Hôtel du Théâtre
Swiss tourism is certainly affected by the strong Swiss franc but powerless it is not, as the example of the Hôtel du Théâtre in Yverdon-les-Bains shows.
«Bienvenue Monsieur, comment allez-vous?» The receptionist greets the guest with disarming cordiality and offers him a drink. «Je peux vous réserver une table dans le restaurant à côté pour ce soir?» No trace of currency induced depression in the small lobby of the Hôtel du Théâtre in Yverdon-les-Bains. «Of course the strong Swiss franc is a challenge for us», says the owner Pierre-André Michoud. Don't complain, do something! is his credo. Instead of cutting prices he invests. Existing guest rooms are being renovated, new ones built, the service is perfected just a little bit more, and the overall experience for the guests is constantly improved. And the Guests enjoy the attention and the professional treatment they get. They feel they are being appreciated. Not surprisingly, the occupancy rate of this small mid-price hotel reaches a respectable 65 percent. And the Europeans haven't stopped coming since the Euro exchange rate floor was dropped. «My German and French guests assure me they will pay more for better service», says Michoud. Meanwhile, many of them have become regulars.
More about this business at www.hotelyverdon.ch
Hotel Success Factors
Functioning Market Economy
In 2003, Pierre-André Michoud and his wife bought this former apartment building by the train station in Yverdon-les-bains, turned it into a hotel and step by step made it into a successful business. Their selection of local partners for construction and financing was guided by the rules of the free market. Without much in the way of seed capital they managed to successively build up a good business. Part of the reason why this was possible is that their ambitious project was not held back by extensive red tape and cumbersome regulations. For his part, Michoud now sees the Hôtel du Théâtre as a part of Yverdon-les-Bains—and the town returns the favor.
Free and Open Labor Markets
The bilateral agreements with the EU, including the free movement of persons, are an important key to success for the service-oriented tourism industry. The Hôtel du Théâtre depends on skilled personnel that is not always available in Switzerland. The hotel often employs cross-border commuters from France. «Applications from Alsace are especially exciting because the region has so many highly trained and multilingual hotel professionals», says Pierre-André Michoud.