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Switzerland’s ailing tourism sector turns to Federer for help

The money he gets from Switzerland Tourism will go towards helping disadvantaged children in Switzerland, Federer said. Keystone / Mark Dadswell

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has been recruited as an “ambassador” to help promote his home country’s tourism sector, which has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This content was published on March 29, 2021 - 12:03
Keystone-SDA/swissinfo.ch/sb

The winner of 20 grand slam titles has begun a long-term collaboration with Switzerland Tourism to help promote its “energising nature” and attract guests, the national tourism board said on Monday.

“I’ve always felt like I’ve represented Switzerland, not just through the Olympic Games or team competitions,” said Federer, who turns 40 in August.

“I’ve been very proud to do that for the 22 years that I’ve been on tour. I’ve always felt like an ambassador to the country so to do this was a logical step.”

Tourism crisis

Switzerland Tourism said they were planning joint promotional projects worldwide, beginning in European cities, followed by the United States, then Asia and the Pacific region.

“The support is urgently needed right now, after the biggest tourism crisis since the Second World War,” it said.

The Swiss hotel sector registered a 40% drop in overnight stays in 2020 compared with 2019. Foreign demand fell by 66% as tourists stayed away due to the pandemic, latest statistics show.

Federer and Switzerland Tourism have not revealed exactly how much he will earn for his tourism work. But they said the money would go towards his foundation, which helps disadvantaged children in Switzerland and southern Africa. The tennis star said the funds would be invested in playgrounds in Switzerland.

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