Full house for Switzerland at PyeongChang
Presence Switzerland is encouraged by the results of the House of Switzerland at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. From both the sporting and marketing perspectives Switzerland has been able to raise its profile and present itself to the South Korean and international public as a country that is open, promotes sport, and is attractive for tourists.
Of the some twenty national houses in PyeongChang, the House of Switzerland was one of the few that was open to the general public. Its location in the immediate proximity of the Olympic Village and venue for the technical alpine disciplines, and directly below the ski runs made it a very animated meeting place for the Swiss Olympic team and their fans, sports enthusiasts from near and far, journalists and VIPs from the worlds of sport, business and politics.
Since the opening on 7 February, the House of Switzerland has reached more than 100,000 people on the Olympic site. Some 50,000 people took part in the activities organised by the Swiss representation on the Olympic grounds. The public especially enjoyed watching the competitions on giant screens as well as the synthetic ice rink which was made available to practise scoring hockey goals and take part in friendly ice hockey matches. Every day, dozens of visitors took advantage of the ski lessons offered, using innovative skis and boots from Switzerland. The bobsleigh of the Swiss Olympic team at Vancouver and the mascot Heidi at the House of Switzerland were received with delight on social media. Switzerland was also able to demonstrate its musical side with a variety of artistic performances by Baba Shrimps, Pat Burgener, Veronica Fusaro and a Korean group that played traditional Swiss folk – ländler – music.
The high points were the medals won by the Swiss athletes which were celebrated in collaboration with Swiss Olympic in the House of Switzerland.
Our athletes excelled in all disciplines: ice, snow and moguls. The House of Switzerland in PyeongChang, which turned out to be a superb venue for having winter fun the typically Swiss way, quickly became a place to be. We could have won the gold medal for Olympic fun,
remarked Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland.
Swiss cuisine with typical specialities such as cheese fondue, raclette and rösti were served in the restaurant and après-ski bar to the immense enjoyment of the public. Around 2.4 tonnes of cheese, 5,000 sausages, 6,000 glasses of beer and 1,800 bottles of Swiss wine in all were consumed. The House of Switzerland served more than 20,000 people with these traditional Swiss dishes.
A survey carried out at the House of Switzerland showed that the large majority of visitors recommended the House of Switzerland to others. The design and furnishing of the House of Switzerland was especially appreciated by the Korean and international public, as well as the atmosphere, the warm welcome and friendliness of the staff. The visitors were invited to extend their knowledge about Switzerland, especially in the areas of gastronomy, tourism and sport, and they discovered that Switzerland is fielding Sion as a candidate to host the Winter Olympics in 2026.
In addition, the House of Switzerland received positive coverage in more than 250 articles and reports in the Korean and international media. Since its opening, word about the House of Switzerland has also been circulating in social media: The hashtag #houseofswitzerland achieved more than three million impressions. On its own channels the House of Switzerland generated approximately 1.4 million impressions and 65,000 interactions.
In addition, various partners from the public and private sectors as well as VIPs from the worlds of sport, tourism, business and politics took advantage of the Swiss platform with 23 events. High-level visitors to the House of Switzerland included President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset, for the opening of the Winter Games, and the minister of sport, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin. In addition, the president of the IOC, Thomas Bach, the French minister of sport, Laura Flessel, Prince Albert of Monaco and numerous members of government from Korea and other countries honoured the House of Switzerland with a visit.
Our presence at the Winter Olympics has shown that in the fields of sport, hospitality and the media Switzerland has the Winter Olympics in its blood. The show of support in the worlds of sport, politics and business at PyeongChang for the Sion candidature in 2026 is a very encouraging sign,
commented Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland.
During the Paralympics from 9 to 18 March 2018, Switzerland, together with Germany and Austria, will be co-hosting the ‘Alpenhaus’ to support their athletes, and where it hopes to celebrate many Swiss successes.