By: Universitat Luzern

Ideas that receive the most positive ratings on crowdsourcing platforms are not necessarily the best. A study shows why this is the case and what a company should look out for when evaluating ideas.

Companies are increasingly relying on online innovation platforms to generate and evaluate ideas for new products and services. Swiss beverage company Rivella also used one when it came time to launch a new flavor in 2012. More than 800 ideas were submitted, and it quickly became clear what the community wanted: a health-oriented ginger-flavored beverage. But upon closer inspection, those responsible realized that only a handful of people were making “a lot of noise” about this flavor. In the end, the consensus at Rivella was that the ginger flavor would be a flop on the market, and those in charge decided on a different idea.

Over 30,000 ideas examined

According to Reto Hofstetter, professor of business administration at the University of Lucerne, a typical example of social bias. To understand how this can distort results, he conducted a study. Over 14 months, the team led by Prof. Dr. Reto Hofstetter examined 87 crowdsourcing projects on Atizo, one of Europe’s leading innovation platforms. A total of 31,114 ideas from 18 Swiss companies were analyzed. Since sorting and evaluating these proposals is very time-consuming – an average of 358 ideas are received per competition – Atizo offers the option of immediately rating and commenting on the ideas. The study showed that these likes and comments have an impact. This is because the companies use this evaluation system to decide which ideas are rewarded.

Market success not guaranteed

But it turned out that for positive comments or likes, the same are returned – regardless of whether the idea is liked or not. A well-known phenomenon in social media. In addition, people can network as “friends” on Atizo. The researchers found that ideas from friends are commented on and positively evaluated more often than ideas from people with whom one is not networked. In a further step, the scientists investigated whether the “crowd” can actually predict which products will be successful on the market. For this purpose, they surveyed the companies one year after the conclusion of the ideas competition to find out which of the crowdsourcing ideas had been successfully implemented. Reto Hofstetter: “The results showed no correlation between the ideas preferred by the crowd and those that actually led to successful products.”


In summary, the study does not advise against crowdsourcing. However, it does suggest that companies should look beyond likes and mutual positive reviews and find more effective ways to evaluate the ideas generated.
Prof. Dr. Reto Hofstetter led the study, “Should You Really Produce What Consumers Like Online? Empirical Evidence for Reciprocal Voting in Open Innovation Contests,” together with co-authors Dr. Suleiman Aryobsei, Manager at A.T. Kearney and Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann, Professor of Marketing and Director of the Institute for Customer Insight, University of St. Gallen, and published the results in the “Journal of Product Innovation Management” (article). A summary was published in the “Harvard Business Review.”

Before the gray days, there was a huge giant, Sämtis or Säntis. His bed was the Schwendibach valley, and the Meglisalp with its velvety alpine grass was his floral pillow. But where he pricked his elbows when he got up, the Seealpsee dreams today. He carried his food in an enormous sack which he had patched up from the skins of a thousand primitive oxen and ten thousand bears.

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As the giant wandered around in the flat country down by the lake once again, he took a liking to the many cute little houses that stood together in light piles on the plains and by the water. In order to be able to play with it in peace at home, he wiped some villages with his hand together with man and mouse into his giant sack. A stocky farmer was surprised while he was mowing but quickly ducked into a ditch. No sooner had the giant fist swept over him than he jumped up, stretched out as far as he could with his long arms, and tore a long slit in the bottom of the sack with his scythe.

The giant, who never paid much attention to the exciting fuss of the fidgety little creatures, swung his sack over his shoulder and stomped contentedly towards the Alpstein. But since the sack bobbed back and forth in a wide arc with every step, the houses falling out of the crack were sown far over the whole country. It was only when he wanted to sit down on his usual bench, the Alpine igloo, and pick out the booty that the giant noticed the loss. In his anger, he quickly emptied the rest at his feet. Then the giant Säntis disappeared and never came back.

