Holidays in Switzerland…”free” for Swiss people – Cléa Frei 701_e

Stays in Swiss hotels deducted of taxes

As we all know, Swiss hotellerie is in a bad position. Since more than 4 years, the amounts of overnights are decreasing more and more.

To help the tourism sector, and moreover the accommodation part, the UDC national councillor, propose to offer a “gift” to Swiss tourists who comes in Switzerland for holidays instead of going abroad. This gift is more precisely the possibility to deduct the sum spent for holidays in the country to the amount of annual taxes.

The man

Oskar Freysinger was born in 12.06.1960 in Valais. He went into politics when he was 36, and is now president of the UCD party in Valais, and vice-president of the Swiss UDC party. He’s a strong and controverted personage in the political world, for his ideas and character.

The concept

Oskar Freysinger wants to help Swiss hotelier by incitating Swiss people to stay in Switzerland for holidays and gives the possibility to deduct the sum expended of the annual taxes. The national councillor proposes to introduce this “holiday-discount” in the direct federal taxes. Oskar Freysinger is supported by 14 of his colleagues.

The Federal Council judge problematic the fact that this expense (in the hotel sector) will be favourised and not to others sectors.

Recent statistics have shown that the main problem isn’t a lack of Swiss tourist – In august, they were 11’000 more than the year before – but rather Europeans: With 74’000 people less than in august 2011, this represents a diminution of more than 12%.

The government has now decided not to accept this initiative. A new deduction can’t promote swiss hotellerie for a long time. Moreover, it will be profitable only for high revenue taxpayers, who already have money to pay holidays in Switzerland.

The government remind also that he won’t pay off the effect of strong franc by taking fiscal measures. From 2012 to 2015, Swiss tourism will receive 222 million to stimulate foreign demand. The lend accorded by the confederation to the SSC will grow to 100 million.

What do Tourism associations think?

Tourism associations are rather sceptical to this idea. According to the Swiss Tourism director, Mario Lütolf it is kind of problematic to privilege swiss tourist apart of foreigner tourists.  For the association “Hôtelleriesuisse”, it is more important to develop existing tourism instruments, in other words, they are both not really convinced by this project although they could gain some more tourist in their branch.

 

What do people think?

The survey on the Website of the Zürcher Newspaper “Tagesanzeiger” shows that out of 890 voices, 68.7% think that this project is not meaningfull1.

Here are some of the most relevant comments posted on both newspaper websites:

“I had one week holiday in Valais for the price of two in Spain […] I don’t think I’ll change my mind if I had a discount on my taxes”

“Holidays in Switzerland are not for Swiss people![…] It’s just too expensive, and it’s not a deduction that will changes things, Swiss holidays are for rich foreigners”

“A very nice initiative! It is true that we must encourage people to bring holidays in Switzerland […]

“The principle is attractive, but we can’t live in autarky, we have to attract clients form outside […]”

 

Notes:

  1. Data on 31.10.12

Sources:

Newspaper: 20 minutes from Tuesday 30.10.12

Websites:

http://www.20min.ch/ro/news/suisse/story/16796143

http://www.tdg.ch/21252919/print.htmlImage

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/standard/Wer-in-der-Schweiz-Ferien-macht-soll-weniger-Steuern-zahlen/story/11209785

Biography of Mr. Freysinger: http://www.ofreysinger.ch/

Photo: National Geographic

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