The tourism sector is a major and substantial contributor to any nation’s source of income. Tourist attraction sites are unique and different in different parts of the world. The great and unique features of such locations tend to attract tourists from different places. The fees citizens and foreigners pay to enter such sites contribute to the income of the government and other private bodies. With this broad knowledge, this paper attempts to narrow down and examine specific tourism sites, Lake Geneva, in Switzerland. It entails examining the factors that have led to the place of being a major tourism site by most tourists. It will also cover the improvements that need to be made to enhance the lake and its surroundings as a major tourism site (Region Du Leman, 2011).
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Lake Geneva is among the largest lakes in the world. Approximately 60% of the lake is found in Switzerland, while the remaining 40% is found in France. On the map, the lake is located 46.43o north and 6.55o south. The lake has several outflows and inflows. Among the inflows are rivers Rhone, La Vonage, Dranse, and Aubonne, with the main outflow being river Rhone. Lake Geneva has an approximate length of 73 kilometers and a width of 14 kilometers.
On average, the lake has a surface area of 580 kilometers squared. An average depth of 155 meters enables the lake to hold a water volume of 89 kilometers cubed. As is with many lakes, this lake is also covered by a number of islands such as Ile de Peilz, Chateau de Chillon, Ile de Salagon, Ile de la Harpe, Ile Rousseau, and Ile de Choisi. Among the settlements that surround the lake include Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux, and Vevey, which are all found in Switzerland. On the France side, the settlements include Evian and Thonon (OECD, 2008).
Reasons why most tourists chose Lake Geneva region as their touring site
Switzerland, which is covered by about 60% of the lake, is the most toured country. A number of factors have contributed to the high number of foreigners touring this area across the world. The chief contributor to the massive flow of tourists into the site is the high level of peace experienced by the country. Switzerland is among the very few countries that rarely face the violence of any kind. This even makes the country a strategic position for the World Bank. Generally, peace in a country always ensures the safety of its tourists. In addition, the country is alleged to have very friendly and welcoming citizens.
Majorly, the hospitality of the residents would attract tourists into such an area. The winter and summer seasons experienced in the region attracts tourists. During winter, ice always covers the Alps Mountains. As the summer season replaces the winter season, the ice formed on the mountain always melts, creating beautiful scenery for the tourists. In fact, the lake is said to have formed through retreating of the glaciers. The crescent shape of the lake portrays the lake with a unique feature that appeals to a large number of tourists. On top of the above features, the region also enjoys several other attractive features similar to other tourist sites.
These include the exceptional setting that attracts different types of sports such as hiking and walking, cycling and mountain biking, skating, going out and entertainment, ball sports, swimming, horseback riding, shopping, and probably enjoying the great weather at the beach. Festivals and events such as the long-held traditions of bullfighting, to have favored tourism in the country. Museums, castles, religious monuments, historical sites, available architecture and design of the region and celebrities such as Phil Collins who reside in the area cannot be overlooked upon in their contribution towards making Lake Geneva a major attracting site in the world (Mirbabayev & Shagazatova, n.d.).
The infrastructure facilities around Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is located adjacent to the capital city of Switzerland. This location has favored the lake region in a number of ways. With the World Bank having its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the country has a substantial improvement in the infrastructure sector. The roads and railways are sophistically constructed to handle the massive movement going on in the region. The international airport located in Geneva enables sufficient and convenient transportation of tourists. The electricity majorly produced by the running rivers such as river Rhone has ensured a constant supply of electricity in the region (Region Du Leman, 2011).
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This has helped other supportive areas of tourism, such as restaurants, run efficiently. A strong communication network for the Lake Geneva region has strongly boosted communication in the area. In particular, the region is endowed with internet services that majorly provide information relating to the region. Although the region enjoys the above-mentioned infrastructure, the region still suffers from a shortage of restaurants or generally accommodation facilities, given the high number of tourists touring the site. The supply of these facilities is less as compared to their demand. The small number of hotels and restaurants may, therefore, affect the tourism sector (OECD, 2008) negatively.
Importance of developing new hotels and restaurants at Lake Geneva region
The essential subsections of the tourism sector that boost the economy are hotels and restaurants. These are the eating and resting places for the tourists. The number of these facilities in a region will determine the number of tourists it can accommodate. A Region that is frequently toured should have adequate facilities to avoid shortages arising from the high demand of tourists. Lake Geneva region does not have adequate hotels and restaurants for its tourists who frequently visit the area. The small number of accommodation facilities calls for more hotels and restaurant development in the region to serve the projected high tourism growth levels in the future in the country.
Indeed, bearing in mind that Switzerland enjoys high levels of peace as compared to other countries, Switzerland will undoubtedly continue to experience a high number of tourists touring the area. Therefore, more tourists, who would choose to tour other countries due to the restaurants and other accommodation facilities by tourists, would still visit the tourist site given that the region has adequate accommodation facilities. This will eventually raise the level of the country’s income. Specifically, Switzerland earns most of its foreign income through the tourism sector (Mirbabayev & Shagazatova, n.d.).
Features for Future Growth
Lake Geneva and its surroundings can still benefit from the creation and development of new attractive features as well as other amenities. First, the government of Switzerland should think of coming up with hospitals that meet international standards. This will ensure adequate treatment services for tourists. Again, due to language barriers, the government should think of nationalizing the English language to enable smooth communication between the residents and tourists.
Due to a high number of tourists, the government or other interested private bodies should develop new attractive sites such as animal orphanages in other places other than Geneva. This will lead to employment in other parts of the country and decentralize the economy of the country. Finally, the government should expand highways in the country to reduce the frequent traffic jam around the city of Geneva. This will enable the effective and efficient movement of vehicles.
Tourism plays a crucial role in Switzerland’s economy. Lake Geneva has greatly contributed to the tourism sector because many tourists touring the country also tour the lake based on the distinct and exceptional scenery of the lake. Most tourists are also attracted by the stability of this country in terms of peace. Therefore, tourism will generate more cash if setbacks, such as a shortage of restaurants and hotels, are solved.
Mirbabayev, B. & Shagazatova, M. (n.d.). The Economic and Social Impact of Tourism. Web.
OECD, (2008). Tourism in OECD Countries 2008: Trends and Policies. OECD Publishing.
Region Du Leman, (2011). Culture and Heritage. Web.