In 2020, the number of overnight stays in Swiss hotels fell by 40% to 23.7 million, a fall of 15.8 million nights compared to 2019.
The fall, driven by Covid-19, is the largest fall in overnight stays in Switzerland since the end of the 1950s, according to Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office.
Plummeting hotel stays were driven mainly by a large slump in foreign visitors. Hotel nights spent by Swiss tourists dropped by only 8.6% (-1.5 million). However, nights spent by foreign visitors plummeted by 66.1% (-14.3 million).
Overall, the worst month was April 2020. Compared to April 2019, 96.2% fewer nights were spent during April 2020. March (-68.2%), May (-95.3%), June (-88.4%), July (-70.1%), August (-60.9%), September (-69%), October (-78.1%), November (-83%) and December (78.4%) were all significantly down on 2019. Only January (+5.7%) and February (+5.4%) were ahead of 2019.
The hardest hit places were the urban cantons of Geneva (-67.5%), Zurich (-65.4%) and Basel (-58.8%). Graubunden (-9.2%) and Ticino (-16.3%) were two of the least hit cantons, although resort areas within Graubunden (-42.8%) were hard hit. In the canton of Valais overnight stays were down 24.2%. Only the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden (+4.2%) bucked the negative trend.
Over the summer of 2020, Swiss visitors filled some of the gap caused by falling foreign visitors. During July (+35.0%), August (+18.4%), September (+22.5%) and October (+16.4%), Swiss residents spent significantly more nights in Swiss hotels than in 2019.