But nevertheless, he became a legend of the Canton Appenzell. 🙂

Appenzell at Swiss Made Direct

The story of the giant Säntis is beautiful, but that’s not the only reason why we love Appenzell. It’s a historic region, and one of the symbols of Switzerland.

The best way we can present it to you is through our products.

Feel the spirit of Appenzell!

Appenzeller Classic Caramels Tin

In the in-house Goba manufactory, the Appenzeller Classic Caramels Tin awaken. The basis of this cream candy variation is the traditional original recipe that lasts over 100 years.

The creamy little cubes convince with their delicate melt and the crumbly softness. So, it’s a seductive pleasure, a gift for the future. Connoisseurs make them with patience and enjoyment. The intense caramel taste makes it enjoyable in the mouth for a long time.

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Appenzeller Biberli With Hazelnut Filling

What is Appenzeller Biberli?

This pastry is originally from the canton of Appenzell – thus the name. But today, people eat it all over Switzerland. Also, this Appenzeller Biberli has a slight but powerful touch of hazelnut filling. Together, they create an exquisite taste.

You won’t regret giving it a try. The giant Säntis also wouldn’t. 🙂

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Zweifel Mini Appenzeller Biberli Cookies

Zweifel mini Appenzeller Biberli cookies are unique Swiss biscuits. They are a lovely concoction of special spices and special dough handling. Eat them with your cup of coffee in the morning, share them during meetings or simply snack on them while you’re on the go.

The beautiful packaging is finished with an original motif by Appenzeller artists. Hence, these are not only cookies but a complete Swiss experience.

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Zweifel Appenzeller Bärli-Biber

Finally, we have a gingerbread product with sweet hazelnut filling. Zweifel Appenzeller Bärli-Biber offers an incomparable taste! If the giant Säntis was alive today, he would enjoy this one for sure! 🙂

It’s another Swiss classic that represents the Appenzell region in the best possible way.

zweifel-appenzeller-barli-biber

World Wildlife Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the magnificent world of wild plants and animals at least once per year. More importantly, it’s a reminder for us, humans, that we have the responsibility to take care and protect our local ecosystems from destruction. Every threat to animals and plants is a warning sign, including over-exploitation, habitat loss, or natural disaster.

So, how do we celebrate it the Swiss way this year?

Swiss flora and fauna are super-rich and priceless in their beauty and value. We could dedicate this day to numerous species from both of these worlds. But our idea is different. This year, we want to give a tribute to Swiss animals that represent unique symbols. Not only in Switzerland but in different cultures throughout the world as well. 

You might wonder – which animals do we talk about? How did we come up with this idea?

The reason lies in the beautiful Swiss Animals Cap you can find in our store. It’s a beautiful piece, designed in six different variations, featuring Swiss animals that we decided to dedicate this day to.

Let’s meet these beautiful creatures and celebrate World Wildlife Day!

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The Brave Brown Bear

What does the Brave Brown Bear symbolize? When we think of it, the first two things that cross our minds are strength and confidence. Centuries ago, the bear inspired those who needed courage, and people worshipped it as a powerful totem. Today, this predator lives in central Switzerland and the South of the Alps.

So, if you’re the one with strong leadership and proactive skills, you’re free to say you have the characteristics of the Brave Brown Bear.

The Mountain Ibex

The Mountain Ibex, or Alpine Ibex, is a wild goat species that lives in the Alps. Throughout centuries, people thought it has magical powers because of its unicorn-ish look. Besides, Ibex is an excellent climber, so if you enjoy hiking and climbing, this gorgeous creature could become your spirit animal.

The Golden Eagle

Which person could we relate to as the Golden Eagle? Being an eagle requires looking at life with a wide lens and a broader perspective because they provide vision, wisdom, strength, and courage.

Do you always strive to reach new heights in life? In that case, feel free to associate yourself with this gorgeous bird.

