“This is not good news, because 2020 was the worst year in history” for the sector, Martin Nydegger told the newspaper SonntagsZeitung.
Last year, international tourism revenue fell by almost 50%, official figures show.
“Life for Swiss tourism will be difficult for years to come,” Nydegger explained that as leisure tourism is once again rebounding, business travel is not likely to return to the levels of pre-pandemic.
He predicted that in 2021, there will be 10% fewer domestic tourists than last year, as more Swiss travelers go abroad thanks to a loosening of border restrictions.
However, this may be compensated for by more Swiss guests from abroad. Roughly, the Alpine country is recording a 15% rise in visitors from neighboring countries this summer, including Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Belgium. Numbers are also picking up from the Gulf States and North America.
However, tourists from one important region remains unwilling.
“In the next two or three years we won’t see nearly as many Asian [tourists] with us as we did before the coronavirus,” said Nydegger.