Swiss tourism reports fewest European overnights since 1958

Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:53am EST
 
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Overnight stays in Switzerland fell 0.8 percent in 2015 as European demand plummeted to its lowest since 1958 amid a strong Swiss franc, data released on Tuesday showed.

Demand from Europeans outside Switzerland dropped by nearly a tenth, definitive results released by the Federal Statistics Office showed, led by more than half a million fewer overnights from German visitors. Overnights by foreign visitors declined an overall 1.7 percent.

"We expect further declines for Europe in 2016 before a stabilization toward the end of the year," Swiss Tourism Director Juerg Schmid told reporters.

A rise in Asian demand and steady Swiss demand helped soften the blow in 2015. Schmid said Swiss Tourism expected Asian demand to continue rising this year and Swiss demand to firm.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields)