Swiss voters are likely to give themselves two weeks of extra holidays when they go to the polls for a referendum this March, a new survey shows.

"/> Swiss voters are likely to give themselves two weeks of extra holidays when they go to the polls for a referendum this March, a new survey shows.

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HOLIDAYS

Swiss want six holiday weeks: survey

Swiss voters are likely to give themselves two weeks of extra holidays when they go to the polls for a referendum this March, a new survey shows.

Swiss want six holiday weeks: survey
Vassiliki Koutsothanasi

An opinion poll commissioned by trade union group Travail Suisse points to a victory for the ‘yes’ camp in the popular initiative vote scheduled for March 11th. In 2009, Travail Suisse secured enough signatures to force the vote.

When asked how they would vote if a referendum for six weeks of holidays were to be held next Sunday, 57 percent said they would vote in favour. The percentage planning to vote ‘yes’ was down four points on a similar survey conducted in February 2011.

Travail Suisse said the decline was within the the margin of error and described support for the initiative as “stable” despite the “current crisis atmosphere”.

The group added that “the general population and economically active people are not letting themselves be misled, and know how important recovery time is.”

Three quarters of the population and almost 90 percent of the workforce want more vacation time than the current average of four weeks, according to the survey of 1,007 potential voters.  

The poll showed that 84 percent of people between the ages of 35 and 54 want more than four weeks of holidays per year, compared to 63 percent of people above 55 years old.

German-speaking Switzerland is keener on more free days, with 79 percent in favour of the idea, as opposed to 73 percent in the French-speaking part of the country.

These figures “show clearly that the current legal norm for holidays does not satisfy families and does not contribute enough to improving compatibility between work and family life,” said Travail Suisse in a statement.

Under current law, holiday time allowance varies from sector to sector and from one canton to another.

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HOLIDAYS

Where do residents of Switzerland plan to spend their summer holidays?

Local tourism officials are recommending that Switzerland’s population stays in the country this year. But a new survey shows the majority prefer to venture abroad.

Where do residents of Switzerland plan to spend their summer holidays?
Residents of Switzerland like to spend their holidays on Mediterranean beaches. Photo by AFP

After three months of being stuck at home and living under various restrictions, staycations are the last thing that many of Switzerland’s residents want to do this summer.

“People often tell us that they don’t want to have the destination of their holidays imposed on them”, Stéphane Jayet, vice-president of the Swiss Travel Federation told RTS television

And Rafael Matos, a tourism teacher at HES-SO in Valais, added that “the Swiss are among the nationalities which travel the most. And we have the right to travel. It has almost become a human right “.

This year, Switzerland’s public dreams of relaxing by a warm sea, in the shade of palm trees.

A new survey shows that only 19 percent of residents will likely heed the call of tourism authorities and stay in Switzerland this summer. 

The other 80 percent said they would like to vacation in the Mediterranean countries, but mostly in those that are accessible by car or train, since flight schedules may be uncertain in the foreseeable future.

That means Italy and France, both of which can be reached by car or train within five or six hours from Switzerland. 

READ MORE: Where can you travel in Europe? EU launches new website to help tourists 

But unlike previous years, when most people used to book their holidays well ahead of time, this summer “a lot of people will opt for the ‘last-minute’ deals”, Jayet said.

Foreign vacations seemed impossible just weeks ago, when European countries closed their borders amid the spreading Covid-19 pandemic.

 In April, the majority of Switzerland’s public planned to stay in the country for their holidays.

In fact, tourism authorities are urging residents to spend their summer holidays in the country to help the sector rebound from the huge losses it suffered during the Covid-19 crisis — nearly 9 billion francs in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March. 

Officials even launched two campaigns, ‘We need Switzerland’ and ‘Clean and Safe’ to entice people to stay. 


 

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