Switzerland posted big gains with U.S. travelers in 2017. The country cracked the two million ceiling on American tourists, according to new tourism data from the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics and Switzerland Tourism, with U.S. arrivals and overnights both increasing in 2017. That makes 2017 the eighth consecutive year of increasing visitor numbers from the U.S. to Switzerland, with a total growth of almost 50 percent since 2009, making 2017 the second-best year in over 25 years (only surpassed by 2000).
The latest numbers show an increase of 12.1 percent in U.S. arrivals in Switzerland in 2017, for a total of 957,796. According to final 2017 figures, the number of overnight stays was 2.05 million, an increase of 11.5 percent compared to 2016 (only overnights in Swiss hotels and youth hostels; vacation homes, other kinds of accommodation and visits with friends and family are not included).
The most popular destinations were the Zurich Region with 550,789, the Lake Lucerne Region 281,978, and the Geneva Region with 275,523 overnights. With 65,216 more overnights in 2017, the Zurich Region recorded the biggest growth in U.S. visits.
“Over the last 18 months, we have introduced a new travel agent training program, published our first winter sales manual, increased our presence at travel trade conferences, and hired an additional sales and marketing person for our office in New York, with a focus on the Swiss Travel System, the transportation network of Switzerland,” said Alex Herrmann, director North America, Switzerland Tourism. “This increased investment in serving and collaborating with the travel trade in North America is paying off.”