Interesting facts 

The impact of the road construction in Bellwald

The road construction in 1971 set off a rapid tourism development. The number of beds rose from 450 to 1450 between 1970 and 1974 and the overnight stays from 30'000 to 95'000. Tourism nowadays generates 170'000 to 180'000 overnight stays and Bellwald has a capacity of approximately 4500 beds.

A great number of chalets were built thanks to generous construction areas. The oldest building plan dates back 14. January 1976. In Bellwald stand now over 600 chalets. The historic construction volume has been multiplied several times. In the early 1990's an inventory recorded only 40 houses built before 1900 in the village and hamlets. The Chalet boom had a great influence on Bellwald’s settlement development. The gap between the historic village centre and the hamlet Ried, build on a ridge in the north, is now closed. The hamlet Fürgangen at an altitude of 1200 m a.s.l. (with the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway and the cable car stations) gained significance as a permanent domicile while the hamlets Bodma and Egga at 1370 m and 1475 m a.s.l. respectively lost their importance as primary domicile.

Comment by Andreas Wyden, former Mayor: “Bellwald without tourism would have suffered the same fate of migration and depopulation as so many other mountain villages in the Alps. Nevertheless the tourism development still reflects too little on the tertiary sector of the economy. The positive point however is the young ‘locals’ commitment to Bellwald and their will to build a house and raise their children in the village. The main challenge for the coming years will be on the one hand to develop an active management in the greatest possible number of existing hospitality businesses and to preserve the natural charm and the identity of a true Valais mountain village on the other hand.”