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Noisy cities, empty hotel beds

04.02.2022 – RESEARCH: MARC LETTAU

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Geneva is Switzerland’s noisiest city: 33 per cent of all its apartments are exposed to more than 60 decibels. That is equivalent to running a lawnmower permanently outside your front door. Lugano and Lausanne come in at number two and three, respectively. The cities in the German-speaking region are quieter. Berne is almost suspiciously quiet, with a mere 4.6 per cent of apartments exposed to a high level of noise.

279, 248

People need to recover from all that noise. We wondered: if everyone in Switzerland wanted to holiday in a Swiss hotel for a year, would there be enough room? Swiss hotels have a total of 279, 248 beds, which is enough to guarantee everyone almost two weeks’ holiday.

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The hotels would welcome a massive influx of tourists from within Switzerland, as visitors aren’t coming from outside the country. In 2020, room occupancy was a mere 28 per cent, so 72 per cent of rooms on average stood empty. The last time that Swiss hotels were so underutilised was in the 1950s.

11:1

Spending more holidays within Switzerland would bring city and rural dwellers closer together. The notorious urban-rural divide would diminish. The rural communities claim the jumped-up city dwellers are imposing their political will on the country. This assertion has been put to the test and we discovered that, out of the 12 last hotly contested popular votes, the “rural side” has come through 11 times, compared to just once for the urban voters. Don’t always believe what you hear.

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Is this the place to comment on “Swiss Review“? Here goes: air cargo in Switzerland fell off a cliff in 2020. In April 2020, it contracted by 68% and 41% on average over the year. The post was particularly affected, as it is transported in the cargo hold on passenger flights. If the planes are grounded, the post will be days, weeks, even months late. We realise that you will have noticed this.

Picture  Swiss hotels have a total of 279, 248 beds, which is enough to guarantee almost two weeks’ holiday to all Swiss. Photo: Keystone

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