In summer 2019, the production team for Indian TV series “Kasautii Zindagii Kay” (“Trials of Life”) spent ten days in the Zurich and Bern regions. The series is shown on Star Plus, India’s most popular Hindi entertainment channel, which also attracts viewers outside of India, for example in the UK, the US, Canada, the Gulf States, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. The Indian soap opera shows Switzerland at its best – as a holiday inspiration for an audience of millions.

Which destination was the most popular for Indian guests in 2019?

  1. Engelberg
  2. Interlaken
  3. Zurich
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Zurich was the most popular destination for Indian guests in 2019, with an increase of 8.6 % to a total of 124 914 hotel overnight stays. 

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Successful mix of promotion and key media management
In its handling of the Indian soap opera, Switzerland Tourism ST ran the entire gamut of promotion and key media management: the 10 episodes took the 45 million TV viewers to Zurich, Rapperswil, the Rhine Falls and Interlaken. India’s TV news channels and online media platforms ran detailed reports on the filming, which led to an additional 432 million contacts. As is now customary, the news was also distributed assiduously on social media: in addition to the broadcaster’s content, the main actors Parth Samthaan, seen here on the Jungfraujoch, Erica Fernandes with her post from Zurich and Karan Singh Grover with his post from the Rhine Falls posted from their personal Instagram accounts.

Thanks to ST’s media efforts, the promotion did not go unnoticed in Switzerland itself. Daily newspaper “Blick” (German) reported from the film shoot. 

An active role in the cinema and TV industry
The decision to film in Switzerland came about as a result of the longstanding contacts of the ST regional office in Mumbai. “It’s so green, clean and tidy here and everything seems to be very well organised. Indians really like that. That’s why we are extremely proactive in the film and TV industry here,” explains Claudio Zemp, market manager for India (until July 2019). ST India worked out the shooting concept in advance together with the crew, aided in the search for suitable locations and helped with the story idea. Shadab Peshamam, production manager at Balaji Productions for the channel Star Plus: ”We have shot our show in other countries, but we were extremely impressed with how Switzerland Tourism organised everything together with the local partners. Things worked perfectly, everything was thought out in advance and we were very pleased with how smoothly the shooting in Switzerland went.”