Home » Tourism In Switzerland Surge As 42 Countries Eligible Under Visa Free Program – Check Now If Your Country Is Eligible – Travel And Tour World

Tourism In Switzerland Surge As 42 Countries Eligible Under Visa Free Program – Check Now If Your Country Is Eligible – Travel And Tour World

Tourism In Switzerland Surge As 42 Countries Eligible Under Visa Free Program – Check Now If Your Country Is Eligible – Travel And Tour World

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Visa Free

Switzerland, nestled in the heart of Europe, is a stunning destination that epitomizes natural beauty and cultural richness. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, the country boasts majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and picturesque villages. The Swiss Alps, a major draw for visitors, offer world-class skiing, snowboarding, and hiking opportunities. The country’s commitment to tradition is evident in its preservation of historical sites, local cuisine, and cultural festivals. Switzerland is surrounded by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria to the east.

To safeguard a tourism sector that contributes 43 billion francs (approximately $48 billion) annually and accounts for 4.5 percent of the nation’s GDP, Switzerland Tourism is taking proactive steps. By 2024, the tourism market’s revenue is forecasted to hit US$5.78 billion. From 2024 to 2028, the market is expected to experience a growth rate of 1.23% annually, ultimately reaching a market volume of US$6.07 billion by 2028. Economic expansion slowed down in 2023 due to weaker external demand affecting manufacturing output. Moreover, ongoing geopolitical tensions dampened consumer confidence, which in turn slowed the growth of private consumption. Consequently, GDP growth slowed to 1.3%, down from 2.5% in 2022. Inflation also eased to 2.1% in 2023 from 2.8% in the previous year.

In April 2024, Switzerland saw 712,413 visitor arrivals, a slight increase from 710,711 in the same month of the previous year. However, the number of tourists arriving in Switzerland decreased to 1,449.17 thousand in April 2024, down from 1,584.13 thousand in March 2024. Over the years, tourist arrivals in Switzerland have averaged 1,291.42 thousand from 1996 to 2024, peaking at 2,373.40 thousand in July 2023 and hitting a record low of 53.92 thousand in April 2020.

Switzerland’s recent introduction of a visa-free entry regime for 48 countries, encompassing Schengen Area members, has revolutionized its tourism landscape. This pivotal policy change has streamlined entry for countless visitors, enhancing Switzerland’s attractiveness across various travel categories. The ease of access now enjoyed by business and corporate travelers has greatly simplified the logistics of attending meetings, conferences, and other professional gatherings. Furthermore, the policy has stimulated growth in specialized travel segments like gastronomy tourism, adventure tourism, and wellness tourism. These developments not only enrich travelers’ experiences but also contribute substantially to economic expansion and cultural interactions.

Visa Free Countries

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region), Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United States, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Ukraine.

Optimal Times for Visiting Switzerland

June to August: These summer months provide the most agreeable weather for outdoor adventures like hiking and sightseeing. As summer wanes, fewer tourists visit, and temperatures begin to drop.

Autumn to Winter: During these seasons, the landscape transforms dramatically. Autumn sees a reduction in tourist numbers before giving way to a snowy winter, ideal for skiing enthusiasts.

Activities to Enjoy in Switzerland

Picnicking by Lake Geneva: Straddling the border between Switzerland and France, Lake Geneva is one of Western Europe’s largest lakes. Positioned along the Rhone River, it offers scenic views and tranquil spots for a perfect picnic.

Exploring Valais: Valais is known for its diverse landscapes, including the iconic Matterhorn, which resembles a shark’s tooth against the sky. The region is also home to numerous glaciers and the verdant meadows of the Alps.

Swimming and Sunbathing: With the arrival of spring and summer, Zurich becomes a hotspot for sun lovers. Lake Zurich and the city’s riverbanks offer excellent spots for swimming or sunbathing, embracing the warm weather.

Traveling to Switzerland

By Air: Switzerland is served by major international airports in Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. Smaller airports in Berne and Lugano handle regional flights. For international travelers, nearby major cities like Milan or Paris offer additional gateways.

By Rail: Switzerland boasts an extensive and efficient railway network that connects it to the rest of Europe. The high-speed rail link from France, including multiple daily trains from cities like Paris, Nice, and Avignon, is among the best ways to reach Switzerland.

By Road: Road travel offers a scenic and accessible route into Switzerland, particularly from central-eastern France to Geneva or from southern Germany to Zurich. Switzerland’s central location in Europe and its well-maintained roads make it an ideal destination for a memorable road trip.

Discover Switzerland’s Premier Tourist Destinations

Lucerne: The Heart of Switzerland’s History and Beauty
Lucerne captivates with its car-free medieval old town, vibrant waterfront promenades, and sunlit squares. Nestled among mountains and a stunning turquoise lake, this city boasts iconic sights such as the Chapel Bridge and the poignant Lion Monument. Culture thrives here with events like the annual International Music Festival and the comprehensive Swiss Transport Museum.

