Berlin Draws Droves of Swiss Seeking More Bang for Their Francs

Berlin, which draws more than 25 million visitors every year, is getting a boost from Swiss tourists cashing in on a surge in the franc against the euro.

The number of visitors from the Alpine nation to the German capital in January and February climbed 11 percent to 25,500 compared with a year earlier, according to the latest visitor numbers provided by the city on Wednesday.

“A reason for that may be the strength of the Swiss franc,” Berlin authorities wrote in the statement.

The franc surged 13 percent against the euro in the first two months of the year as the Swiss National Bank gave up its cap of 1.20 per euro, boosting the spending power of the country’s citizens in the euro area. A total of 1.52 million tourists visited Berlin in January and February, when the Berlinale film festival and the Berlin Fashion Week took place.

Tourism generates about 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion) in annual sales and provides about 275,000 jobs in the city. The highest growth came from English visitors, which increased by 17 percent to 71,000 in the period.

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