Switzerland makes it hard for foreign tourists to visit
Switzerland becomes less attractive as a travel destination due to fees associated with converting non-European Covid-19 vaccination certificates and low vaccination rates.
For the upcoming winter season, the Swiss incoming tourism industry is worried about foreign visitors. The primary concern is citizens from outside of the European Union. Switzerland does not automatically recognize a digital Covid certificate from a non-EU country. It cost 30 francs to convert their certificates, while in many countries, such services are free.
According to “20 Minuten”, the federal government plans to open an electronic application centre by October 11. However, we do not yet know precisely how foreign tourists will undergo the conversion process and how long it will take. Switzerland Tourism spokesperson Markus Berger is concerned about these logistical hurdles: “With the 30-franc charge, we have a barrier that other countries don’t have,” said Berger. Therefore, setting regulations now is essential. Switzerland is the only country that charges a fee, according to Berger. Thus, the tourism promotion this year looks different than last year after a low-key season.
The electronic certificate is not the only obstacle preventing some people from travelling to Switzerland. Vaccination rates are low, and that may keep tourists away. As of 06/10/2021, according to the official numbers from the Vaccination data from the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, only 59,77% of the population is fully vaccinated in Switzerland. Swiss numbers are pretty low compared to other European Countries like Island, Malta, Portugal, and Denmark, with the highest number of vaccinated populations. Also, Switzerland stands much lower on the list compared with neighbouring France, Italy and Germany. Source: Statista
Switzerland could still be the only country in winter where guests need a certificate to ski. Politicians worry that if the vaccination rate does not increase, the non-vaccinated will stay in the shadows.
Switzerland Tourism spokesman Markus Berger hopes for a higher vaccination rate to reduce the administrative hurdles that travel is facing.
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