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The Grey Wolf

Besides Switzerland, the Grey Wolf is present in different parts of the world. Also, in each of these countries, the symbolism is similar – sharp intelligence, a deep connection with instincts, and an appetite for freedom. 

Do you recognize yourself in these characteristics?

The Queen of Alps

The mighty and combative Queen of Alps is a typical cow of the Valais Region. They are known as the Swiss most renowned breed because of their fighting spirit. So, it’s pretty clear what type of people can relate to this Swiss animal. Throughout the summer, the leader must assert herself if she is to descend from the alpine pastures in autumn as the crowned “queen.”

Cows are as much a part of Swiss tradition as watchmaking and chocolate.

The Mountain Dog

The mountain dog is a faithful friend and hard worker from Bern Region. Dogs of this breed are excellent watchdogs. They may want to chase smaller animals and play roughly, although they are quite gentle when appropriately trained.

If you’re a fan of these species and dogs in general, this is, for sure, your new spirit animal.

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Which one of these is your spirit animal?

There is almost no chance that you guys don’t fall into a single of these symbolic categories. You have to relate to at least one of these animals. And we’re eager to know which one it is!

Come on, don’t be shy! Share your answers with us on social media.

Happy World Wildlife Day, everyone!



By Susan Doktor, Switzerland International Travel Information

Since its onset, the coronavirus has shaken the very bedrock of our lives: who we see, where we go, how we work, and even how we play. Many of us had our hearts set —and our hard-earned cash spent—on traveling, only to see our plans upended by stay-at-home orders, global entry restrictions, flight cancellations, and more. We didn’t expect to be grounded, nor did we expect to lose money in the process.

While few travelers could have foretold the onslaught of the coronavirus crisis, many understood that travel itself tends to be unpredictable. They purchased travel insurance to hedge their bets against the events that more commonly upset travel plans when they planned their trips pre-COVID-19. Unfortunately for those cautious travelers, trip cancellation claims against those policies were largely denied.  The travel insurance industry defended itself in one of two ways. In some cases, insurers characterized the pandemic as a “force majeure”— more commonly called Acts of God—which are not covered under most policies. Other insurers claimed the results of the global pandemic were “foreseeable” and, therefore travelers who made plans once the crisis was discussed in the news, were ineligible for reimbursement under the terms of their policies.

If those two positions sound contradictory to you, you’re not alone. The travel insurance industry took a lot of heat for their double-fisted COVID claims denial. Some have amended their policies to make them more saleable in the post-coronavirus era. But the question remains, is travel insurance worth the investment now? If so, how can you find the best travel insurance policy for your needs—and for our times? Let’s take a look at how travel insurance works and see if we can sort out the answers to those questions and more.

Why Buy Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can’t prevent the mishaps that sometimes upset our travel plans. It can’t help you make a tight connection when your first flight was delayed. It can’t magically find your lost baggage or prevent an avalanche from ravaging the idyllic mountain cottage you booked for your hiking sojourn in the Swiss Alps. And travel insurance can’t replace the hopes and dreams that inspired you to plan your adventure in the first place, so hold on to those. But the right travel policy can help take the sting out of your disappointment when things go awry. Depending on the policy you purchase, insurance compensates you financially for the vacation setbacks we mentioned—missed flights, natural disasters, luggage fiascos—and more.   

You know how insurance works. You spend a little money to protect a larger amount of money or a particular asset. In the case of travel insurance, you don’t have to spend much for considerable protection. The average travel insurance policy costs between 4% and 10% of the total prepaid, non-refundable costs of your vacation. (Pay attention to those words prepaid and non-refundable because we’ll come back to it later.) Many travelers decide that the cost of a travel insurance policy is well worth just the peace of mind that comes with it, even if they never make a claim.  

Cancellation Coverage: Currently Controversial

Travel insurance policies are highly customizable. Given the uncertainty we’re currently facing—including rolling local and state shutdowns and the sudden appearance of  COVID-19 hotpots—cancellation coverage is one type you may want to consider when planning a trip.

