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Bollywood drives Indian tourists to Swiss Alps
ZURICH - More and more Indian tourists are making a beeline for the Swiss Alps -- thanks to Bollywood which has now made the landlocked European nation one of its most favourite outdoor locations in the overseas.
In fact, Indian tourists are mostly drawn by Switzerland's picturesque locales, scenic routes and beautiful mountains that form the backdrop of many blockbuster movies. And with 47 of its peaks rising over 3,000 metres, the country without doubt, is Alpine land par excellence.
"We have come to Switzerland to see the landscape that we often see in Hindi movies. It is like a heaven. It is the visit of a lifetime," says first-time visitor Prakash Mehta, a Delhi-based businessman who is currently touring the Alpine country with his family.
According to Swiss tourism figures, nearly a quarter of a million Indians visit this country every year and there is an upward trend. "This clearly shows that Bollywood has cast its spell on tourism," says Walter Hofer of the Reiseburo (tourist bureau) in financial capital Zurich.
In fact, more than 200 Indian films have been shot in Switzerland over the past two decades, with the country making its first appearance in the 1964 movie 'Sangam'. Several recent super-hits, including Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham and Mujhse Dosti Karoge, were also extensively shot in this country.