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Covid-hit Swiss tourism receives financial boost

City trips and business tourism are targeted by the government's measures to boost the hospitality sector. Keystone/Elia Bianchi

The government has announced a CHF60 million ($65.6 million) programme to help Swiss tourism recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This content was published on September 1, 2021 - 15:51
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Economics Minister Guy Parmelin said the funds could help attract foreign guests back to Switzerland and boost business tourism.

“These sectors have suffered in particular from the impact of the pandemic,” he told a news conference on Wednesday.

Parmelin stressed the idea was to promote sustainable forms of tourism and stimulate innovative projects instead of attracting large groups of guests who stay in Switzerland only for a short time.

Political experts say the programme, most of which is subject to approval by parliament, is no surprise as Parmelin had indicated that the government was preparing measures to support the Swiss tourism sector.

In his role as Swiss president for 2021, Parmelin also expressed concern about perceived tensions in society regarding the government’s anti-Covid policy, notably the issue of vaccinations.

He made a passionate appeal to citizens to respect other people’s opinions and to refrain from denigration and personal attacks against politicians.

“The enemy remains the virus, not fellow citizens of a different opinion,” he said.

Postponement

In a separate development, the government has delayed a decision about extending the use of Covid certificates to contain a new wave of infections and a potential overcapacity in hospitals.

The number of new hospital admissions of Covid patients was high but stable and it was difficult to assess the situation, the cabinet spokesman said.

The government reserved the right to take measures to relieve hospitals if necessary, he added.

A consultation among political parties, institutions, cantons and organisations had found that a majority was in favour of widening the use of the certificate, notably to sporting and cultural events as well as restaurants, the government said.

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