Is Switzerland on its way to recovery?
Travel restrictions and lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have forced widespread hotel closures and unprecedented performance declines around the globe. Switzerland have been no exception to the trend, posting 10%-15% occupancy levels average during lockdown.
On 15 June, however, Switzerland lifted all COVID-19-related entry restrictions for travelers from other Schengen countries, providing an additional flow of travelers for the country’s reopening hotels and quickly increasing occupancy levels as we’ve seen through recent analysis.
Switzerland, one of the early leader in Europe’s recovery
Switzerland, along with Germany, posted one of Europe’s highest weekly occupancy levels (29.8%) for the seven-day period ending 12 July.
Within that occupancy, there were noticeable differences between key Swiss cities. For example, for the week ending 12 July, Bern posted the highest occupancy (36%) followed closely by Lucerne (33%) thanks to higher domestic demand around the start of summer holidays. Basel, Zurich and Geneva, on the other hand, posted occupancy levels below 25% during the same period of time.
Leisure destinations on the rise
From mid-June onwards, demand in the Swiss Alps has been constantly increasing. Leisure destinations have seen the highest occupancy increase due to school holidays, which started in Switzerland at the beginning of July. Valais posted a 52% occupancy level on 11 July followed by Switzerland Central (49%), Lake Geneva (44%) and Grison (44%). Interlaken, usually a summer destination driven by group demand, reported 40% occupancy.
How does Zurich occupancy on the books look like compared with the same time last year?
Zurich occupancy on the books for the next 90 days (as of 13 July) shows a gap compared with the same time last year.
Following Züri Fäscht (5-7 July 2019), the market posted 86% occupancy on 14 July 2019, while occupancy on the books on 14 July 2020 was just 22%.
July and August are usually the strongest months in the country, and while increases in occupancy on the books during the weekends are evident, we are not yet nearing last year’s realized levels.
Short-term demand returns to Switzerland?
Confirmed reservations for the next 83 days (as of 13 July) in Lucerne and Zurich are timid until mid-August, with levels sitting mostly below 10%.
However, Lucerne stands out with bookings for the coming weeks due to guest tendency to book at the last minute and thanks to leisure travel, especially domestic travelers. Unfortunately, cancellations continue to be prevalent towards the end of the year. However, these cancelations, even though there's a spike at the end of September, are not as massive as they were at the beginning of the pandemic.
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