What's its secret? Gulf tourists display untameable appetite for Swiss tourism
An Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News in an e-mailed statement that “inbound and outbound booking levels have been very healthy since we launched [the route] in 2011.”While Etihad Airways has had more of the same year as it did in 2012, it is likely the Abu Dhabi-based airline will still fly more passengers by the year-end.
According to Geneva Airport, Etihad had flown 109,749 passengers up until last week on the Abu Dhabi-Geneva compared to 112,190 last year. But Swiss tourism might not be the sole benefactor of passenger number growth. Geneva Airport is not just used by those travelling to Switzerland... it is also used by nearby cities — and nearby countries – such as Annecy in France, which is just 41 kilometres away.The French city is a popular summer tourism destination with its well-known lake but is also popular in the winter because it is close to the Alps.According to the Annecy tourism office the city attracts 2.5 million visitors a year, injecting around €300 million into the local economy.
With 60 hotels and 2,200 rooms the average yearly capacity rate is 65 per cent but in the peak summer period capacity spikes to 95 per cent.A spokesperson for L’Imperial Palace, a four-star lakeside hotel in Annecy, told Gulf News that the hotel was seeing an increasing amount of visitors travelling from the Gulf and said that most international visitors use the airport in Geneva.
By: Alexander Cornwall
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