New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Planning a holiday? Try Switzerland. For, romancing in the Swiss Alps and going on a roller coaster ride across those pristine mountain lines which you so often see in the movies is now within your budget.
The land of endless beauty, Switzerland has aroused fascination among many, especially in the Hindi film industry which never tires of choosing one of the country's breathtaking locales for a movie or song sequence.
Now, in an initiative to attract more Indian tourists, Swiss Tourism has an offer which is bound to bring smiles to many - a five-day vacation in Switzerland for less than Rs.50,000.
'And mind you, this includes the return airfare between Delhi and Zurich by Swiss International Airline, and will take you to all the major attractions in Switzerland. With accomodation, sightseeing and breakfast, it's a complete holiday package,' Mirjam Jost of the Switzerland Tourism said at a press meet in the capital Monday.
'One can, thereafter, stay at one of the apartments which have a kitchen for Rs.2,000 per night. The Rs.50,000 package, however, does not include the visa charges,' she added.
For more information on the package, one can visit the website www.swisstoursonline.com
According to Jost, the most convenient way to explore Switzerland is by using the Swiss travel system.
'In the Swiss travel system, by getting a Swiss pass you can use all public modes of travel in the country and use the train to explore every part of this scenic land. Not just that, the pass also lets you visit museums for free and in some places like Mount Pilatus, you get 25 percent discount,' she said.
In the Swiss tourism market, India is among the top 12. While the Swiss themselves count for the maximum number of tourists in the country, Germany follows closely behind.
'Until October 2008 the number of Indians visiting Switzerland was 350,000 overnight - which includes only those living in hotels and not in apartments. We now want to push it up to 600,000 overnight in both hotels and apartments by 2011,' Jost said.
The global meltdown, according to the Swiss Tourism officials, has not affected their market much since November-December is not time when many tourists travel to Switzerland.
'This month we have started getting a lot of enquiries from India, especially from honeymooners, and hope things to get better by May-June, when it's the best time to visit Switzerland. The meltdown, therefore, has not affected us much,' Jost said.
With Switzerland becoming a part of the Schengen Agreement Dec 12, 2008, the officials expect that it will be a lot more convenient to travel to the country.
So whether it's the Glacier 3000 - the world's highest Alpine coaster - where a song from the recent Hindi movie 'Bachna Ae Haseeno' was shot, or Matterhorn which has the highest cable car in Europe giving one the view of Italy, France and Switzerland, a Swiss holiday is now within your reach.