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14.04.1996New York Times
07.04.2011Presse Bericht über - Donghua Li Ausstellung
27.07.1996“Auch Adler müssen einmal landen, sonst stürzen sie ab”
19.02.2002Die «Schuld» daran hat Donghua Li
23.08.2006Donghua Li ist wieder Gold wert
05.07.2007Harry Potter Vorpremiere
24.09.2007Donghua Li stimmt Röthlin auf China ein
06.10.2007Basler Zeitung: Der Unermüdliche Donghua Li pendelt zwischen zwei Welten
01.11.2007Interviews beim STB
06.11.2007世界冠军李东华, 这才是值得我钦佩的人
30.12.2007Sonntags Blick
05.01.2008Neue Luzerner Zeitung
31.01.2008华西都市报 为瑞士夺金取奥运百年突破--走出国门的中国鞍马王
06.02.2008Donghua Li auf SF: Sportaktuell extra China
26.03.2008Zuger Woche
26.03.2008Swissinfo: Donghua Li bedauert Politisierung Olympischer Spiele
28.03.2008Donghua Li lamenta politização dos Jogos Olímpicos
31.03.2008Schweizer Illustrierte
03.04.2008Der Olympiasieger von Atlanta wartet darauf, dass sich China, sein Heimatland, dem Rest der Welt weiter öffnet.
04.04.2008Alt Bundesrat Ogi lobt Donghua Li
07.04.2008Swissinfo: 李东华在瑞士从痛苦到成功之路
10.04.2008Die Weltwoche: 12 Fragen an Donghua Li
16.04.2008Le Temps
16.04.2008他让瑞士天王费德勒自叹不如, 奥运遗憾成心中之痛
27.04.2008Cui Jian Rocks Chengdu
29.04.2008SF Bericht: Olympische Spiele Peking
01.05.2008Hong Kong Joung Post
09.05.2008Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
12.05.2008Zwei Stunden voller Angst und Sorgen
31.05.2008IOC Film Donghua Li
28.06.2008Vorfreude auf Olympia
29.06.2008Wir werden grossartige Olympische Spiele erleben
07.07.2008Ich wünsche mir, dass Roger Federer in Beijing Gold gewinnt.
07.07.2008I hope Roger Federer will win Gold at the Beijing Olympics
14.07.2008鞍马决赛 李东华为瑞士夺冠
15.07.2008Lucerne sets sights on Chinese tourists


Image caption: Donghua Li's story is retold at the top of
Mount Titlis (swissinfo)

Image caption: A mount for all seasons: more and more Chinese tourists are heading for Titlis (swissinfo)

A sign at the top of Mount Titlis tells the story of Chinese gymnast Donghua Li being inspired to win Olympic gold after seeing a Buddha-like shape in the rock.

Looking out from the 3,238-metre mountain's viewing platform, Li could make out the figure of the Buddhist prophet seated on an inaccessible peak and bathed in sunlight.

He took it as a sign that despite the challenges ahead he could win gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a feat the Chinese-born gymnast went on to achieve that year as a Swiss national.

Today Mount Titlis is the most visited Swiss mountain resort among Chinese groups and Li's tale is one the resort is happy to promote as part of its Sino-friendly approach.

Although the number of Chinese visitors to Switzerland has grown steadily over the past decade, tourism bosses expect 2008 to be slow with the Olympics taking place in Beijing in August and more Chinese staying home rather than going abroad.

Instead Lucerne tourism officials are hedging their bets on a more prosperous 2009. Part of their strategy is an all-out marketing drive at the Olympics, where Lucerne and the Lake Lucerne region will form the centrepiece of the government's House of Switzerland exhibition at the Expo Park in Beijing.

It is only the second region to be featured at the Swiss exhibition, after the Valais at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, and is providing SFr3 million ($2.9 million) of the House's overall SFr4.6 million budget to promote the region and the Swiss brand and to wine and dine guests.

The idea has caught on and 12 other partners have signed up to take part, including UBS, Nestlé and Swiss Army knife maker Victorinox. Lucerne Tourism is coordinating the budget, to which all partners contributed SFr100,000.


Big potential

Marcel Perren, director of Lucerne Tourism, says the region offers a quick dose of Switzerland for groups on the typical whirlwind tour of Europe's biggest sights.

"Our product fits very well with the Chinese. We can offer a little bit of Switzerland within Switzerland," he told swissinfo.

"We have a small historic city and the lake and mountains that are all very close. It's a little piece of what Chinese people think Switzerland has to offer: quality, nice nature, shopping, culture."

A third of all Chinese visitors to Switzerland stay in the Lucerne and Lake Lucerne area, making it the top Swiss destination.

"For us now it is about improving the branding of Lucerne and the Lake Lucerne region so that if Chinese people travel to Europe and Switzerland they feel they must come here," Perren explained.

