Switzerland holds top spot
The trend towards holidaying in Switzerland has continued during the recent winter season. This was confirmed by the latest Interhome holiday home report. Many Swiss are also opting to spend their upcoming summer holidays in their home country.
The Swiss holiday home specialist Interhome can look back at its best ever winter season (1 November 2021 to 30 April 2022) in the domestic market. Following the Corona-related hiatus, the Swiss have been increasingly travelling abroad again in recent months, although the majority of Swiss guests still spent their winter holidays in Switzerland. "Partly volatile entry restrictions for travelling abroad and notably the favourable winter weather in Switzerland meant that bookings remained stable at a very high level," says Roger Müller, Country Manager of Interhome Switzerland. Moreover, as Interhome's latest holiday home report shows, short trips to the mountains have gained in popularity over the past two years. "We welcomed more guests to our holiday apartments and homes in Switzerland than ever before in the almost 60-year history of our company. Swiss guests compensated for the lack of foreign clientele," Müller continues. A look ahead to summer 2022 shows that holidays on home turf remain popular among Swiss guests, although more and more Swiss holidaymakers will be heading for destinations abroad again.
Switzerland: winter in review (2017 to 2022)
Domestic travel extremely popular – before, during and after the Corona pandemic
A look at the last five winter seasons (each from 1 November to 30 April) shows that Switzerland has always been an extremely popular winter holiday destination for domestic consumers. Due to the Corona pandemic, however, the share of Swiss bookings increased significantly. The share of bookings by Swiss holidaymakers spending their holidays on home turf rose to over 99% in the winter of 2020/21. Broadly speaking, the Corona pandemic resulted in Interhome guests spreading out more evenly across Switzerland – with canton Valais losing ground while other regions saw gains. However, the Valais region remains the most popular region for winter holidays. The Bernese Oberland in particular is also growing in popularity, not least thanks to the Swisspeak Resort in Meiringen, which opened in December 2019.
Short trips increasingly popular
A review of the last few years shows that short trips to the mountains have clearly gained in popularity with the Swiss. The share of short stays (1 to 4 nights) rose from 25% in winter 2018/2019 to 34% in winter 2020/21. In winter 2021/22, this figure stabilised at 32%, while week-long stays fell from 67% in winter 2018/2019 to just below 60% in the last two years.
Switzerland emerges as top international destination during the pandemic
While Austria and Switzerland went neck-and-neck for the most popular winter holiday destination prior to the pandemic, this changed drastically in the last two years. In the 2020/21 winter season, Switzerland was the most popular destination by a clear margin, accounting for 68.1% of all Interhome guests. This comes as no surprise, given that ski slopes in Switzerland were open for business while winter sports resorts in the neighbouring countries remained largely closed to visitors. Switzerland retained its top spot last winter too: 30% of all guests spent their winter holidays in Switzerland, followed by France and Austria.
Switzerland: outlook on summer 2022
Home country remains favourite Swiss summer destination
As in the last two years, domestic holiday travel will remain extremely popular with the Swiss in the coming summer months (1 May to 31 October 2022). Initial trends show that around 56% intend to spend their holidays in their home country. Canton Ticino is the most popular region, followed by the Bernese Oberland and canton Valais. Compared to the last two years, however, significantly more Swiss customers are opting for a holiday apartment or home abroad again.
Stay duration longer than in winter
Short trips are significantly less in demand in summer than in winter. According to initial trends, stays of 1 to 4 nights account for only 16% (summer 2019: 12%) of bookings, while longer stays of 8 to 14 nights are gaining in popularity and account for 30%. 49% of all Swiss Interhome customers are also planning a week-long summer stay.
Leading global destinations: Italy and France
Italy and France are the two most popular destinations in the upcoming summer season, each accounting for around 22% of all Interhome bookings, followed by Spain, Croatia and Germany. Compared to summer 2019, more Interhome guests are travelling to the Côte d'Azur, Istria and the Spanish coastal regions of Costa Blanca and Costa Brava. Holidays by the North Sea also remain popular. Tuscany and the Lake Garda region no longer feature in the top 5 destinations.