I’m not going to pretend it’s a well-kept secret. It’s so not. Prime Minister Theresa May and husband Philip are regular visitors for walking holidays and Luzern is the No1 European destination of choice for visitors from China. Lured by the magical scenery, many of them come specifically to see that while stocking up on designer watches in the town’s countless expensive watch shops. But, as my conversations with my local Swiss guide revealed, this Asian market is one of extremes.
Their less well-heeled compatriots travel around in coaches that they rent from Greece to save a few quid, and they sleep three-to-a-room (even if they don’t know each other) in hotels that they take over in their entirety and staff with compatriots while eating their own cuisine. It’s no surprise that these type of tourists aren’t much-liked by the locals. Patently the concept of sustainable tourism and spreading money around the local economy hasn’t yet caught on in their part of the world…..