It is a recurring question. It is, because economical conditions are worsening since the bank sector is reducing it’s importance in the whole of Switzerland. But for Ticino, which is a small territory and the bank sector was the main driver, this has even worse consequences. And, as if this wasn’t difficult enough there is a big neighbour, Italy, which has an even worse economical situation: there are almost 60’000 commuters coming from Italy every day, which are now working in Ticino, taking qualified jobs for a fraction of the Swiss cost. Still, since the Italian cost for living is lower, for Italians also a fraction of the Swiss salary is a decent alternative to staying home unemployed. For locals it is difficult to compete: therefore politics has taken some actions in order to reduce the phenomenon. Nevertheless I believe that protectionism, even though it is a natural reaction, it won’t solve the issue. Also because, I would like to remember, commuters is not the main issue: Ticino’s biggest business sector, banks, has taken a major hit. With what should we replace it?
Tourism could be an answer, although the strength of the Swiss franc doesn’t help.
It should be mentioned though that the few times I have visited some hotels in Lugano, either they are really expensive, or if you try something more accessible it is depressing: many are still from the sixties and never refurbished. Decadence all over the place! It is true though that some new hotels have been built in Lugano: I believe one is an Ibis hotel, which being very near to the motorway exit, is very convenient, but is not going to be the choice for someone who would like to stay a bit longer than one night.
I’m afraid that some new ideas should be found in order to promote Ticino and make it more interesting for companies, of course companies bringing value and not only warehouses, as it has happened in the past. Maybe companies of the technological sector?
I mean Ticino already has many things which are interesting for companies. Being in Switzerland there is a stable government, taxes shouldn’t be that high, infrastructure is available, bureaucracy is not as heavy as in other countries, … probably the main issue is that salaries are so expensive. Still, they are cheaper than in the rest of Switzerland, I would say! 🙂
Or someone has better ideas?