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Switzerland committed to sustainable tourism, says Simon Bosshart



Mr. Simon Bosshart serves as Director of Asia, Switzerland Tourism. He was in Hyderabad recently. Deccan Chronicle caught up with the market head for an exclusive interview in which he shed light on what makes Switzerland such a popular destination for Indian tourists.

What brings you to India?

I’m here on official business, representing Switzerland Tourism as the Head of Markets. My responsibilities cover markets ranging from Germany to Australia and New Zealand, including India, which is a significant growth market for us globally. Personally, I always relish the opportunity to return to India. I have travelled here privately before, using these visits to deepen my understanding of the country. And I must say, I am always enthralled, especially by the culinary delights. As a food enthusiast from Switzerland, the flavours of India never fail to captivate me.

Absolutely fascinating! Did you get a chance to sample any local cuisine here in Hyderabad?

Indeed, I did. Hyderabad’s biryani was an absolute delight. Additionally, I received a recommendation for a dessert called Double Ka Meetha, which surprised me with its exquisite flavors. As a Swiss, I have high standards for desserts, but this one truly impressed me.

It’s wonderful to hear about your culinary adventures. Now, moving on to tourism, could you provide insights into the significance of Indian tourism for Switzerland?

Estimating the exact revenue from Indian tourism is challenging, but we do have some data. For instance, last year saw approximately 600,000 hotel overnights by Indian visitors in Switzerland, with an additional 400,000 overnights in private accommodations. On average, an Indian visitor spends around 300 CHF per Indian guest in Switzerland, contributing to an estimated revenue of 300 million USD coming from tourism alone, encompassing leisure, business, and incentive tourism.

Fascinating statistics indeed! What about the impact of Bollywood on Swiss tourism?

Bollywood has undeniably played a significant role in promoting Switzerland as a premier destination for Indian travelers. While it’s challenging to quantify the direct economic impact, Bollywood’s portrayal of Switzerland in films has undoubtedly influenced Indian tourists’ perception of our country.

It’s intriguing to learn about the interplay between Bollywood and Swiss tourism. Could you highlight some popular destinations in Switzerland for Indian tourists?

Certainly. Central Switzerland, particularly areas like Titlis and Engelberg, has been a favorite among Indian tourists due to its stunning landscapes and quintessential Swiss experiences. Additionally, the Interlaken region has garnered considerable attention, offering a perfect blend of scenic beauty and adventure activities.

Could you elaborate on Switzerland’s ‘Swisstainable’ initiative in efforts towards sustainability in tourism?

Absolutely. Switzerland is committed to becoming a leader in sustainable tourism. We’ve launched initiatives like the Sustainable Switzerland program, encouraging businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices. Our goal is to offer travelers an experience that not only showcases Switzerland’s natural beauty, but also respects and preserves it for future generations.

What are Switzerland’s plans for enhancing tourist experiences, particularly for Indian travelers?

We’re focused on diversifying our offerings beyond the traditional tourist spots, emphasizing hidden gems and unique experiences. Additionally, we’re promoting seasonal tourism, particularly during autumn and winter, to provide visitors with a richer and more authentic Swiss experience.



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