Major international sports events draw the attention of opinion leaders and the media worldwide, and are consequently good platforms for Switzerland’s communication abroad. Switzerland set up its first “House of Switzerland” at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. Since then, similar national reception centres have become a fixed part of Switzerland’s programme for the Olympic Games. Major sports events are used today for cultivating good relations both with the host country and representatives of other countries, as well as for promoting the host city, increasing awareness of and knowledge about a particular country, and improving its image abroad.
At the Winter Olympics in Canada, the two “Houses of Switzerland“ – one in Vancouver and the other in Whistler – were both open to competitors, the media, partners, sponsors and the general public from 5 to 28 February 2010. A total of some 60,000 people visited the two venues. The results of a survey among visitors revealed a positive image of Switzerland in Canada. For the first time, new media technology was used to publicise the “Houses of Switzerland” locally. The Canadian and international media featured a total of more than 380 reports on the “House of Switzerland”. Nine medal award ceremonies took place in the House of Switzerland, where, in addition, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation set up its base studio and broadcast its reports on the Olympic Games.
Under the terms of the Federal Act on the Cultivation of Switzerland's Image Abroad, it is the Federal Council that decides on the country’s official presence at the Olympic Games. Funding is provided through special budgets of the Swiss Confederation. The FDFA is responsible for the “House of Switzerland” project.
Information FDFA, phone +41 31 322 31 53
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