More than 10% of tourists who visited Lausanne resort in Switzerland last year were from the UAE, making the city a key tourism destination for Emiratis, according to a Lausanne Tourism adviser.
Walter Loser said, “Lausanne is increasingly becoming one of the most attractive tourism destinations for UAE and other GCC countries, adding that the number of GCC visitors to the Swiss city surged by nearly 20% in 2013.”
“The UAE now has the second largest number of Middle Eastern tourists to Switzerland,” he told reporters during a visit to the UAE and other Gulf states. “We have worked hard to provide the best services to tourists in our country from the UAE and other Gulf states during summer,” he added.
He said, “More facilities would be set up in Lausanne during 2014-2015 including sport fields, adding that there are nearly 67 hotels comprising 3,900 rooms in Lausanne.” He estimated occupancy rates at as high as 86% last year and said a new five-star hotel would be set up in 2015 as a GCC investment.
Mr. Loser said, “Lausanne Tourism would participate in the Arab Travel Market show due to be held in Dubai in May, describing it as the most important tourism event in the Middle East as it provides an opportunity for big tour packages.” He said, “His tour in the region is intended to have talks with tourism officials and agents, adding that he had held successful meetings in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Bahrain, Dammam and Jeddah.”
His figures showed GCC tourists are among the biggest spenders abroad, with an average individual spending of around 530 francs in Switzerland.
He said, “Lausanne Tourism authority is focusing on preparing tourism programmes for families who can get details from travel and tour agents in the region, adding that they are available in Arabic as well.” Mr Loser said, “The famous Olympic Museum has been reopened following a rehabilitation and maintenance project that cost around $30m. He said the museum is the only place which hosts the Olympic torch during the games and that it is ready to receive visitors from the GCC and other countries.”
He said, “Hotel rates in Lausanne would remain unchanged in 2014 and that occupancy grew by nearly 5% last year. We expect higher growth this year because of the strong interest by GCC and Arab tourists and the fact that Lausanne is attracting visitors from Geneva.”
Lausanne, located in the heart of Europe, is the fourth largest Swiss city and is famous for its beautiful nature, shopping centres and mountains. It overlooks Geneva Lake and is only around 40 minutes by car from Geneva airport.