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European Journal

Switzerland: Will Luxury Tourism destroy the Alps?

An Egyptian investor plans to open the largest ski resort in the Alps in the sleepy town of Andermatt.

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Time seems to have stood still in Andermatt. But that may soon be a distant memory. Several months ago, an ultramodern luxury hotel opened there. And if Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris has his way, it will soon be joined by scores of similar hotels and vacation apartments. Sawiris launched his plan after he bought land vacated by the Swiss army, which for decades had been the mainstay of the local economy. Many in Andermatt are hoping that the town will one day rival Davos or St Moritz for Alpine glamour. But not everyone here shares that vision of the future.