Swiss Hope Expats and Chinese Will Hit Slopes

by swisscham in Culture & Society

After a mixed summer with fewer Chinese tourists, SwitzerlandÕs tourism office predicts a ‘stable’ winter season for 2016-2017. It hopes to attract expatriates and Chinese visitors to the slopes. These are difficult times for the tourism business in the small alpine nation. The number of overnight stays by Chinese tourists fell by 19.7% in summer, Switzerland Tourism reported on Tuesday. This is a worrying trend for tourism officials, as Chinese visitors were leading recent growth in Switzerland up until recently. The lower numbers are partly due to the terrorist threats in Europe as Switzerland is closely associated with France, according to the tourism office. Earlier this year Switzerland Tourism reported that the drop-off in numbers was also partly linked to the new requirement for biometric fingerprint data for visas. Since last November, this has been mandatory for anyone applying for a visa to EuropeÕs Schengen zone of countries, including Switzerland. This means all Chinese tourists must travel to a Swiss consulate in person to apply.

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