A land that offers romance, adventure, gourmet experiences and memories to last a lifetime, Switzerland has been a favourite among Indian travellers for ages. And now, Switzerland Tourism as brought Olympic Gold winner, Neeraj Chopra on board to be the country’s ‘Friendship Ambassador’.
Chopra, who says Switzerland is one of his favourite vacation places, will highlight the various aspects of the Alpine country – from adventure sports and nature trails to its sheer beauty – to Indian travellers.
Often seen in the country as part of tournaments and training, this time was a bit different for the young sports icon. After winning the Diamond league championship in Zurich in September 2022, Chopra dived into a vacation customised just for him. What made it even better was the fact that his close friends joined in as well. From canyon jumping, sky diving, getting on a jetboat in Interlaken, his programme was packed with one adventure after another. He also rode snow scooters and sleds on Jungfraujoch, went hiking, monster biking and paragliding as well as took a helicopter tour in Zermatt.
And if you think that’s all he did, you’d be wrong, adventures were just one part of the whole holiday.
Chopra also visited the city of Geneva, which he explored via a unique running tour as well as on an e-tuktuk tour which took him to United Nations as well as to the Mahatma Gandhi statue to pay homage. Chopra wound up his exciting holiday with a river-rafting tour down to the iconic Lake Geneva to see the famous landmark – the Jet d’eau.
“Switzerland is my favourite international holiday destination,” he said, adding, “It’s so beautiful everywhere you look. I also wanted to show this country to my friends and family. It was the best place to relax after a hectic season for me. You feel refreshed anywhere in the country whether you are out in the mountains or even just strolling in the city. I But what got me excited was chance to experience the adventurous side of the country with my closest friends. We tried everything from canyon swing to river rafting to paragliding and skydiving amongst other activities.”
As Switzerland Tourism’s ‘Friendship Ambassador’, Chopra will share his experiences in the country to showcase it as the ideal destination for outdoors and even for hiking, biking, soft and extreme adventure and of course snow sports, for everyone be it beginners or seasoned pros.
"India is an important long-haul market for us. Neeraj is an Indian icon and an outdoorsy person, and he will beperfect to showcase the sporty and outdoor side of Switzerland as well as allow us to promote lesser-known sides of the country,” said Misha Gambetta, director -India, Switzerland Tourism.
“We will be closely working with Neeraj to promote Switzerland through his eyes as a sportsperson who loves the outdoors. Switzerland has everything a tourist looks for during a holiday — fresh air, beautiful mountains, untouched nature, unique cities and monuments and an amazingly efficient public travel system but it is also a perfect destination to enjoy some activities in nature and there’s a lot of that, so Neeraj will have a lot to choose,” said Ritu Sharma, deputy director of Switzerland Tourism.
The athlete also donated his gold-winning javelin to The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland in September. The museum founded by the International Olympic Committee in 1993 showcases the richness and diversity of Olympism through history, culture, design, technology, and sociology with sports as the main element. Mary Kom’s gloves as well as Dhyan Chand’s hockey were already a part of the exhibits.