Travelers typically pay various upfront expenses in advance of their journeys. Some of the larger ones include airline tickets and hotel deposits, but smaller ones like national park entrance fees and ski passes can add up, too. Many of these fees are non-refundable. Should you have to cancel a trip, your cancellation policy will reimburse you for at least some of the non-refundable expenses you incurred when you planned your vacation. Each policy has its own restrictions. Particularly in the age of COVID-19, there can be many. That’s why it’s important to read any policy thoroughly before you purchase it.

Trip interruption coverage is a sub-species of cancellation coverage. It’s designed to reimburse your non-refundable expenses if you have to cut your trip short once it’s in progress due to a covered emergency. Some trip interruption policies will pay to fly you back to your destination once your emergency is resolved. Again it’s important to understand what constitutes an emergency in the eyes of your insurer, but typically illness, injury, and family emergencies back home do qualify.

Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage is the Mighty Mississippi of cancellation policies and the most expensive kind you can buy. Typically, CFAR costs about 40% more than standard cancellation insurance. It’s pretty much what it says on the label. So long as you give your insurer sufficient notice—normally 48 hours—you can recover your non-refundable expenses no matter why you decide to cancel your trip. But there is one caveat: canceling your trip because you are concerned about contracting COVID-19 may not be covered under a policy. If you decide to pay the higher cost of CFAR coverage, be sure you’re getting what you think you are paying for.

Travel Medical Insurance: Essential for International Travel

If you have a US health insurance policy and travel inside the US and its territories, it’s likely that your coverage travels with you, particularly for emergency medical care. But nearly all US health policies stop at the border when you travel internationally. Notably, Medicare doesn’t pay for healthcare outside of the US. So if you plan to ride the rapids of Switzerland’s Vorderrhein, travel medical insurance is vital. It was before the global pandemic and it’s more so now.

Generally speaking, travel medical policies cover diagnostic services, hospitalization, surgery, and emergency transportation. Prescription medicine coverage is less common. Once again, we need to add the COVID-19 caveat. Policies differ. Be sure the policy you select includes coverage for treatment if you fall ill with the coronavirus while traveling. You may also want to check specifically to see if the cost of testing is covered, as some policies do exclude it.

Travel medical insurance is one of the world’s greatest bargains—if you have to use it. Some insurers advertise travel policies that cost under a dollar a day, but realistically you should expect to pay about $10 a day for comprehensive coverage. Weigh that expense against the cost of a single trip to the emergency room or the cost of a medical flight home and travel medical insurance is the proverbial no-brainer.

Tips for Saving on Travel Insurance

Travel insurance resembles other kinds of insurance in ways you’re likely familiar with. It comes with coverage limits, reimbursement schedules, and, in some cases, a deductible. You can lower the cost of your travel insurance policy by selecting lower coverage limits, a smaller reimbursement percentage, and a higher deductible. The internet makes it easy to scope out the best deals on travel insurance. The trick is to be sure you are comparing policies with identical limits, reimbursement schedules, and deductibles before making a decision based purely on cost. You might want to create a spreadsheet to keep the information you collect organized as you figure out which policy best suits your needs. This is one instance when talking to a real-live, old-fashioned insurance agent may save you some time and help you make the most informed purchase possible.

Author bio:

Susan Doktor is a journalist and business strategist who hails from New York City. She writes, on a wide range of topics including travel, finance, health and fitness, and technology. Follow her on Twitter @branddoktor.

Introduction

Although it is hard to travel these days because of the current COVID-19 situation, if you find an opportunity, use it to visit the beautiful historic city – Lucerne. Located at the foot of the Alps, in the Swiss-German speaking part of central Switzerland, it’s a perfect place for a romantic getaway. Lucerne and its lake are truly the heart of Switzerland. Thanks to its location, it is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Therefore, it is a perfect starting point for your trip.

