How has Airbnb affected the tourism industry

A record - 1.33 million overnight stays and 719,857 guests - these are the Basel tourism figures

1.33 million overnight stays and 719,857 guests - these are the Basel tourism figures

For the twelfth time in a row, the Basel tourism industry can post a record result for overnight stays: Last year, an increase of 9.1 percent to 1.3 million overnight stays was registered.

Last year, 719,857 guests booked a total of 1,328,047 overnight stays in the 65 hotels in the canton of Basel-Stadt, as the statistical office told the media on Thursday. That is 110,370 overnight stays more than in 2016. As in the previous year, guests from Switzerland booked around a third of all overnight stays.

However, guests from abroad in particular contributed to the growth in overnight stays, with an increase of 11.4 percent. Germany remains the most important foreign market. In the case of domestic guests, the growth was 4.4 percent.

According to the statistical office, only overnight stays by guests from Great Britain fell compared to the previous year in the top markets. A decrease of three percent was recorded here.

More congresses and leisure tourists

The renewed increase in overnight stays is mainly due to an above-average congress year, said Basel Tourism Director Daniel Egloff. In addition, there has been a sharp increase in leisure tourism. The weakening of the Swiss franc had a positive effect from summer onwards.

According to Egloff, the Asian markets also surprised positively; their effective numbers are, however, at a low level. However, the Asian guests would increasingly explore Europe on their own. The optimal geographical location of Basel pays off.

On average, guests spent 1.84 days in Basel last year. According to tourism statistics, the average room occupancy of the hotels in 2017 was 61.2 percent, 0.4 percentage points lower than a year earlier. Compared to the previous year there was an increase of 266 rooms.

Contract with Airbnb is coming

Like Baselland Tourismus, Basel Tourismus also wants to sign a contract with Airbnb, an internet platform for the brokerage of private holiday accommodation. From spring onwards, the guest taxes of around 3,000 Airbnb companies will be automatically deducted and forwarded to Basel Tourism.

From next year, according to Egloff, it will also be possible to evaluate the overnight stays in Basel generated by Airbnb - broken down by months and districts. However, these figures are not included in the tourism statistics, as these are collected according to criteria for the whole of Switzerland.

In the hotels in the canton of Basel-Stadt, Basel Tourismus expects a further increase in overnight stays of three to four percent for the current year. The desire to travel with the trend towards individual travel is expected to increase globally. In addition, numerous congresses are planned again.

Egloff expects fewer overnight stays in the vicinity of the shortened and downsized Baselworld watch and jewelry fair. The changes would, however, have a greater impact on hotels located further away from Basel. On the other hand, the tourism director expects an increase in overnight stays due to the planned new Grand Basel automobile fair in autumn.