Swissinfo report on an analysis by Credit Suisse on the state of the Swiss winter sports industry, and say that there are major challenges to the Swiss industry’s competitiveness. Whereas Austrian resorts saw a 6% increase in overnight stays between 1993 and 2011 Swiss resorts experienced a 12% drop. With the strong Swiss Franc and a more expensive underlying cost base, Swiss resorts are set to see further declines in business unless they focus on niche markets and try to be more attractive in the mid-price and budget markets.
The Swiss tourist industry contributes around 5% to GDP, and the 650 lift companies employ 11,000 people and turnover SFr 840m per annum. There have to be some question marks over the long-term viability of some of the smaller, lower resorts unless they can discover their niche, although bigger resorts like Zermatt, St Moritz and the Engadine, Davos, Verbier, Crans-Montana and Gstaad seem to remain strong draws.