In a tribute to late actor Sridevi, the Swiss tourism industry is planning to install a statue of the legendary leading lady. Sridevi was one of the Bollywood actors who set a trend by being picturized in the snowy alps of Switzerland in the 80s and 90s.
“The Swiss government has highlighted its India connection by installing Yash Chopra’s statue in Interlaken. Now, considering Sridevi’s role in promoting tourism here, there is a proposal to honour the actor by having her statue here,” a source familiar with the developments said.
Raj Kapoor’s 1964 film Sangam was the first Indian film shot in Switzerland, which was followed by An Evening in Paris in 1967. From Raj Kapoor’s Sangam to Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ), Switzerland has been a favourite shooting location for Bollywood and Indian tourists have been flocking to the country in the hundreds of thousands. Aditya Chopra’s hit Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) captured the imagination of Indian youth, also giving an unprecedented boost to the tourism sector here. According to Switzerland Tourism’s data, in 1992, 28,834 Indians visited Switzerland, but in 2017 it went up to 326,454.
Late filmmaker Yash Chopra was famously very fond of the snowy country and his films became associated with Switzerland. A majority of the iconic songs of Chopra’s 1989 Sridevi-starrer Chandni were shot in Switzerland. It also put Switzerland in an average Indian’s tourist bucket list.
“Indian tourists are quite excited about the scenic locations because of the movies. Movies of Sridevi and Shah Rukh Khan have inspired many, irrespective of their age. Many of those who come here want to replicate those scenes and sometimes the excitement causes some accidents also,” the source said.
The government of Interlaken had awarded the honorary title of Ambassador of Interlaken to Yash Chopra in 2011 and a train is named after him. Recently Karan Johar payed tribute to the Bollywood obsession with Switzerland in his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.