For the city of Lucerne, the Chinese market remains small – three per cent of its overall visitors – but the potential of the country's 1.3 billion population drives hopes for big returns.

"The potential is very big in China," Perren said. "It's never going to be a number one market for Switzerland, but in the next couple of years the number of overnight stays could double."

Samosas and noodles

Titlis Rotair, the firm responsible for the nearby Mount Titlis resort and some of its assorted restaurants, shops and hotels, has learnt that a little goes a long way in catering to its major Asian tour groups.

Signs around the resort are in the main Asian languages, Chinese hymns figure among the background music at a resort lightshow and a Bollywood star advertises watches on a poster outside the glacier shop.

When tour buses pull up, Chinese, Indian or Thai chefs are called in to cater. During the afternoon, Chinese noodles and Mövenpick ice cream are the only takeaway options available on the mountain, and those tourists exiting at the base are met by an Indian snack van selling samosas and hot masala tea.

"We try not to be an old-fashioned, completely Swiss-style mountain. We're more of a modern style of mountain," André Küttel, marketing director of Titlis Rotair, one of the House of Switzerland exhibition partners, told swissinfo.

"Many others dream about the huge Chinese market that is coming. For us it's already here. Now it's about brand-building and becoming better known."

Right path

Küttel says visitor numbers are particularly strong in the Lucerne region because it is lucrative for the Chinese tour operators who can sell tickets to various excursions. Switzerland also meets one of Chinese visitors' main needs: shopping.

"The Chinese are not interested in alphorn blowing," said Küttel. "It is nice for them to see, but they are interested in coming back from Europe with some status symbols. Like a Louis Vuitton bag from Paris or a Swiss watch. Watch shopping is a very important reason why they visit Switzerland."

Top of the agenda in Beijing will be attracting more tourists and encouraging them to stay longer in Switzerland, thereby increasing the chances of spreading out the economic benefit.

"It's important for us to slowly but continuously move towards people staying longer," said Perren. "We are still going to have to wait a couple years for that but we are certainly on a right path."

swissinfo, Jessica Dacey in Lucerne

    15.07.2008Luzern will Magnet für chinesische Touristen sein
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    15.07.2008Lucerna punta sui turisti cinesi
    15.07.2008Lucerna exhibe sus atracciones a turistas chinos
    16.07.2008李东华于1996年发现天然大佛的故事树立 在3千米的铁力士山
    17.07.2008 广东电视台:国际奥委会电影:李东华的传奇(二)
    18.07.2008 广东电视台:国际奥委会电影:李东华的传奇(一)
    27.07.2008Abflug nach Peking
    27.07.2008Sonntag AZ
    29.07.2008Viele Sachen sind möglich, wenn man wirklich daran glaubt.
    30.07.2008China als Gastgeber
    31.07.2008Was werden die Schweizer Teilnehmer in Peking für eine Rolle spielen?
    01.08.20081.August-Feier in Peking
    01.08.2008Former Olympic Champion Wishes Beijing Olympics Success
    02.08.2008Wieder in China zu leben?
    04.08.2008Grösste Sorge: Das Klima in China
    06.08.2008CCTV: Xiao Cui Shuo Shi, 中央电视台:小崔说事:跃马扬威
    06.08.2008Neue Luzerner Zeitung: Olympische Sommerspiele 1992 bis 2004
    07.08.2008Schweizer Familie: Donghua Li Meister des Spagats
    08.08.2008'China will zeigen, dass es eine starke Nation ist''
    10.08.2008成都商报:城事情感:为爱远走瑞士 磨砺5年奥运夺金
    11.08.2008北京奥运 我是中瑞文化交流的使者
    12.08.2008Tages Anzeiger: Der grosse Bruder aus der Schweiz
    14.08.2008Blik: Gold in Peking
    28.08.2008SF: Olympiaserie: Donghua Li
    28.09.2008Sylvester Stallone nimmt in Zürich Award für Lebenswerk in Empfang
    13.10.2008Miss Asia: Schweizer Illustrierte
    05.01.2009CCTV 中央电视台《小崔说事》李东华——跃马扬威 (文字加视频)
    18.01.2009Prominente an der Sportgala
    27.01.20096 Fragen an den chinesischen Botschafter
    12.03.2009Lillustre 瑞士画报(法文版)
    05.04.2009SonntagsZeitung: «Das Zelt»
    05.05.2009STV Gala
    24.07.2009Luzerner Zeitung: Zentralschweiz am Sonntag
    25.07.2009Glücks Post Titelgeschichte
    17.05.2011Donghua Li: «C'est ici que ma vie a changé»
    04.02.2012Neue Luzerner Zeitung: Donghua Li erhält ein Erni-Bild
    04.03.2012新加坡联合早报: 新加坡国家男子体操队队长颜子杰,受中国名将李东华的鼓舞,伤后复出义无反顾
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