Research - 12.09.2013 - 00:00 

More traveling, faster recovery

The Swiss have never traveled as much as they did in 2012. Short trips were especially popular. These are some of the findings of a survey of 3,500 Swiss households on traveling behavior by IMP-HSG, conducted regularly since 1972.


13 September 2013. Conducted regularly since 1972, “Travel Market Switzerland” is the country’s oldest continuing survey of Swiss traveling habits. The study was directed by Prof. Christian Laesser, with support from Barbara Riegler, at HSG’s Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance. Key findings of the survey include:

Strong economy equals more tourism
Encouraged by a positive economic environment, the Swiss traveled more than ever last year. Ninety-four percent (+6 percentage points) of the population made a private journey with one or more overnight stays. The most frequent travelers live in cities and smaller households. They also have the financial means for travel due to their education and professional positions. Those who did not travel in 2012 had too little time for trips or were hindered by professional reasons.

With a market share of 38% (-2 percentage points), Switzerland remains the top destination for Swiss people. However, this should not hide the fact that the country’s market share continues to slip. The biggest competitors are neighboring countries, whose share grew by three percentage points to 37%. Germany is first (12%), followed by France (10%) and Italy (9%). In 2012, more than half of all journeys (54%) were made in the second half of the year, mostly during school holidays in July.

The shorter the better
Short trips are more popular than ever. Slightly more than 70% of all journeys lasted a week or less. Journeys with up to four overnight stays increased by 40% in comparison to 2007. While shorter trips are replacing two-week journeys for most Swiss travelers, longer trips with more than 14 overnight stays remained constant (4%).

Swiss travelers’ demand for information is met mostly via the Internet, friends and relatives and employees at destination sites. The starting point for a search for travel-oriented information online is primarily search engines, followed by destination and hotel websites. While the Internet is a major source of information regardless of the destination, the need for printed information like brochures and classic guidebooks increases with the distance of the destination.

Many Swiss like luxury
The survey also revealed runaway growth in demand for first-class hotels. A little more than a quarter of all travelers stayed at four- or five-star hotels in 2012 (+3 percentage points). By contrast, mid-market hotels continue to lose share (-4 percentage points), but the drop also reflects an increase in stays with family and friends (+1 percentage point).

For a variety of reasons, there also is growing demand for self-owned holiday apartments. While Swiss travelers seek the “pampering experience” of hotels, they also want more space with a full array of services and facilities. This is especially the case on international journeys, a category that grew sharply in 2012.

Picture: Photocase / tagstiles

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