Switzerland Tourism Promotes Country’s Strong Value for U.S. Visitors
By James Ruggia
August 27, 2012 10:42 PM
Apparently Europe’s economic turbulence is not reaching the Swiss Alps, and Switzerland Tourism is asking travelers to look at the country’s value proposition in comparison to Europe. Usually perceived as one of Europe’s more expensive countries, Switzerland is actually offering a strong value in the exchange between the dollar and the Swiss franc.
“Today, the U.S. dollar is worth 35.13 percent more in Swiss francs than it was a year ago, from about 70 cents Swiss to the dollar to almost 1 to 1,” said Alex Hermann, Switzerland Tourism’s director, Americas. “So a trip to Switzerland today is theoretically one-third less expensive for an American, just because of the exchange rate, assuming everything else costs the same.”
About a year ago, the dollar/franc exchange rate had hit its all-time low of 70 Swiss cents to the dollar. The dollar has improved considerably, which makes the message that Switzerland is 10 to 20 percent less expensive than a year ago true for the entire second half of this year. According to Hermann, Swiss travel suppliers -- especially transport, hotels and restaurants -- had lowered their prices in order to compete for European travelers carrying weakened euros and pounds.
“Prices in Switzerland -- hotels, restaurants, etc. -- have decreased, and many special sales take place, such as the 2-for-1 sale of the Swiss Travel System/RailEurope,” said Hermann.
“We’re seeing that certain Swiss resorts are realizing that they have an opportunity to reach the American market,” said John Frasca, the president of World on Skis, a division of Central Holidays. “Grindelwald, Interlaken and St. Moritz are offering some attractive ‘pay six days/stay seven’ deals. St. Moritz sells its ski pass for 25 Swiss francs for the whole season. Combine that with the seven for six deals and you have prices that are competitive with Austria and Italy.”