India generating interest for all at World Economic Forum
Davos: As this Swiss ski resort town began welcoming thousands of business and political leaders from across the world with a sunny weather on Monday, India appears to be generating a lot of interest including for morning meditation sessions, filmstar Deepika Padukone and the latest on policy roadmap of the Narendra Modi government.
The theme of the 50th World Economic Forum, 'Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World,' is also expected to generate a lot many questions for the Indian as well as global leaders present here, several attendees said.
Indian leaders also agreed that questions about the recent developments in India including on the citizenship law and Kashmir, as also the upcoming Union Budget, are bound to come up during their discussions with global leaders.
Padukone is expected to talk on mental health during an official session but many are also expecting her to talk freely on the theme of the summit.
There is also a lot of interest for morning meditation sessions to be held by Sadhguru, especially if the weather remains sunny, though temperature still remains sub-zero, for a considerable period of time everyday and night.
Also generating interest are free cups of tea at a stall of Tata Tea and expectations for some tasty Indian food at the India Lounge, which has returned after the gap of one year.
There are also pavilions of Telangana government and of several Indian corporate groups including Wipro, Infosys, TCS and HCL Tech.
There is an Indian company pavilion after every few steps in this small Alpine resort town which can actually be covered on foot in flat 30 mins, but for security restrictions and snow everywhere.
This being the 50th anniversary meeting, the rush is more than usual and hotels, restaurants and other establishments are obviously not complaining.
Locals say it's business at peak at this time of the year in the city, once known for health tourism, always frequented by skiing enthusiasts and home to the annual week-long pow-wow of the rich and powerful of the world in sub-zero temperatures for five decades now.
For now, Davos teems with huge billboards atop buildings and even on buses, promoting India and Indian companies, while the narrow roads made even narrower by heavy snowfall are packed with lounges set up by the private and public sector from the country where Indian delicacies are flying off the counters.
Flush with nearly three-times its usual population, this Swiss resort town is teeming with black business suits for the annual WEF gathering, but it still cannot deter the skiing enthusiasts and those coming for medical tourism.
The event has also brought thousands of army, police and other security personnel from across Switzerland and some neighbouring countries as well to secure the summit being attended by several heads of state and government.
Davos has a much older and fascinating history of its own, being a place of eminence for medical tourism as also winter sports.
Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the famous detective character Sherlock Holmes, moved to this town along with his ailing wife that reportedly helped her regain her health.
Once famous for being a summer health resort, Davos has gradually emerged as a major winter sport hub on the Alps, but its biggest claim to fame for the past almost five decades has been the World Economic Forum's annual meeting every January, beginning 1971.
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 in nearby areas like Klosters and Dorf.
Besides, the so-called WAGs (wives and girlfriends) of those attending the 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.