Jungfrau Zeitung – Robust result in a tough environment

Grindelwald Tourism | October 31, 2022

Already at the beginning of the year, Grindelwald Turismo was able to experience a record winter, now even the summer can end with a positive balance. This newspaper asked the director of tourism, Bruno Hauswirth, what was the cause of this success and what challenges await us this winter.

Grindelwald can look back on a few successful months.

Grindelwald can look back on a few successful months.Photo: Region of the Jungfrau Tourismus AG

The figures speak for themselves: from the beginning of January to the end of September, the Eigerdorf hotel industry can report 47 percent more overnight stays than last year, in absolute numbers equal to 170,000 more overnight stays. If you look at 2019, the most successful year in history so far, hotels were able to see a 1.5 percent increase in demand.

However, we cannot yet speak of a record year, as it is not yet clear whether these good numbers will continue until the end of December. “We’ll see if it will be a record year. This is not our priority either: the important thing is that the place works back to its pre-crisis level, “says tourism director Bruno Hauswirth happily.

Bruno Hauswirth, director of tourism at Grindelwald, is very pleased with the positive development of tourism in the Eiger village.

Bruno Hauswirth, director of tourism at Grindelwald, is very pleased with the positive development of tourism in the Eiger village.Photo: zvg

What are the specific reasons for this year’s success?

Bruno Hauswirth: Especially in the second winter season with the new VBahn, it is confirmed that the new Eiger Express and Mannlichenbahn lift facilities mean a significant increase in the attractiveness for winter sports in the Jungfrau ski area. The new means of transport brought the Jungfrau ski area back to the “bel étage” of winter sports. This also had a positive impact on overnight stays.

The lifting of the restrictions linked to the pandemic also had an impact in the spring. The place has also benefited to a large extent from various strong marketing initiatives in national and international markets and the opening of new hotel facilities.

On the Eiger Trail, guests can enjoy a hike with a breathtaking view.

On the Eiger Trail, guests can enjoy a hike with a breathtaking view.

Have you noticed anything special about visitors in the last few months?

We have had a different mix of guests than in previous years. When I look at the statistics, around 38 percent of the guests were Swiss. Ten percent of the visitors came from North America: this market has developed very well. Travel restrictions in Asia have resulted in a drop in demand from this geographic area compared to the pre-crisis situation in 2019. It appears to be gradually recovering.

The mix of guests from the hotel industry in the Eigerdorf from 1st January to the end of September.

The mix of guests from the hotel industry in the Eigerdorf from 1st January to the end of September.

What challenges have you faced this year? And which ones are yet to come for the tourism industry?

Some difficulties are obviously inevitable. On the one hand, the conflict situation in Europe is obviously extremely tragic, especially for those directly affected. On the other hand, it also brings us uncertainties, for example regarding energy supply or currency and inflation concerns. The steaming pandemic will also be with us for a while, as will the dilemma of a shortage of skilled workers. However, we always look positively to the future.

How do you see the coming months?

We have a so-called data broker who provides us with valuable figures in the vacation rental market sector. The booking situation, analyzed on the basis of around 600 integrated objects, is already quite positive until spring. From this point of view, we at Grindelwald Tourism are quite confident for next season.

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