Town History

The name “Lucerne” originates from the Latin word “lucerna”, meaning “lamp,” according to a common legend. As the story goes, an angel illuminated a place with a beam of light streaming from his hands, indicating to a group of eighth-century Benedictine monks where they should build the first chapel of the city. The town that formed around the chapel is now known as Lucerne or “Leuchtenstadt” in German, which means “The City of Light.” Lucerne has been a popular destination for the European royalty and elite all through its history, inspiring the works of Wagner, Goethe, and Queen Victoria in the 19th century.

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Discover the city of Lucerne

Today, with its historical sights and spectacular landscapes, the city still enchants its tourists. With new museums and festivals, a few futuristic, high-tech landmarks, and luxurious boutique stores, there’s plenty of things to do and see when visiting this magical place. In addition to its many chapels and monasteries, Lucerne is also known for its many bridges. The Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, is one of the most famous bridges in the town.

The shores of Lucerne Lake

Nothing beats the view of Lake Lucerne early in the morning. The fourth-largest lake in Switzerland, also known as the “Lake of the Four Cantons,” is a beautiful lake with an unusual shape that encourages you to discover more. The lake, with incredible mountains on both sides, has four arms going off at sharp angles. Since Lucerne is located in the northwest corner of Switzerland, you can catch one of five early-20th-century paddle steamers for cruises on the lake, starting from the Luzern Bahnhofquai.

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Enjoy the best weather

Lucerne weather can be very pleasant or bellow freezing! The summers are warm and sunny, although it’s never extremely hot in Lucerne because the Alps are very close. For that reason, most tourists come to Lucerne between June and September. That is the perfect timing if you enjoy hiking and exploring the outdoors. However, if you’re not a fan of warm temperatures and prefer winter sports, November is the best time to visit! The winters in Lucerne are very cold, and the skiing season lasts until mid-April.

Treat yourself with fine Lucerne food

There are some excellent restaurants in The Old Town to visit. You can discover many cozy little restaurants that serve all kinds of chicken dishes. Plus, there are many places ideal for a quick bite if you’re in a hurry to continue sightseeing. For fine dining lovers, you can even find a French cuisine with its popular duck, various seafood choices, and delicious sirloin steaks. One extra tip when eating out – In Europe, Switzerland ranks among the most expensive nations. That said, service is normally included when dining out, so you’re not supposed to tip. However, if your water or waitress was particularly excellent, you can add 5-10%.

Conclusion

Lucerne, a medieval city, looks like a fairytale Swiss town located between mountains and a lake. In other words, it seems like an old postcard brought to life. Whether you’re a food or a history lover, Lucerne is indeed one of the best cities to visit in Switzerland. Your Swiss vacation in Lucerne will definitely be an unforgettable journey!

Switzerland is one of the smallest, yet most appealing destinations in the world for tourists and business. The country is known as the land of mountains, chocolate, efficiency, and breathtaking beauty– but there’s so much more to this beautiful country. We’ve dug up the top six fascinating facts about Switzerland. Don’t be surprised if your guide book did not mention those!

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Nuclear shelter 

If you live in Switzerland, you have a better chance of avoiding nuclear fallout. Why? Well, many people do not know that Switzerland has the largest atomic shelter in the world. Owners of apartments even need to have shelters prepared, according to articles 45 and 46 of the Swiss Federal Law on Civil Protection. These shelters protect 8.6 million people, covering the Swiss population by 114 percent(2006 data). 

There are 300,000 shelters built in private homes, hospitals, and other institutions. Besides that, there are more than 5000 public shelters as well. And it is not surprising that the largest nuclear shelter in the world, the Sonnenberg Tunnel, is also located in Switzerland. There are laws in place like articles 45 and 46 of the Swiss Federal Law on Civil Protection, ensuring that each apartment has shelters prepared for nuclear Armageddon.

Definitely one of the biggest fascinating facts about Switzerland.

