The outbreak of war has a disastrous effect on tourism; Hotelplan’s turnover falls to 0.8 million francs. Despite this, the cooperative’s board decides to continue to run Hotelplan by making sacrifices and implementing austere measures.
After just three years, Hotelplan’s profit and loss account is in the black and the company has therefore become self-supporting. This even surprises its founder, who had reckoned on a pretty long lean spell.
25,762 Swiss and 47,969 foreigners travel with Hotelplan, generating an additional turnover for the Swiss national economy of at least ten million francs. Every additional night’s accommodation represents an extra day’s work in Switzerland, where unemployment is rife.
To help the hard-pressed Swiss hotel industry and, at the same time, to allow the average person to have a holiday: This was idea of Migros’ founder, Gottlieb Duttweiler, when he launched Hotelplan on 29th April 1935. “What we need to do is to try and appeal to new clients who are not in the habit of travelling”, muses Gottlieb Duttweiler. In June, the first special Hotelplan train runs to Lugano. One all-inclusive week costs 65 francs. In the first year alone, a total of 52,648 weeks bookings are sold.