Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus and the response to it.
Figures from a study by HES-SO Valais published by the newspaper Blick suggest the industry will see revenues in Switzerland drop 18%, or CHF 6.4 billion, in 2020.
The hotel sector alone, which generates around CHF 10 billion annually, could lose CHF 2 billion if the shutdown lasts until the end of May, according to the forecast.
The cancelation of events in Geneva, Zurich and Basel has already hit the sector hard in these cities.
Hotels and restaurants in Switzerland together generate around CHF 28 billion a year and employ around 250,000 people. Bankruptcies of companies in these two sectors could leave a lot of people without work. The report estimates that around a third of companies in these sectors are at risk of folding.
Companies selling durable goods, like cars and clothing, can store products and sell them as delayed purchases after the shutdown. However, tourism cannot be stored and sold later. Like time, it is lost forever.
The HES-SO Valais study surveyed 2,000 people in Switzerland’s tourism industry.
Blick article (in German)