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Football expected to deliver major PR boost

Switzerland's tourism boss says he expects the Euro 2008 football tournament to deliver an unprecedented publicity boost for the country.

Jürg Schmid was quoted in the business newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft on Saturday.

“There are 3,500 journalists coming to our country, who will not just write about football. Never before will so many people around the world have seen our country as during Euro 2008.”

The football championship will deliver hundreds of thousands of extra nights for Swiss hotels, according to Schmid, the head of Switzerland Tourism.

He added that the Netherlands, France and Germany – whose national teams will be staying in Switzerland during the tournament – are among the top five sources of tourists for the country.

But he also cautioned that the impact of the tournament on the hotel industry would be short-term – the expected 500,000 to 1.1 million additional nights are a small fraction of the country’s annual total of 76 million overnight stays.

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