception of canton Ticino in the south; after a bumper 2021 driven by massive domestic demand, it saw a drop of 13.1% in hotel guests from January to June.