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Swiss tourism: Which nationalities visit Switzerland the most?

Swiss tourism: Which nationalities visit Switzerland the most?

Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has published its annual statistics looking into where tourists visiting Switzerland came from in 2022. As tourism from Germany declined last year, a Swiss tourist office has pointed a finger at a strange culprit: Switzerland’s banking regulations. 

Swiss tourism offices blames banking laws for drop in German arrivals

As is the case for many neighbouring countries, it’s easy for tourists to hop between Switzerland and France, Germany and Austria. Despite this, the number of German tourists heading to Switzerland in 2022 actually declined compared to the previous year, despite the data suggesting that citizens of the Federal Republic are still flocking to nearby Austria. 

So what is Switzerland doing wrong? According to one of the country’s tourism branches, it’s all to do with banking. According to the Luzerner Zeitung, the office thinks that Switzerland’s looser banking secrecy laws are to blame for the decline in German tourism, as before the changes, many Germans would cross the border to settle their finances. 

Despite the fall in numbers, Germans are still the largest group of visitors in Switzerland each year, with many German tourists heading across the border to hike up the Swiss mountains during the summer or visit one of Switzerland’s many ski resorts during the winter. 

Many visitors from USA, few from Belarus

It’s not just the Germans that like to visit Switzerland from time to time, though. According to data from the FSO, the second-largest group of tourists in Switzerland come from the United States, with 962.822 arrivals from American airports from January to November 2022. On the opposite end of the list, the number of Belarusian citizens entering Switzerland was just over 2.000. 

Despite having the largest population in the world, the number of Chinese arrivals in 2022 was just over 51.000, with Switzerland having had fewer Chinese arrivals than those from many smaller countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands or Israel. However, this phenomenon can partly be blamed on the extremely strict COVID arrival and departure procedure enforced by China throughout 2022.

Top and bottom ten countries for arrivals in Switzerland in 2022

According to data from the FSO, these are the nationalities that arrived in Switzerland the most in 2022. 

  • 1. Germany
  • 2. United States
  • 3. France
  • 4. United Kingdom
  • 5. Italy
  • 6. Netherlands
  • 7. Spain
  • 8. Belgium
  • 9. Austria
  • 10. India

While these nationalities visited Switzerland the least in 2022:

  • 1. Belarus
  • 2. Bahrain
  • 3. Iceland
  • 4. Cyprus
  • 5. Latvia
  • 6. Malta
  • 7. Oman
  • 8. Chile
  • 9. Lithuania
  • 10. Estonia

 For the full statistics, visit the Swiss Federal Statistical Office’s website.

Image: Shutterstock.com / Sorbis

Emily Proctor

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Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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