Cancellations of hotel bookings and a lack of customers in restaurants and businesses force those responsible to take action.Businesses in the tourism sector and the hotel industry in various destinations have decided to close the season early.
The effects of the coronavirus are not only medical. A far-reaching impact on the economy and tourism was expected and is now clearly visible in the Saanenland. "Since the beginning of last week we have been seeing massive cancellations of hotel bookings for the whole month of March," says Flurin Riedi, managing director of Gstaad Saanenland Tourism. The number of cancelled bookings in our destination has now exceeded 3,000, and the local catering trade estimates their sales losses at around 80 percent. As the trend is similar in all tourism destinations, some of them are considering closing the season earlier than planned in order to prevent further foreseeable losses. "Our good fortune is that we are currently no longer in the peak season. It would be inconceivable if this situation had taken place in December," Riedi explains. The national hotel association is currently working on measures to support the industry. "The most difficult thing is the lack of ability to forecast in which direction this state of emergency will move in the coming weeks."
Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi