Switzerland Posts Strong Recovery From Canada

Canadians were heading back to Switzerland in 2022 as the most recent numbers released by the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics show a recovery of 83% in Canadian overnights in Switzerland, for a total of 227,658 nights, just slightly short of the country’s record-breaking results in 2019.

The strong recovery signals a positive trend for 2023 as we enter the busy summer and fall travel season.

Oliver Weibel, who recently joined Switzerland Tourism as Director Canada, observed that: “The solid second half of the year from July through December, is a promising indicator for the current year and beyond.”

Weibel continued: “The numbers vastly improved in the second half of the year after travel restrictions were dropped in April 2022.”

The overnight figures combined from the US and Canada to Switzerland in January 2023 are +9.7% higher compared to the same month in 2019, placing North America as the second biggest market after Germany and the largest long-haul market for Switzerland Tourism.

Canada is a big and important part of that picture.

Said Weibel: “North Americans love experiences in nature with the cultural dynamism that a destination like Switzerland offers in such close proximity. And with the resurgence of the popularity in train travel as a top 5 consumer need for sustainable travel experiences, Switzerland presents one of the most sustainable ways of seeing multiple destinations in one place.”

“One very positive trend that we are seeing is that Canadians have surpassed the 2019 overnight stays in October and November in Switzerland” noted Weibel who sees this as a signal to further market the popularity of traveling to Switzerland in autumn.

Weibel continued: “In 2023, we will continue to strengthen our personal relationships with tour operators, travel advisors, and media contacts to deepen their knowledge of our incredible and diverse offerings. To help spread the word, a delegation of 17 Swiss partners will be travelling for the “STE Canada roadshow” to Montréal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver the week of May 29 – June 2.”

Tour operators and travel advisors remain the primary booking source of overseas travel for Canadians.

And that’s particularly true in the luxury market, where Switzerland is a high priority, with most overnight stays in 4-star to 5-star accommodations. While Canadians have increased their length of stay slightly by 7.8% to 2.3 nights; the figures indicate that guests flying into Switzerland are staying 8+ nights overall, which creates an opportunity for Switzerland Tourism to increase their share of these overnight stays.

SWISS International Airlines and Air Canada currently offer 4-5 times weekly direct flights from Montreal and Toronto to Zurich and Geneva. While Edelweiss, a sister company of SWISS International Airlines, has direct flights from Vancouver and Calgary (starting April, June respectively in 2023).

The upcoming Switzerland Tourism campaign will feature “The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland”, to explore the highlights of Switzerland on one single tour by train. This ultimate trip includes numerous sightseeing opportunities, gives visitors access to iconic spots for excursions along the route and leads them through the most beautiful parts of the country.