Swiss mountain regions suffer from foreign travel

Because of the corona pandemic, long vacations were popular in Switzerland. Now people are drawn back to the sea. Many hiking trails are emptier than usual.

the essentials in brief

  • After two years at home, many Swiss travel abroad again for the first time.
  • You can feel this in the mountains: in many places the hiking routes are emptier.
  • This also has an impact on the hotel industry, gastronomy and leisure facilities.

The last two years have been shaped by the coronavirus. Summer vacations abroad were out of the question. Instead, many Swiss stayed at home and discovered new corners of their homeland. Many went hiking and stormed the mountains.

But that’s over now: Holidays abroad are making a big comeback. And after the onslaught of the last few years, it is now quiet in many places on the Swiss hiking trails.

For example in Toggenburg: If you are traveling in the region, you don’t have to worry about long waiting times in front of chairlifts and the like.

There is also a yawning emptiness in mountain gastronomy, as experienced on site. The operator of a mountain restaurant in Toggenburg tells “During Corona, all hell broke loose up here. Now everyone prefers to fly to the sea.”

Tourism manager Olivia Hug confirms to that “fewer people are visiting this summer than in the previous two years”. However, the years 2020 and 2021 were “extraordinary”: “It was clearly noticeable that Swiss people spent the summer holidays in Switzerland and got to know new regions in their own country.”

The Swiss now prefer to vacation by the sea

But now it is “a little quieter” compared to the years before the pandemic. Toggenburg Tourism explains this with the wanderlust of the population: It is assumed that many Swiss people are now particularly attracted to the sea during their holidays. In addition, it is currently too hot for hiking. “That could also be a reason why there are not too many hikers in the area during the day,” explains Hug.

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Valais is also struggling with empty regions. “The proportion of overnight stays by Swiss guests has fallen compared to last year. Even if it’s still higher than before the pandemic,” Elise Melly from Valais Wallis Promotion told

After all, you can make up for some of the losses with foreign guests.

Zurich residents are drawn to the Flumserberge

The situation is different in the Flumserberg region: many people in Zurich fled to dizzy heights last weekend, as “Tele Züri” reports. The season is therefore going extremely well for the pubs in the region. Maik Kunz, the main person responsible for gastronomy, explains to the broadcaster: “The higher the company is, the more refreshing and cooler the temperatures are. The more the business flourishes.”

Even in the Bernese Oberland you don’t notice that there are fewer local guests on holiday. Marc Ungerer, Managing Director of Jungfrau Region Tourism, explains to “During the Corona pandemic, the Swiss learned to love their own country again – this trend is continuing.” In the summer, the vacation rentals in the entire Jungfrau region on the well-known sales channels are almost 100 percent occupied.

More on the subject:

Gastronomy coronavirus holidays

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