Utpal Borpujari

January 15, 2010

Now, tour Yash Chopra’s Switzerland

By Utpal Borpujari

If you are an Indian, the first-time you saw Switzerland was most likely in a film by Yash Chopra, who made the beautiful locales of the European nation the staple for his song ‘n’ dance routines.

Now, you can actually visit those very sites where Chopra shot some of the immortal songs and scenes of his numerous super hit films, right from Chandni to Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and many more, in a guided tour right through Switzerland.

The unique “YRF Enchanted Journey”, the first of its kind anywhere in the world that focuses on a particular filmmaker’s fascination with locations in a country, is the result of a tie up among Yash Raj Films (YRF), Kuoni Travel Group venture SOTC, and Swiss-company Brandinvest AG.

Tourists visiting Switzerland as part of this package will visit the original locations of films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Mohabbatein, Veer-Zaara, Chandni, Darr and Bachna Ae Haseeno.

“We at YRF are convinced that this very special offering in Switzerland will provide a previously unattainable opportunity to a lot of Indians and fans of our films. It is a unique entertainment product that we are bringing to the market that promises to be a showcase offering for tourists visiting Switzerland,” said Chopra on the tie up between his company and the two other entities.

“Film Studios across the globe have slowly shifted their focus to creating derivative entertainment experiences around their actual movies, such as theme parks, and we feel that this very innovative approach is a natural extension of the YRF brand of entertainment and provides a very personal experience for our audiences, something that has never been done before by an Indian entertainment brand,” he said.

For Chopra, Switzerland has been almost an extension of his persona in his films. As he said, “I have lived some of the most intense and emotional moments of my life in Switzerland and I have used its spectacular locales extensively in a number of my flagship films that have been seen and loved by millions worldwide.”

The partnership was signed by Chopra, Kuoni India CEO Zubin Karkaria, and Brandinvest co-owner and CEO Marco Casanova in Mumbai.

According to Karkaria, the idea came from the fact that Bollywood has an immense space in the psyche of most Indians. “We are convinced that this will be a very successful project, where we would be able to offer our customers an authentic Bollywood experience on our tours to Europe,” he said.

Switzerland Tourism, the co-host of the special package, also seems to be pretty excited about the development. As Jörg Krebs, Director Markets of Switzerland Tourism said, “The ‘YRF Enchanted Journey’ tour spans the famous regions of Saanenland, Berne, Lucerne, Mount Titlis and Ticino and fits perfectly with our corporate strategy. Our guests can explore wonderful, dramatic landscapes and a truly diverse Switzerland experience.”

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 15-01-2010)



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