Lakes & lower carbon emissions

Switzerland has more than 1,500 lakes. And the nation knows how to utilize them well. We have one of the lowest carbon emissions, and the lake helps quite a lot in this regard. How? 

Well, according to publicly available data, Switzerland generates 56% of its national power through hydroelectricity! And 39% from nuclear plants. It means the consumption of fossil fuel is extraordinarily low in the country. The dependence on hydroelectricity and nuclear plants makes Switzerland one of the world’s most environmentally friendly countries. 

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Food & watch isn’t the main export 

The country is famous for watches, jewelry, and clocks. They definitely earn foreign currencies and help to boost goodwill. However, the export of a sophisticated watch, clock, or delicious food is not the country’s primary export nor the most fascinating facts about Switzerland.

Switzerland’s’ most valued asset, which earns the most foreign currency, is its chemical industry. The chemicals alone account for 40.2% of Switzerland’s export. And the EU countries are the largest trading partner of Switzerland. More than 56% of the country’s export is being done in the European Union.

Understand the convenience of others 

We call at our will and comfort, right? Well, if you are getting a Swiss person, especially who is living in the French part, make sure to ask if it’s an excellent time to have a conversation or not.

It is rude not to ask if the person is free or not. So, it may sound quite weird and different. Because most of us simply call and start the chat without even trying to understand the person’s convenience.

Fines for Speeding

Switzerland has introduced the speed limit of 50 km/h in urban areas in 1984 and 120 km/h on expressways in 1985. Switzerland is famous for having the biggest fine in the world for speeding. For instance, an incident where a local driver received a ticket of 650 thousand euros for driving at 180 miles per hour(289+ Km)! But that’s not an average fine. The charges of the violation of the speed limit depending on the drivers’ income. If the judge thinks that the driver can pay more regarding his/ her income, the judge is free to set a higher penalty fee. 

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The worlds’ most expensive speeding ticket was given to a diplomat from the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for speeding in Eastern Switzerland. The Ferrari, the diplomat, was driving at 137 km/h through the speed limit was 50 km/h. The penalty was a hefty 24 million CHF by the court. Therefore, if you are Switzerland and want to drive, make sure you know and follow the rules.

The high rate of recycling

Besides having the most outstanding air quality and lowest carbon emissions, the nation has achieved a recycling milestone. Waste management works quite extraordinarily in Switzerland and has a high recycling rate of all recyclable materials than other developed countries. 

A study in 2010 showed the country recycled 94% of its glass, 85% of its paper, and cardboard. On the other hand, 91% of its aluminum and 80% of its PET plastic, and 69% of its batteries!

Switzerland is a country with many other amazing facts. From its flag to having one of the highest Nobel Laureates, the government always has something on its sleeve to surprise people. Switzerland is, indeed, a country of wonders. Now that you know six cool facts about Switzerland, we hope you’ll understand its people much better. So, which of the fascinating facts about Switzerland amazed you the most?

Switzerland is a European nation well known for its political and military neutrality and, of course, great food and outstanding & sophisticated tools. However, those are the characteristics of an entire country, but what about the Swiss people? What are their characteristics? Today, we will go beyond the stereotypes and make a list. 

Let’s start exploring Swiss people!

Respectful

Swiss people respect community rules and orderliness. However, they also do have an exceptional mentality of offering individual freedom. Swiss people do not pollute. They take cleanliness very seriously and give importance to their neighbors as well. For instance, you won’t hear any loud music after a particular hour. People are very respectful of each other, which has been part of the Swiss culture for a prolonged time. Everyone follows the guidelines and social norms. If one deviates and does unexpected behavior, people will call out for it.

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Thriftiness 

Swiss people are exceptionally good with their money. And for this, they are proud of it. Most of the population is well educated and has a good job, which helps them have a quality lifestyle. They are good with money, and it doesn’t mean you can ask a person how much they earn. Yes, that’s right. Swiss people, most of the time, do not discuss their earnings. So, if you meet a Swiss person, now you know what topic you should not get into!

