GENEVA (dpa-AFX) – The large Swiss mountain areas will be overrun by holidaymakers this summer after the recent easing in the corona crisis in Europe. Many have higher bookings for the summer months than last year, as a survey by the German Press Agency shows. In addition, wild campers became a problem in some places, as community representatives reported on Wednesday on the radio.
“We have a 27 percent increase in demand for the entire summer,” said Luzi Brkli from the Graubnden Ferien organization at dpa. The telephone at the Gasthaus Krone in La Punt in the Engadine has been glowing since mid-June, said Sonja Martin, who runs the three-star hotel with her husband Andreas, on Swiss radio. “We had never had such well-booked hotel rooms at this time as we did right now.”
The region of Adelboden, Lenk, Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland also had an increase in bookings for July and August compared to the previous year. “We are satisfied with the current booking status,” said Silvia Nesch, spokeswoman for Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg Tourism. The situation is also promising in the canton of Valais, for example in the Saas-Fee and Aletsch regions. “The occupancy was better in June than in the same month in previous years,” said Mathias Fleischmann from the marketing organization Wallis Promotion.
On the one hand, there are more Swiss guests who are not spending their holidays abroad this year, but also visitors from Germany and the Benelux countries, say the tourism managers.
Camping sites are also fully booked until August. Many people with motorhomes therefore stopped overnight in the open air or in parking lots. This can be expensive, bucks of up to thousands of Swiss francs can be imposed.
“There were campers in practically every parking lot,” said Mayor of the municipality of Fleli, in the canton of Lucerne, Sabine Wermelinger, in the Radion SRF. Some behaved exemplary, but others left mountains of garbage behind. Locals in the canton of Uri would have been taken aback by campers, said the managing director of the tourism association, Maurus Stckli. In addition to the waste, there were “the worst cases”: “That you lead your legacies into the mountain stream instead of taking them with you.”
Many municipalities are now making new car parking spaces available at short notice. Uri has already allocated 65 temporary pitches, one for example next to a cross-country skiing center, where showers and toilets are available. The night then costs 20 francs (18.70 euros). Uri is actually considered a transit canton, most guests rush through Ticino and Italy. Stckli now sees an opportunity to make Uri known as a location for campers, to keep guests longer and thus to earn more.
It is not so good for cities that sometimes receive many Asian groups as guests, or live from events that have now been canceled. The owner of the five-star Hotel Schweizerhof in Lucerne, Patrick Hauser, normally has 80 percent foreign guests. The classical music festival, which is important to him, does not take place. Hauser wants to attract visitors with intimate house concerts. In addition to Swiss people, Interlaken also usually attracts many Asian travel groups in summer. There will hardly be any record years like 2018 or 2019 for overnight stays, according to Interlaken Tourismus. Bookings from Germany, however, have increased./oe/DP/zb