Davos 2019 looms and locals get set to cash in – again

By Alec Hogg

Was delighted to receive an invitation to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday. So, after last year’s craziness, after filling in the registration forms, shot onto the WEF’s recommended site for accommodation (nothing available) and then Airbnb, where beds on offer for the week (again) cost the same as a small house in SA.

Impressions during the Annual Meeting 2018 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 21, 2018. Copyright by World Economic Forum/Greg Beadle

More than four decades after Prof Klaus Schwab first invited business leaders to the alpine resort in the shadow of the Magic Mountain, the WEF has lost none of its allure. Perhaps because it keeps on delivering surprises. This year, for us, it was the emergence of Cyril Ramaphosa and Emmerson Mnangagwa. Next year, who knows?

Given its sustained popularity, it’s no surprise the WEF is fiercely protective of the event. We saw that last week when Prof Schwab’s team reacted after the ill-fated Saudi investment conference marketed itself as Davos of the Desert. In response, the WEF actually issued a formal statement: to protect the brand “against illicit appropriation.”