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Switzerland's Strong Currency May Damage its Tourism Industry

January 21, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Here's a great definition of the word "irony": A country's strong currency and economy may be hurting international business ventures, including tourism...and, by proxy, damaging the economy they've worked hard to protect.

In Switzerland, Bloomberg is reporting, the Swiss franc has appreciated 13 percent against the euro over the past year as investors sought a safe haven from Eurozone fiscal problems. That’s holding back exports, the report continues, which make up more than half of Switzerland’s gross domestic product. In June, the Swiss National Bank stopped buying euros and dollars, a policy aimed to prevent deflation and weaken the franc.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the exchange rate was forcing ski fans to look elsewhere for their winter vacations, noting that Switzerland's tourism industry generates between 3 and 4 percent of the Swiss gross domestic product—approximately $32 billion in annual sales. Hotels, restaurants and shops stand to lose between 150 million and 500 million francs in revenue, the report added.

Read more here and here.


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About the Author

Jena Tesse Fox
Jena Tesse Fox covers Europe, Africa, Australia/South Pacific and business travel for the Questex Travel Group's publications. The daughter of history teachers, she can spend...

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By Jena Tesse Fox | January 21, 2011
The Swiss franc has appreciated 13 percent against the euro over the past year, making international business prohibitively expensive.
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