BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss tourism figures showed some unusual developments in November 2013, with Italy showing the strongest growth, with overnight stays up 14 percent, France up 8.2 percent and Spain up 14 percent.
Italy led the way with the largest overall increase in visitors, but European visits to Switzerland as a whole rose 2.9 percent to 18,000 more overnight stays during the month.
The cheering news for the tourist industry was not enough to offset the overall trend during 2012: while final figures are not yet out, the first 11 months of the year showed a decline of nearly 3 percent to 332.2 million overnight stays.
Growth in Asian visitors continues, up 10 percent from India and 14 percent from China, although the numbers have a long way to go to catch up with European visitors.
Tourists from the US showed the largest absolute numbers drop, down more than 4 percent, and the number of visitors from Gulf countries also fell.
Virtually all parts of the country saw improvements in November with the exception of Geneva and Basel.