Interhome guests plan holidays further ahead again
Interhome Group's latest holiday home report shows restored consumer confidence among Swiss holidaymakers. Not only are Swiss guests planning and booking their holiday accommodation earlier again – the findings also show an unbroken trend for spending winter holidays in Switzerland and that long-term summer stays are becoming more and more popular.
The latest holiday home report by the Swiss holiday home provider Interhome shows that Swiss holidaymakers are planning further ahead again. Around half of Swiss guests booked their Interhome accommodation for the previous winter season (1 November 2022 to 30 April 2023) between 31 days and six months in advance. This equals the rate for the last full season before the coronavirus pandemic (winter 2018/19). At 28%, early bookings, i.e. those made more than six months ahead, even increased by around 2% last winter season compared to the same period in winter 2018/19. As was observed in the 2018/19 season, around a quarter of Swiss customers booked their accommodation less than 30 days prior to arrival.
For bookings placed less than 30 days prior to arrival, short trips with stays of up to four nights were by far the most popular at 60%. In winter 2018/19, this figure was still 52%. Thus, short trips in winter have risen in popularity among short-term bookers. Guests who placed medium- and long-term bookings for the last winter season preferred stays of between five and seven nights – as in the same period in winter 2018/19.
"Booking behaviour gives us a clear indication that Swiss guests are planning their holidays ahead again and thus reverting to the 'old normal'," says Roger Müller, Country Manager of Interhome Switzerland. "It is also noticeable that the trend for holidays in a holiday home or apartment remains strong even after the pandemic, and that our customers are increasingly booking longer holidays again. Compared to the last three years, however, people are spending their summer holidays abroad more often," he adds.
Switzerland – winter 2022/23 in review
Switzerland holds top spot
A comparison of Swiss holidaymakers' most popular countries last winter with the previous years presents a clear picture: Switzerland remains the favourite country when it comes to winter holidays. With 89% of bookings, it holds first place by a considerable margin. The top five ranking of the most popular countries in the 2022/23 winter season is completed by Italy and Austria, followed by France and Finland.
The undisputed number one among Switzerland's most popular winter holiday regions is canton Valais, with 45% of all bookings. Canton Graubünden is in second place with 15%, narrowly pushing the Bernese Oberland (14%) into third place after almost two years.
Five to seven-day stays the most popular
Last winter, 59% of Swiss guests booked their holiday accommodation for five to seven nights, unchanged from the previous year. 31% of Swiss guests booked short stays of between one and four nights, a marginal decline over the prior-year period (32%). Stays of between eight and 14 nights were booked by 8% and long-term stays by 2% of guests.
Moderate rise in quality expectations
At 47% (prior year: 49%), almost half of Swiss guests booked 3 star-rated holiday homes and apartments. Bookings for 4 star-rated accommodation (39%) saw a slight rise over the previous year (38%). A comparison of Swiss customers' quality expectations with those prior to the coronavirus pandemic shows that quality demands have risen: in the winter seasons of 2018/19 and 2017/18, bookings for 4 star-accommodation amounted to 29% and 26% respectively.
More international guests visit Switzerland than in the previous year
A look at the countries of origin of Interhome guests holidaying in Switzerland last winter shows that Switzerland has lost some ground compared with the previous year (63%) but still holds the top spot at 57%. The top five is completed by Germany in second place (unchanged, 11%), France (6%), Great Britain (5%) and the Netherlands (4%).
Switzerland – outlook on summer 2023
Holidaying abroad more popular again
The forecast for the most popular summer destinations among Swiss Interhome guests sees Switzerland sit firmly in the top spot – as in previous years. While Switzerland was still the most popular country among 62% of Swiss customers in summer 2022, this year, the figure has dropped to 44%. It can therefore be concluded that the desire to spend one's holiday abroad has risen significantly since last year. Among guests who opt to remain on home soil, initial trends indicate that the cantons of Valais (13%) and Ticino (12%) are the most favoured Swiss holiday regions.
Long-term stays more popular than last year
Current trends indicate that stays of between five and seven nights (47%; as in the last winter season with 59%) will remain the most popular holiday duration among Swiss guests. Moreover, demand for stays of between eight and 14 nights is considerably higher in summer (32%) than in winter (8%). At 5% of bookings, long-term stays are expected to rise – last summer, just 3% of Swiss holidaymakers booked an extended stay. Short-stay bookings on the other hand recorded a marked decline compared with last summer – from 27% to 16%.
Italy set to overtake France for first place
The latest figures indicate that with 24% of all bookings, Italy is set to be the most popular holiday country among Interhome guests, thus relegating France (22%) to second place in the top five. Ranking behind France in the forecast are Spain (12%), Croatia (11%) and Switzerland (8%). The most popular global summer destinations are expected to be Tuscany (7%), the Northern Italian Lakes (6%), Côte d'Azur (6%), Brittany (5%) and Istria (5%). Aquitaine in France no longer features in the top five holiday regions.