What are some famous Bollywood affairs

Bollywood and Switzerland: a long love story

Cult directors from Bollywood have been promoting Switzerland for over 50 years

Raj Kapoor is one of the pioneers of this cinematic preference of Bollywood. He shot numerous film scenes in the Swiss Alps, notably for “Sangam” (1964), a full-color feature film with recordings in London, Rome, Venice, Paris and Switzerland. Previously, the film was shot in the mountains of Kashmir. In view of the uncertain situation in the region, the film industry looked for other locations and finally fell under the charm of Switzerland.

In 1970 the director Yash Chopra discovered Switzerland. He was enchanted by the landscape around Interlaken and shot numerous scenes for his films there. It was so present in the Bernese Oberland that even a mountain lake is nicknamed “Yash Chopra Lake”. One of the best-known Bollywood films with a Swiss connection is the 1995 film “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, which still delights film enthusiasts today. Especially in Mumbai, the former Bombay and home of Bollywood, film classics are still on the cinema program many years after their premiere. Interlaken awarded Yash Chopra, who died in 2012, the title “Ambassador of Interlaken” and in 2016 honored him with a life-size statue showing him with his film camera.

Guided tours to the locations of the Bollywood films

For several years now, several tour operators have offered Indian tourists tours of the locations where Bollywood films were made. For example, Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus has been running such excursion tours for four years. The suggestion originally came from an Indian travel company due to customer demand. Every year, 500 people book the program, which takes film fans to places like Gstaad, the churches in Montbovon (FR) and Rougemont (VD) and the bridge in Saanen, where a famous heart-wrenching farewell scene was created.

“The guests visit landscapes and places that they have seen in films that they know inside out. The places have a great romantic meaning for them, ”explains Anita Roth-Reuteler, President of Guides Gstaad Saanenland. "On site they experience unforgettable highlights by recreating the poses, dances and dialogues from the films - and of course capturing them with their cameras." The individually designed excursion lasts one to five hours and is of course open to visitors of all nationalities.

Bollywood star as ambassador for Interlaken 2017

The blockbusters filmed in the Interlaken region also prompt numerous Indian tourists to travel to the Bernese Oberland. “The dozen Indian restaurants in the city are proof of the popularity of the destination,” says Andrea Schneider, head of the Indian market and vice director of Interlaken Tourism. She develops new ideas for guided tours on the subject of Bollywood, which will be offered soon and are primarily intended to appeal to honeymooners. Of course, the ideas are still secret for the time being ...

In order to market Switzerland as a travel destination in India, Switzerland Tourism hired the Indian film megastar Ranveer Singh as a brand ambassador in 2017. Video clips on social media and on the Internet show him doing leisure activities in Interlaken (paragliding, water skiing, etc.). The campaign aims to convey, among other things, that Interlaken not only has romance to offer, but is also a destination for adventure holidays. A different audience is to be addressed with new facets of the tourist destination, in which fewer films are made today.

Bollywood's love for the Swiss mountains has waned a bit recently, which has to do with the high cost of living for an entire film crew. Some film producers prefer other countries and shoot in similar mountain landscapes, for example in Austria, Eastern Europe or Canada. This can reduce costs. The audience, in turn, can still mistake the snow-covered backdrop for Switzerland - sometimes it is even passed off as that. It also happens that certain countries try to win over the Bollywood film crews with financial support. Regardless of this, the number of overnight stays by Indian tourists in Switzerland is continuously increasing ...