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For those willing to venture further from Zurich, the InterContinental Davos opened late last year. The futuristic pod like building will get a test run when world and business leaders descend on Davos for the World Economic Forum this month.
That has changed this winter, which is the key tourism season for Switzerland's Reebok Rose Cloud White mountainous regions. Think tank BAK Basel expects a healthy 2.9 percent rise in hotel stays, helped by a rising number of tourists from Asia and Eastern Europe.
Switzerland began this season auspiciously. Christmas visitors included Madonna and Elton John (Gstaad), Princess Victoria of Sweden (Zermatt) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was taking it easy after a spill while cross country skiing near Pontresina. dollar.
So what has changed to make Switzerland attractive again?
Part of the plan is to merge Andermatt's ski slopes with nearby Sedrun's but that will not be finished until 2016 due largely to wrangling over zoning.
Its 134 square metre Gemsstock suite features a fireplace, private wine cabinet and Acqua di Parma bathroom goodies for roughly 1,800 Swiss francs ($2,000) a night.
Sawiris, who runs tourist resorts and real estate projects for the sprawling Orascom corporate empire, is seeking to rouse Andermatt from years of neglect by reinventing it as a year round resort with luxury hotels and apartments, chalets, spas and an 18 hole golf course.
and Grimentz will be linked up this month via cable car.
A cogwheel train transports visitors to Zermatt's Riffelalp Hotel, which stands at 2,222 metres above sea level and advertises the elevation as part of its name. In winter, a snowmobile will bring your luggage.
Overnight hotel stays in mountain regions dropped off sharply and visitors from Europe declined at a particularly dramatic rate.
The granddad of Swiss ski resorts remains St. Moritz with 350 km of prepared pistes, Saucony Grid 9000 Red
Verbier, long popular with British tourists including Sarah Ferguson, and Crans Montana are among posh Swiss resorts in French speaking Switzerland that increasingly draw wealthy Russian clients to their slopes and apr nightlife.
LET IT SNOW IN STYLE
Prospects are bright for Switzerland's winter tourism industry, which is pinning its hopes on a slew of new luxury developments and bigger, better ski resorts to get back to growth.
Some projects are hugely ambitious and have been years in the making. Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris has spent eight years on an estimated $2 billion project in Andermatt, a sleepy village of just over 1,500 people in Uri that no one outside of Switzerland had heard of.
Another project has ski resorts Arosa and Lenzerheide consummating a merger later this month to form 225 km of slopes, which will put it among Switzerland's top 10 ski regions.
Further southwest in the Val d'Anniviers valley, resorts Zinal Reebok Classic Shoes Grey
a winter polo tournament on its frozen lake and the fabled Cresta toboggan run.
The upscale W Verbier opened last month, the brand's first attempt at a ski resort which it brands "Ibiza on ice." The project combines a luxury hotel with full service residences, next to Verbier's main gondola. Catalan chef Sergi Arola collaborated on Arola, the development's restaurant.
Meanwhile, ski areas closer to Zurich have ceded ground to cheaper Austrian resorts. The persistent strength of the Swiss franc, which the central bank capped in 2011 to protect the economy, caused tourism to suffer.
Here are tips for getting the most out of an upmarket Swiss skiing holiday from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.
Resorts in western Switzerland compete with destinations across the border in eurozone France, including Avoriaz, Megeve and Meribel, where former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher suffered a skiing accident last month. Reebok Ladies Walking Shoes
Aside from skiing, Switzerland has long been a prized winter destination due to an abundance of high end shopping, luxury hotels and spas.
Far better infrastructure and greater supply of luxury accommodation to attract the upper crust is part of the answer but also savvy marketing techniques like cut rate prices on ski passes even in the ritziest of resorts like St. Moritz.
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