The number of visitors to Switzerland rose 6% this summer, but this headline figure hides some steep rises and falls.
From May to October 2017, 11 million people holidayed in Switzerland, 644,000 more than the over same period in 2016.
Swiss made up close to half the total (4.9 million), followed by Germans (950k), Americans (663k), Chinese (659k), British (396k), French (365k), Indians (263k), Italians (253k), South Koreans (208k), Japanese (182k), Dutch (175k), Spanish (143k), Taiwanese (110k) and Australians (105k).
In terms increases over the summer, after Swiss holiday makers (+201k), top climbers were the US (+72k), China (+60k), India (+54k), South Korea (+47k), Taiwan (+25k). Japan (+23k), Germany (+17k), Spain (+16k), Thailand (+13k), and Brazil (+12k).
Top risers in percentage terms were the Philippines (+31%), South Korea (+30%), Taiwan (+29%), India (+26%), Brazil (+26%), Oman (+18%), Russia (+17%), Malaysia (+17%), Singapore (+16%), Malta (+16%), Ireland (+14%) and Japan (+14%).
In terms of rising numbers of nights spent, tourists from the US led with a rise of +154k nights.
Next was India, up 126k nights, something that might relate to its movie industry’s love of filming in Switzerland. According to SFR, Switzerland has become too expensive for Indian film producers, but that doesn’t mean starstruck Bollywood movie fans will necessarily stay away.
After India, were China (+90k) and South Korea (+79k). In Europe, Germany (+33k), Belgium (+29k), Spain (+21k) and Russia (+16k) rose the most.
Swiss cantons posting the biggest gains in nights spent were Valais (+8%), Zurich (+7%), Ticino (+6.5%) and Graubunden (6%).
Countries sending fewer visitors to Switzerland were Saudi Arabia (-10k), Qatar (-4k) and Kuwait (-3k). More than 90% of the total gross decline in tourist numbers was down to fewer tourists from these three countries. In percentage terms they all fell by more than 10%: Saudi Arabia (-10%), Qatar (-15%) and Kuwait (-11%). Tourists from across the Gulf region spent 43k fewer nights in Switzerland this summer.