Last year the federal government discouraged crossing the Gotthard strongly, even though around Easter time, Ticino is one the most favored vacation spots in Switzerland. This year, with travel abroad still restricted by PCR tests and uncertainty over quarantine, many Swiss residents returned to spending a few days in sunny Ticino. How does Easter tourism affect the Ticino economy?
Payment card transaction data from MonitoringConsumptionSwitzerland.com provides daily information on spending by domestic (and foreign) consumers by location and merchant category. This data allows us to examine the impact of the Easter break on consumer spending in Ticino.
Over the Easter holidays, from April 2nd to April 5th 2021, consumption expenditure increased substantially this year. Consumption expenditure shoots up, from around 6 millions per day, to almost 8 millions per day during Easter, and returns to its pre-easter level again by April 11. One year ago, consumption expenditures were depressed by the nation wide lockdown, starting March 16, and remained low also during last year’s Easter period.
What accounts for this year’s increase in spending? Tourists reside in hotels, and expenditures on accommodation increase strongly already before Easter during Spring and reach a maximum during the Easter week, and remain high afterwards. Last year, hotel expenditure were near zero due to the nation-wide lockdown.
Expenditures in restaurants & take-aways which are still mostly closed, are very low but higher than last year. There is some increase in restaurant expenditures around Easter presumably because of the more wide spread prevalence of take-out offers.
Instead of visiting restaurants, tourists need to pick-nick more. Expenditures for food, beverages, and tobacco shoot up over Easter in Ticino, and reach a level that is even higher than during last year’s peak during Easter.
Retail expenditures for other goods, e.g. clothing etc., have been strongly impacted by the two lockdowns. Easter tourism does not affect other retail expenditures much.
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