Tourism remains unaffected by Ticino burka ban

Published on : Sunday, July 2, 2017

Ticino burka banA year after the region of Ticino adopted Switzerland’s only burka ban, the disagreement from that decision is much less than feared –with no break in tourism from Arab countries.

There has even been a slight increase in guests from Arab countries – up nearly 2% for 2016 from the previous year. Few people wear a burka in the canton. Arab tourists make up just 2% of overall guests there.


The police had rare occasion to enforce the ban. For the year, they had only seven complaints about “veiling in the public area”. There were fewer than a dozen instances in which veiled women in Lugano and Mendrisio were asked to conform to the measures.


Voters in Italian-speaking Ticinoexternal link voted in favour of the ban in 2013, but the law did not come into force until July 1, 2016. It outlaws clothing that covers the face, a first in Switzerland. A fine of up to CHF1,000 ($1,403) can be imposed.  After the burka ban vote, local business people, including hoteliers, feared the worst. Ticino remains the only canton to ban face-covering, after the canton of Glarus rejected such a move in May 2017. In 2010, France became the first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places. The European Court of Human Rights has since upheld the law. Similar bans were imposed in Belgium and in several places in Italy, Russia and Spain.


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