Punctual

Swiss people are punctual. And they carry the sense of the importance of time everywhere. For instance, take the railway as an example. If somehow a train is running late, the delays will be announced in exact minutes, and they will adhere to that announcement. What does it mean? Well, it means, if the authority informs the train is coming in 3 minutes, it will come in 3 minutes! And why won’t they be punctual? In the end, Swiss people are the marvelous watchmakers! So, if you want to meet a Swiss person, be there on time!

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Multilingual 

Switzerland is a federation of different regions. Therefore, the country is diverse, and you will feel that if you travel through the country and interact with people from other regions. It is quite amongst Swiss people to speak in more than one language. Our country has four comprehensive spoken languages- German, Italian, French, and Rumantsch. If you meet a person from Zermatt, he or she may talk to Italian and French. On the other hand, Gstaad’s person may use French or German to keep the conversation going. And this is why it is not uncommon to find Swiss people speaking multiple languages.

Warm & Friendly 

Swiss people generally keep to themselves. Sometimes they can come off a bit cold to a foreigner, especially in the big cities. Because they keep to themselves and have the highest standard of privacy, it is hard to approach. Maybe because in the big cities, people are more business-oriented. And this kind of behavior is relatively common among the big cities around the world. On the other hand, people from the countryside can be friendly and welcoming. In general, Swiss people might be hesitant to make a stranger friend; however, with time and conversation, you can easily break that barrier!

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Perfectionism

The Swiss like high-quality products. Good food, shoes, clothing, success at profession, and accomplishing greater heights through working smartly. In short, Swiss people are perfectionistsThis characteristic can be observed through Swiss-made products as well. Everyone knows how much effort and resources Swiss companies and Swiss people put into making a product perfect. For instance, a Swiss-made watch is well known for its quality craftsmanship and Swiss-made cheese and other products. And this perfectionist culture is also a common practice amongst the Swiss countrymen. They prefer to do things right. A below standard job is a taboo, and every Swiss person avoids it.

Respectful & law-abiding 

Swiss people respect nature and animals. It’s the reason the country has strong laws regarding the protection of the environment and animals. They take nature very seriously and work very hard to keep the delicate balance of greens intact. The love for the environment derives from their passion for outdoor activities. And before we go into another topic, there’s one particular law you must know of Switzerland. It may sound odd to many, but it is illegal to keep “social” animals such as parrots, pigs, fish, and others without their Switzerland pair. So what we understood in this part about Swiss people? Well, they love nature, and they care for pets and animals a lot.

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Mostly, Swiss people are kind and friendly but typically keep to themselves. They can be hard shells to crack in the beginning but usually are very welcoming. But of course, to get the best out of a Swiss person, be respectful, polite, and punctual. 

At the beginning of 2020, Switzerland became “the best country in the world” for the fourth year in a row! That’s a big-time achievement. There are multiple reasons and factors why Switzerland is still at the top, including political and economic stability. However, the fact that Switzerland is the best country to live in doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. But, what it does mean is that criteria evaluated in the research show that Switzerland has higher standards in different political, social, and economic areas, compared to other nations.

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Many people relate Switzerland to its amazing products, such as watches, chocolates, or cheese. Although these high-quality products are indeed the symbol of Switzerland, still, there are a lot more things that go in favor of our country. The report from US news, which shows why Switzerland is the best country to live in, focuses on the following factors – low unemployment, a skilled labor force, and one of the highest gross domestic products per person in the world. Let’s be honest, a strong economy, high-tech industry, and a highly-developed service sector are critical factors that every person takes into consideration before planning to move to another country. Switzerland has all these factors on a very high level, and that’s why we are at the top for four consecutive years.

However, many other very important factors also play a vital role in making one country an excellent place to live in. Switzerland excels in many of them. Let’s go through each of them slowly.

