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It’s not only about elite talkathon at Davos

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016,17:29 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Davos | Home to the annual talkathon of the rich and powerful from across the world for over four decades, this Swiss resort town has its own history of being a place of eminence for medical tourism as also for winter sports.

With the annual five-day powwow of business and global leaders beginning under the aegis of World Economic Forum (WEF), the small alpine town is buzzing with top CEOs and others who matter in black business suits and the police and army people in orange-and-blue dress posted to provide security for such a large-scale event.

Still, the streets are not totally devoid of usual skiing enthusiasts and some tourists devouring the rich history of this small Swiss town on snow-capped Alps. Once famous for being a summer health resort, Davos has gradually emerged as a major winter sport hub on Alps, but its biggest claim to fame for the past four decades has been World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting every January, beginning 1971.

The Geneva-based WEF is hosting its 46th Annual Meeting here beginning today, wherein more than 2,500 leaders from across the world including 50 heads of government are expected to indulge in a high-profile talk fest for five days. To cover this global elite jamboree, there are nearly 1,000 journalists and support staff as well.

While such a high-profile event leads to all hotels and rental apartments being occupied, the die-hard winter sport fans still throng this place as WEF week also means relatively smaller crowds in ski areas and on mountain cableways.

The only drawback for tourists is that they cannot stay within the town, which has less than 10 medium-sized hotels and about 40 small ones including near-by areas like Klosters and Dorf.

Besides, the so-called WAGs (wives and girlfriends of those attending WEF meet) are also around in large numbers on ski circuits and at various tourist destinations of the town that comprises two big parallel roads and numerous connecting alleys.

Davos’ history as a modern and popular holiday destination dates back to 150 years ago in 1865 when first winter guests arrived here. Till then, it was just a summer mountain health resort with a strong reputation for treatment of tuberculosis patients.