As someone once said, “Money alone does not bring happiness; one must also have it in Switzerland.” Switzerland has been called “the playground of Europe,” a country with in comparable natural beauty, a vigorous proud people who do not mind at all serving visitors as long as it is profitable.
Tourism brings Switzerland about $3 billion a year income and a worldwide reputation as superior innkeepers. Something like a half million Americans enjoy the country each year. The Swiss are also big travelers. On a per capita basis, they are the biggest of all international travelers, even though that may mean only going a few miles to cross a national border.
Switzerland attracts the athletic, mountain climbers, skiers, tobogganers, and hikers. It is one of the cleanest countries in the world: a mixture of mountains, lakes, and valleys found nowhere else. The British are credited with initiating world tourism to Switzerland
FIGURE 5.14 Typical scene. Think of Switzerland and we think of mountains, lakes, and skiing. One of the best known mountains in the world, the Matterhorn, is seen here in the background of Zermat in the 1860s. Mountain climbing in Switzerland has long been a favorite visitor experience. The tradition of the Swiss guide goes back for more than a hundred years, services that should be employed in making any of the more hazardous ascents. The visitors can cross glaciers, hike to most of the climbing huts and even climb the 11,500 foot peaks without using ropes. The Alps are the greatest of the several wonders of Switzerland, mountains that are sharply defined rock and snow. These features are highlighted by a valley of hay-fields, alpine flowers, chalets, and cows.
The Alps mountain chain runs approximately east and west through the southern part of the country and constitutes about 60 percent of Switzerland’s total area. The Jura Mountains, a spur of the Alps, stretch from the southwest to the northwest and occupy about 10 percent of the land area. The remaining 30 percent is a plateau between the two ranges where large cities and industrial activity are concentrated.