Swiss tourism has been struggling in 2015 but health and medical tourists from the Gulf region have given it a boost.
A recent Deloitte study ’Tourism Destination Switzerland‘– interviewed 32 Swiss hotel companies in the luxury and middleclass segments. The majority saw revenue fall in 2014 and expected problems for 2015 to 2018. The glimmer of hope was the rise in health tourism.
Several hotels plan to expand their health tourism offerings. But they face a number of challenges such as the lack of qualified staff and hygiene regulations. Hotels seek to offer more attractive amenities, excellent service, targeted marketing, customer retention and social media presence.
Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world for medical and health tourism – for anything from medical spas and IVF treatment to neuro, cosmetic, obesity and orthopaedic surgery. Swiss hospitals also offer dentistry, and laser surgery and hair removal. All these come with a premium price tag, but tourists, especially from the Middle East, are far more concerned about quality than price.
According to Switzerland Tourism 253,919 GCC health and medical tourists with 735,318 overnight stays visited Switzerland in 2014 year, an increase of 23% on 2013.The leading country is Saudi Arabia, followed by the UAE.
Gulf tourists spend an average of CHF500 a day, more than anyone else in daily tourist expenditure, so it is not surprising that Swiss destinations