Jungfraujoch: A Journey Through Natural Wonders
At Jungfraujoch, experience the majesty of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Aletsch Glacier and breathtaking rail journeys through the Bernese Oberland. Its observation terrace offers sweeping views and houses a scientific observatory, making it a pinnacle of European rail travel.

Lake Geneva: A Blend of Nature and Culture
Straddling the Swiss/French border, Lake Geneva is the largest Alpine lake in Europe. The UN city of Geneva lies nearby, framed by dramatic snow-capped peaks and lush gardens. Enjoy cultural highlights such as the Opera House, Grand Theatre, and the vibrant Montreux Jazz Festival.

Swiss National Park: A Sanctuary of Alpine Biodiversity
Founded in 1914, the Swiss National Park in Engadine Valley stands as one of the Alps’ oldest reserves. Covering 170 sq km, it’s a haven for over 5,000 species, where visitors can delve into pristine forests, explore mountain trails, and spot wildlife like marmots and ibexes.

The Matterhorn: Zermatt’s Alpine Paradise
The iconic Matterhorn towers over Zermatt, a charming village that transforms into a bustling resort with horse-drawn carriages, quaint chalets, and luxury amenities. Here, adventurers can ski extensive winter slopes or enjoy summer activities like hiking, biking, and climbing in the scenic Alps.

 Rhine Falls: The Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall, presents a breathtaking spectacle to visitors! Formed 17,000 years ago, this stunning natural wonder has become a prime attraction for numerous visitors from around the globe.

Switzerland’s Premier Tours & Activities

Paragliding Adventures from Interlaken
Experience the thrill of tandem paragliding in the picturesque town of Interlaken. Soar through the sky and enjoy breathtaking views that promise an unforgettable aerial adventure.

Day Excursion to Mount Titlis and Lucerne from Zurich
Embark on a memorable day trip from Zurich to explore Mount Titlis and the charming city of Lucerne. Discover majestic landscapes and historic sights in one comprehensive tour.

Journey to Jungfraujoch: The Top of Europe from Interlaken
Travel from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch, known as the Top of Europe, on a day trip that showcases the stunning beauty of the Swiss Alps and offers a unique alpine experience.

Panoramic Lake Lucerne Cruise
Enjoy a panoramic sightseeing cruise on Lake Lucerne. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the lake and its surrounding mountains through this relaxing and scenic cruise.

River Rafting Adventure in Bernese Oberland
Join an exhilarating river rafting experience on the Lütschine River in the Bernese Oberland. This adventure is perfect for thrill-seekers looking to tackle exciting rapids amidst stunning landscapes.

Switzerland Finest Hotels

Park Hotel Vitznau: Following comprehensive renovations in 2012 and 2013, the opulent Park Hotel Vitznau now boasts a private beach, two dining establishments, an expansive spa, and complimentary garage parking, all set along the shores of Lake Lucerne.

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa: Nestled between two stunning lakes at the base of the perpetually snow-covered Jungfrau, the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa offers a scenic and privileged spot in Interlaken.

Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski: Positioned directly opposite the St. Moritz Signalbahn with ski-in, ski-out access and a direct link to the renowned Hahnensee ski run, the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski serves as the ultimate retreat for sports lovers throughout all seasons.

Mandarin Oriental Savoy, Zurich: In Zurich, the Mandarin Oriental Savoy enchants with its garden, terrace, restaurant, and bar. This 5-star hotel enhances guest experiences with services such as concierge, room service, a 24-hour front desk, and currency exchange.

Giardino Ascona: The luxurious Giardino Ascona marries a relaxed atmosphere with high service standards and a charismatic design to create a Mediterranean haven of savoir-vivre in Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, where guests can breathe, relax, stroll, chill, move, marvel, or simply enjoy undiluted relaxation with flair.

Swiss International Air Lines: Switzerland’s Gateway to the World

Overview of SWISS
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), Switzerland’s national carrier, operates flights from Zurich and Geneva, covering over 100 destinations in more than 40 countries. Annually, SWISS is trusted by approximately 18 million passengers. The airline recently introduced a high-tech cargo service between Zurich and Seoul, utilizing an Airbus A340, marking its first foray into this route with three weekly flights.

Financial and Operational Highlights
In 2023, SWISS achieved a record adjusted EBIT of CHF 718.5 million, a 58% increase over the prior year’s CHF 456 million. The airline served about 16.5 million passengers, a nearly 30% rise from the previous year, and maintained an above-average reliability in its flight operations.

Insights into Zurich and Geneva International Airports

Zurich Airport (Kloten International Airport)
Located just 13 km from Zurich, Zurich Airport, bustling year-round with tourists, offers extensive amenities including lounges, free Wi-Fi, porter services, and family areas. It annually accommodates approximately 17 million travelers.

Geneva International Airport (Formerly Cointrin Airport)
Geneva International Airport offers a wide range of domestic and international flights along with cargo services. Established in 1919, it serves up to 15 million passengers annually. Recently, Geneva Airport initiated talks with Singapore authorities and Singapore Airlines to explore direct flights between Geneva (GVA) and Singapore Changi (SIN), enhancing its global connectivity.