The Swiss Olympic Association (SOV) has confirmed they intend to pursue a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games after their plan was given the green light by the 85 Member Federations of the country's Sport Parliament today.
The SOV Executive Board had made the recommendation to the Sports Parliament following a lengthy period of discussions geared towards launching a candidacy for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Swiss cities interested in hosting the event in 10 years' time will be invited to an information meeting in Lausanne, due to be held on April 20 to coincide with this year's SportAccord Convention.
They will be given a month to decide whether to continue with any potential attempt at bringing the Winter Olympics back to Switzerland for the first time since St Moritz staged the event in 1948.
A series of workshops for candidate cities will be held between June and October before they submit their final bid projects by the end of 2016.
The SOV will install a dedicated "2026 Taskforce", which will evaluate all of the options.
They will then decide whether to officially put forward their candidacy to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by September 2017.
Following the meeting of the Sports Parliament in Bern today, SOV President Jörg Schild claimed "now is the right time to look into a Swiss bid for the Olympic Winter Games".
"We have launched this process because the fundamentals for the hosting of Olympic Games - both summer and winter - have changed dramatically, and in a good way," he said.
"In line with the IOC's Agenda 2020, the hosting of Olympic Games has been made not only possible but very attractive for smaller countries like Switzerland.
"With our mountains and strong winter sport tradition, we are predestined to host again the Winter Olympic Games and we will put sound financial and environmental planning at the core of a Swiss bid.
"We feel that now is the right time to look into a Swiss bid for the Olympic Winter Games as there is a need for the revitalisation of winter sports - both in Switzerland and worldwide.
"It is also in our interest to revitalise and further develop winter sports tourism as entire regions of the country are heavily depended on this tourism and related business.
"In Swiss Olympic, we are ready to play our part."
Under the conditions laid out by the SOV, the potential host city must ensure the whole of Switzerland benefits from them entering the race and must convince the country that they stand a chance of winning the vote from the IOC electorate.
Switzerland's proposed bid to host the 2022 Games in St Moritz and Davos was ended in March 2013 after a state referendum rejected the idea.
Voters in Grisons opted 52.66 per cent to 47.34 per cent to decide against approving funding of 300 million CHF (£212 million million/$306 million/€274 million) with the turnout at 59 per cent.
A Swiss bid for the 2026 Games had been widely expected after Christian Constantin, President of Swiss Super League outfit FC Sion, presented a plan to the State Council of Valais, the canton of which it is the capital.
Sion has never hosted a Games having bid unsuccessfully for the winter event on three separate occasions in 1976, 2002 and 2006; editions awarded to Innsbruck, Salt Lake City and Turin respectively.
It is thought a Swiss candidacy for the Games in 10 years will include staging events in several different regions of the country.
Lausanne is due to host the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020 while Lucerne will stage the 2021 Winter Universiade.
Trento in Italy, Dresden in Germany, 2022 race runner-up Almaty in Kazakhstan, Sweden's capital Stockholm, Quebec City and Calgary in Canada, and the Japanese city of Sapporo have all been touted as potential bidders.
A plan to bring the Winter Olympics to Lake Placid for a third time in 2026 was launched in the United States in October.