<p>Iseltwald’s idyllic pier is a key location for Crash Landing on You</p>

Iseltwald’s idyllic pier is a key location for Crash Landing on You

Korean TV drama lures tourists to tiny Swiss village

Show is South Korea’s third-highest rated drama in cable television history

Lucy Thackray
Wednesday 29 December 2021 15:46
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It may not be as well known as Emily in Paris or Selling Sunset, but one Netflix show has brought the TV tourism trend to the petite Swiss village of Iseltwald.

South Korean romantic drama Crash Landing On You is filmed predominantly in the Interlaken region of Switzerland, with key scenes set on Iseltwald’s picturesque pier as well as nearby Sigriswil and Grindelwald.

The “K-drama” stars Korean actors Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin, and centres on an heiress who is blown into North Korean territory while paragliding and crash-lands into a military officer.

Launching a couple of months before the pandemic broke out, it quickly became South Korea’s third-highest rated drama in cable television history with around 21 per cent of the country’s population tuning in.

It has since gained fans all over the world.

"Crash Landing on You is a beautiful story of two people coming from very opposing worlds and falling in love despite their differences. I found this story very heart-warming and inspiring," Yanina Seifermann, a German fan who was inspired by the show to visit Switzerland, told the BBC.

"It was so amazing. I instantly felt transported back to the scenes of the K-drama and felt more connected to the characters."

One local hotel worker has seen firsthand how the show’s global popularity has swelled the comparatively quiet tourist scene in the village.

"During the summer I’d often see dozens of people at once, waiting at a distance to take pictures on the dock [in Iseltwald],” local hotel worker Carlo Fittipaldi told the BBC.

“I see them in the morning every time I go to work," he said.

He works at the town’s Hotel Chalet du Lac, which he says has also benefited from the popularity of the show.

The Interlaken tourist board has described the TV show’s reach as “phenomenal”.

Another Crash Landing fan, London-based Nana Chiang, told the BBC: "Me and my boyfriend really love the drama so we took photos in the exact same place. It’s very exciting to see the scenes in real life!

"I was not a huge fan of K-dramas but Crash Landing On You really got me into it. It fixed my boredom from the Covid lockdown."

From the HBO mega-hit Succession - whose third season featured Tuscany and East Hampton among other millionaire-bait locations - to Paris-set Lupin, the world’s favourite lockdown TV series have helped keep travel alive in people’s minds.

In October, a Discover Ferries survey of more than 2,000 British travellers found that 46 per cent were influenced by destinations they saw in TV and film; while in early November, three of the 10 most popular TV shows on Netflix were South Korean productions.

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