Switzerland

Switzerland

Visitor characteristics

  • There are twice as many male as female business visitors while there is little to choose between the numbers of male and female leisure visitors, a group that has a younger age-profile than do those in Britain for business
  • Three-quarters of holiday visitors are making a repeat trip to Britain
  • Most holiday and business visitors are Swiss, but more than one-third of those visiting friends or relatives are in fact British nationals
  • Virtually all visitors live in either Zurich or Geneva
  • 81% of departing visitors say that they are either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ likely to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Sightseeing of Famous Buildings/ Monuments

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

Measure2015
International tourism expenditure (US$bn)16.0
Global rank for international tourism expenditure20
Number of outbound visits (m)22.3
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Measure2015
Population (m)8.3
GDP per capita (Int $)79,819
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)1.9
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)0.9

Inbound visits to Britain

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Seasonality (Share of visits)

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Regional spread (Share of visits)

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Access to Britain from Switzerland

Measure2016
Weekly aircraft departures560
Weekly seat capacity79,122
Airports with direct routes in Switzerland4
Airports with direct routes in Britain24
  • Virtually all visits to Britain are made by air
  • Airline seat capacity has been broadly stable over recent years but is highly seasonal reflecting demand for outbound winter sports travel from Britain to Switzerland
  • Geneva and Zurich are the airports with the highest volume of capacity destined for Britain, with the bulk of seats destined for London area airports

What the Swiss think about Britain

  • The cultural product or service that the Swiss most associate with Britain is museums, but they have an above average propensity to associate Britain with pop videos
  • 32% reckon that the adjective ‘exciting’ would describe a potential visit to Britain
  • More than half of Swiss associate Britain with the statement ‘has a rich and interesting history’ but both France and the USA are even more strongly associated with this attribute
  • While 38% associate Britain with the statement ‘is rich in natural scenic beauty’ leading competitors are much more strongly associated with the statement
  • Only 15% believe ‘is a relaxing destination’ is apposite for Britain and just 13% consider ‘is a romantic destination’ to be appropriate
  • Twice as many believe that the statement ‘people are welcoming’ is right for Italy than believe it to be right for Britain
  • More than one-in-four find the idea of ‘shopping in Harrods’ as appealing, and 21% associate the statement ‘shopping is good value for money’ in Britain

Caring for visitors

  • It is definitely an advantage to have important signs and information material printed in French and German and to know a few basic phrases in French and German to make Swiss visitors feel welcome
  • The Swiss are prepared to pay for good quality accommodation, but they do expect perfection
  • Cleanliness is of major importance to the Swiss, as are sustainability and environmental issues
  • The Swiss enjoy being able to consume organic food and will appreciate this being available when on holiday

 

The leisure & travel trade

  • According to the Swiss national travel agents’ association (SRV), the top ten tour operators in Switzerland probably account for 70% of the total market
  • The larger operators research their main programme between April and June, while smaller operators work to a slightly later timetable, researching between July and September
  • Major German operators are now increasingly active in Switzerland

Downloads

Switzerland market profile

Read about the preferences of Europeans towards tourismPublished March 2015

Find out where visitors from Switzerland to the UK reside in their own country. Published 2011

Exchange rate

1 GBP = 1.2351 CHF

As of 22 March 2017

Retrieved from the Bank of England