Exceptional season for the Swiss ski industry but difficult winter ahead

© Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

While ski resort visits and turnover hit record highs last season, inflation and the lifting of Covid restrictions could hurt the Swiss ski industry.

This content was published on September 3, 2022 – 10:45

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For the first time in ten years, Swiss ski resorts recorded more than 25 million skier-days last season, according to the association of ski lift operators. Turnover also soared to a total of 828 million francs (about $844 million), the best result since the 2010/2011 season.

According to association president Berno Stoffel, the snow arrived early in the season last year and allowed ski resorts to open early and encouraged winter sports enthusiasts to buy subscriptions. Covid restrictions that were still in place in neighboring countries, such as France, have boosted the arrival of foreign skiers on relatively unlimited Swiss slopes, Stoffel told Le Nouvelliste and La Liberté newspapers on Saturday.

dark clouds

However, this cross-border clientele could once again shun Swiss resorts in the 2022/2023 season, warned Stoffel, who expects a “difficult” winter.

“Switzerland will no longer have the advantage of being one of the only countries in the region to have open ski areas, or at least unlimited access”, he specifies.

Inflation in Europe is also playing against Swiss resorts. Foreign tourists risk being discouraged by the decline in their purchasing power and the high prices in Switzerland.

Fears of energy shortages across Europe are also forcing ski lifts to adapt. The association is currently preparing energy saving measures. The sector consumes 0.34% of all energy in Switzerland. The association is considering the possibility of giving up night skiing next winter.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the ski industry consumes 34% of all Swiss energy. It is actually 0.34%.

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