Ad hoc announcement pursuant to article 53 LR: Jungfrau Railway Group: Guest numbers continue to be affected by the pandemic
In an ad hoc announcement pursuant to article 53 LR the Jungfraubahn Holding AG informs that visitor numbers for the Jungfrau Railway Group were once again heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021. Guest numbers for Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe are slightly above the figures for the previous year and reflect the continued widespread absence of international guests. The start of the 2021/2022 winter season was the best in the last ten years. The long-term project V-Bahn has, as expected, had a positive effect on winter sports.
In 2021, 365,300 visitors travelled to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe. That is 65.4 per cent fewer guests than in the record year 2019, but 0.7 per cent more guests than in 2020. The year 2021 was marked by the emergence of further variants of coronavirus, as well as by constantly changing measures, curbs and travel restrictions as a result of this.
The improvement seen in the first half of the year in comparison to the previous year with respect to visitors to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe became a deficit during July, which was completely spoilt by rain. Autumn subsequently boasted nice weather, which tempted more guests back to the mountains.
Many Swiss people visited Jungfraujoch again. They took advantage of various promotions linked with the ski pass or multi-day passes for railways in the region. Some international guests, whose demand is significantly less weather-dependent, returned to Switzerland in the second half of the year, given the easing of entry restrictions for the USA and the Gulf states.
Recent market visits in Asia and the KOF Swiss Economic Institute’s forecast for distant markets indicate that international travel will probably rapidly rebound as soon as the pandemic situation permits. The Jungfrau Railways are well prepared for this with the long-term project V-Bahn and consistently strong market presence.
Best start to the winter season in the last ten years
In the Experience Mountains segment, the Harder funicular railway recovered best. Compared with 2020, it saw growth of 36.1 percent in 2021 with 352,900 total number of ascent and descent. For the First aerial cableway, summer and winter as a whole recorded a drop of 2 per cent. The Lauterbrunnen-Mürren mountain railway (BLM) had 10.8 per cent fewer guests than in 2020, which is primarily attributable to the two interruptions to operations lasting several weeks as a result of phases of intensive building work in the scope of renovation activities.
The 2021/2022 winter sports season began on 4 December 2021 with full winter sports operations. Advance sales of the Top4 ski pass (partner offer from Adelboden-Lenk, Gstaad, Jungfrau Ski Region and Meiringen-Hasliberg) were better than in 2020. Over 37,300 Top4 ski passes (compared with around 28,000 in 2020) were sold at the advance sales price.
From the start of the season up to 31 December 2021, the Jungfrau Ski Region registered 192,300 skier visits and thus saw the best start to the season in the last ten years. This was an increase of 25.1 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. The Jungfrau Ski Region is a partnership in which the Jungfrau Railway Group holds more than 60 per cent.
The Jungfrau Railway Group remains convinced that its long-term strategy, focusing on international markets, will pay off quickly after a period of normalisation. Global sales trips in autumn demonstrated that the V-Cableway is a once-in-a-generation project that will make the company much more competitive, both in summer and in winter. The need to catch up on trips to Europe and Switzerland is huge.