Davos World Economic Forum

Davos, Switzerland

Charter a Private Jet to the Davos World Economic Forum

The third week in January every year, more than 2,000 of the world’s richest and most powerful people in business, government and society gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

The forum began in 1972 when German professor Charles Schwab gathered 440 business leaders for a European Management Meeting to figure out ways European firms could catch up with those in the United States.

Through the years, as the renamed World Economic Forum, it has grown into a meeting in which powerful elite from some 20 countries get together to talk about major global issues and crises and brainstorm ways to solve them.

Davos World Economic Forum private jet charter

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More about the World Economic Forum

While much has changed, one thing has stayed the same: the location.

It’s held in Davos, a city of only 11,000 people located high in the Swiss Alps. Davos, which is 147 miles north of Milan, Italy, and 290 miles east of Geneva, is on the Landwasser River between the Plessur and Albula mountain ranges. At 5,118 feet, it is Europe’s highest city.

So, who gets invited? Senior executives from large, wealthy companies, heads of state, and academic, church and charity leaders.

If you go, you are likely to run into people like Bill Gates or celebrities there to entertain attendees. You’ll learn a lot about the people who run our banks and our governments.

Those people are likely to be male – 83 percent of attendees are – and from the United States, which sends nearly half the participants.

The Forum has been responsible for the discussion or resolution of monumental issues, including:

  • An agreement to avert war was signed by Greece and Turkey in 1988.
  • South Africa President FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela appeared on a stage together at Davos, their first joint appearance outside South Africa, in 1992.
  • Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat drafted an agreement on Gaza and Jericho in 1994.
  • In 2002, the meeting was moved to New York in the wake of September 11.
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair uses Davos to form the G-8 agenda for 2006, which included climate change and poverty in Africa.

And those were just the events that happened in public. Much talk and negotiation goes on out of the public eye.

What to see and do in Davos Switzerland

Of course, there are places to enjoy any winter sport, including skiing, ice skating, hockey, curling, tobogganing and cross-country skiing.

There are also many old buildings to see, including the Hotel Seehof Davos, which was originally built in 1289. It has been renovated and has changed hands over the years.

The Davos Tourist Office merged with Klosters Tourist Office in 2008 and have since marketed themselves as the holiday resort of “Destination Davos Klosters."

Davos’s reputation as a great place to ski is thanks to a rather unlikely character – Englishman Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer who brought Sherlock Holmes to life.

Seems, Doyle moved to Davos in 1893 with his wife, Louisa, who had been diagnosed with tuberculosis. The mountain air was believed to be able to help her condition. And, it did. Originally given three months to live, she lived until 1906.

While in Davos, Doyle wrote about the thrill of skiing – and predicted that someday the town would be a destination for English skiers.

“You let yourself go,” he wrote. “Getting as near to flying as any earthbound man can. In that glorious air, it is a delightful experience.”

The nearby town of Meiringen was the location of Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Final Problem,” the novel in which the author killed off (he would later be revived at his readers’ insistence) Sherlock Holmes.

In 1988, a statue of the famous detective was placed in the town square, which was renamed Conan Doyle Place.

Eighty miles from where Holmes was killed, the ski lift was born.

In the 1920s, skiers would spend 54 minutes of every hour climbing a mountain and six minutes skiing down it. It was frustrating to avid skiers like Zurich engineer Ernst Gustav Constam. He solved the problem by developing the world's first T-bar lift. It opened in Davos on Christmas Eve in 1934.