A look at STR Global data year-to-date July reveals that Switzerland’s hotels overall occupancy rate has not changed compared to the same period last year. The level could be maintained only by reducing rates, though. Average daily rate has dropped from 231 Swiss francs ($236.84) in 2014 to 224 Swiss francs ($229.67) in 2015, thus, bringing about a decline in revenue per available room (-2.2%).
However, performance of individual cities and regions deviate, some for the better, some worse.
Zürich’s performance stable; Geneva’s rates yield
Zürich, the country’s chief financial center, experienced hardly any deviance from previous year’s performance. Occupancy increased by 1.8% year-to-date July, according to STR Global. ADR dropped by 0.7%, bringing a RevPAR growth of 1% to 170 Swiss francs ($174.30).
Geneva, the second most important business destination and gateway city in the French-speaking part of the country, also was able to sustain its occupancy level (67.8% year-to-date July). However, ADR dropped by 5.1% and, as a consequence, RevPAR fell 4.8% to 192 Swiss francs ($196.86).
Neither of these two cities recorded a remarkable change in supply.
The winners are: Basel and Lucerne?
There has been tremendous movement on the markets of Basel and Lucerne this year. Both cities reported record numbers in arrivals and nights, which prompts a more in-depth investigation.
Basel is located at the border triangle of Germany, France and Switzerland. It is primarily known for being home to big multinational chemical corporations (and as such, considered a business and meetings-incentives-conferences-and exhibitions destination).
Year-to-date July, Basel welcomed 365,476 guests, which is 11% more than during the same period 2014, according to Basel Tourismus. The number of nights grew by 7.4% to a total of 698,743.
Basel profits from its good mix of business, MICE and leisure tourism, with roughly one-third of its visitors coming from within the country itself. Another third originates from Eurozone countries. Germany is Basel’s main market, according to Luzern Tourismus.
On the other hand, growth in demand is accompanied by growth in supply. While the number of rooms sold increased by 7.3% year-to-date July, room supply grew by 8.2%.
Consequently, performance data for the Basel region does not call for celebration. Occupancy decreased 0.9% year-to-date July; ADR dropped 4.7%; and RevPAR fell 5.6%. In absolute figures, ADR was at 216 Swiss francs ($221.46), and RevPAR was 140 Swiss francs ($143.54).
Lucerne is situated in the heart of Switzerland at Lake Lucerne. Lucerne has started establishing itself as a strong brand on Asian and American markets decades ago and profits from foreign movies or soaps being shot in or around the city.
Over the last five years, there has been a shift in market shares. European visitors decreased by nearly 18%, while Americans gained 26% and Asians 38%, according to Luzern Tourismus.
The supply side did not change over last year’s comparison period. This allowed for stabilized rates, permitting increased year-to-date July occupancy rates (+7.3%) to translate into RevPAR growth of 7.1%.
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