Switzerland - Tourism, travel, and recreation

Switzerland has long been one of the most famous tourist areas in the world, and Swiss hospitality and the Swiss hotel industry are justly renowned. Scenic attractions are manifold, and in the Swiss Alps and on the shores of the Swiss lakes there are features of interest for the skier, the swimmer, the hiker, the mountain climber, and the high alpinist. There are approximately 50,000 km (31,000 mi) of marked footpaths and 500 ski lifts. The hotels are among the best in the world; Switzerland pioneered in modern hotel management and in specialized training for hotel personnel. In 2000, Switzerland had 141,422 hotel rooms with 261,387 beds and a 42% occupancy rate. Central Switzerland and the Geneva region attract the largest number of foreign tourists. Passports or national identity cards are required, but citizens of the Americas or of Western European countries may enter without a visa.

In 2000, international tourist arrivals totaled 11 million and receipts reached $7.5 billion.

In 2002, the US government estimated the cost of staying in Switzerland as between $188 and $322 per day.

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