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'I avoid places where the niqab is banned'
by Jasmine Kannouna
An initiative to ban full-face veils has split Swiss politics, but veiled tourists interviewed by swissinfo.ch at the Geneva Lake Festival were unanimous: if wearing a niqab or burka were banned across Switzerland, they would head elsewhere on holiday.
More and more tourists from Arab countries, especially the Gulf, are visiting Switzerland, above all Geneva. These are the tourists who spend the most in Switzerland, on average CHF500 ($515) a day.
Owing to their regular presence, their large number and their preference for luxury hotels, where they stay for longer than other guests, tourists from the Gulf make up a significant source of income for Switzerland in general and Geneva in particular.
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