Expenditure for travel and tourism picked up in 2022 and this trend has continued in the winter season 2023, albeit at a different pace for restaurants and hotels, and with large differences between cities and more rural areas.
The card-expenditure data of Monitoring Consumption Switzerland reveals that expenditures in restaurants increased much more in the winter season 2023 relative to 2022 than expenditures for accommodation.
Within both expenditure categories, we observe that point-of-sale expenditures in cities increased much more in the winter season 2023 relative to 2022 than in rural areas. Expenditures in cities thus have caught up with more rural areas during the winter season 2023. One reason is that rural areas benefited from a relatively larger increase in expenditures already in the winter season 2022, after restrictive measures imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic were relaxed. See Montoring Consumption.
We define the winter season, over which we cumulate expenditures, as the period between iso-week 51 in December to iso-week 9 in March. In 2022, this period was still affected by Covid restrictions until February 15, which may be associated with the catching up of expenditures in cities during 2023 relative to 2022. We deflate the expenditure using the price indexes provided by the FSO for each expenditure category. Qualitatively, the presented results do not depend on whether we consider real or nominal expenditures.
Figure 1: Percentage change of real expenditures between winter season 2023 and 2022: food and beverage services versus accommodation (point of sale and e-commerce transactions).
Figure 1 shows that, relative to the winter season 2022, the cumulated real expenditures in the winter season 2023 (including both point of sale and ecommerce transactions) have increased by 29% for food and beverage services (33% in nominal terms) but only by 16% for accommodation (21% in nominal terms).
Figure 2: Percentage change of real expenditures per agglomeration type between winter season 2023 and 2022: food and beverage services versus accommodation (point of sale transactions).
Inspecting the point-of-sale transactions, which we can associate with locations, Figure 2 shows that the expenditure increases have been driven by cities and other agglomerations rather than by the more rural category Other municipalities.
The strong increase of expenditures for restaurants and accommodation in cities during the winter season 2023 relative to the winter season 2022 may be driven either by work or leisure related travel.