The best political system

Swiss political system is based on a collective head of state. It is a political construction that, instead of settling one president, has a government of seven ministers from all four most prominent parties in Switzerland. Although there is a rotating presidency (one member of the council becomes Swiss president each year), still all of the seven ministers have the same rights and are equal. What is so great about this system? Parties in the government and politicians are forced to negotiate and find compromise solutions all the time. As a result, there are always multiple opinions considered before choosing the (correct) decision, which is a vital factor why many people think that Switzerland is the best country to live in.

Education and high income

An excellent education system is super important for the future of every country in the world. Education is one of the main factors why Switzerland is the best country to live in. A large number of Swiss adults have an upper secondary education. There is also a system of apprenticeships. Because of it, almost 70% of Swiss students choose vocational training.

What’s even better, when Swiss people finish their colleges, most of them don’t have to worry about the future quality of their lives. Salaries in Switzerland are among the highest in the world, with an average income of $6300, which is such a huge number. However, the cost of living in our country is high, and also, a small number of people can’t enjoy such big salaries. Still, the average is more than impressive.

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Panoramic view of Berne city, Switzerland

Healthcare, safety, and stability

Although there are complaints about insurance premiums, Switzerland still has one of the most accessible universal health systems in the entire world. In our country, patients can enjoy having direct access to every level of care without referrals. Also, there is almost no waiting time (or it is minimal).

When it comes to safety, being out of the war for so many years is a pretty big deal. It is one of the crucial factors why Switzerland is one of the safest counties nowadays. On top of that, the number of crimes and political unrest is small. As a result, Switzerland is also one of the most stable countries. It indeed is a place where people can live in peace and harmony.

Great location, mountains, and skiing

Why is it so good being located in the center of Europe? Mostly because we are a natural hub for many flights that operate from Europe and other cities throughout the world. Not only it’s simple to travel wherever you want to, but it is also an important factor that attracts the wealthiest global companies.

Also, Switzerland is an excellent travel destination all year long, but especially during the winter. Swiss mountains are breathtaking, and there are many places where you can go skiing. If it is not your sport, you can always go hiking, biking, or any other activity that you prefer.

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Infrastructure

The efficient public transportation system is one of the essential characteristics of Switzerland. Roads are in excellent condition, which makes life a lot easier for citizens. Also, an excellent infrastructure is a suitable environment for prosperity and economic growth. In all significant places in Switzerland, it is easy to travel to work and enjoy a comfortable life. Even at night, you can go to any destination because of the 24-hour network. Although this might seem relatively important, it is a very huge factor why Switzerland is the best country to live in for the fourth year in a row.

Freedom, happiness, and an excellent work-life balance

According to a few pieces of research, Switzerland is the second happiest place in the world, after Denmark. Data was based on health, life expectancy, GDP per capita, etc. Freedom and happiness are important indicators of life quality. Swiss people are happy because they are aware that they live in a prosperous country. Modern people want to pursue their dreams, and Switzerland is definitely a place where they can make it happen.

Also, most people in Switzerland don’t work more than it is necessary (and according to the law). It means that they have plenty of time for other activities – spending time with family and friends, leisure activities, sports, theatre, cinema, etc. Such a lifestyle boosts their overall well-being and the quality of every life aspect.

The best national dish

Swiss fondue is one of the most impressive national recipes you can try. There are different variations, but each of them represents Swiss simplicity and efficiency. It is easy to make, fun to eat, and almost everyone loves it. The process is simple – buy the fondue cheese you like, melt it, and eat. If you never tried it, you’ll be surprised how such an easy dish can be so delicious.

swiss-fondue

Although many other factors explain why Switzerland is the best country to live in, these that we mentioned are primary. As we mentioned earlier in the article, Swiss products are also a huge reason because of traditional quality. If you are interested in high-quality, Swiss-made products, check out our store and you’ll definitely find something you need.

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