For one week every January, Davos becomes home to nearly 2,500 participants from more than 100 countries at the World Economic Forum. Many are top business leaders; the Forum estimates more than 900 of those are top executives. In addition, there are heads of state, government, academic leaders and the throngs of media that descend on this tiny Swiss town.
While Davos may be known for this annual gathering, it is also known as a premier winter sports destination thanks to its world-famous downhill and cross country skiing. Despite economic uncertainty still facing much of the world, this winter season the area has seen an increase in visitors.
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November is traditionally the weakest month of the year according to the Nout Lietha Destination Davos Klosters Tourism and Sports. Despite that, he says during the months of November and December 2012, overnight stays were up 2.4 percent over the same time period the previous year.
But with most of Europe still riding an economic roller coaster because of the European financial crisis, where are all of the visitors coming from? According to Lietha, the majority are traveling from within Switzerland and from Germany. In fact, he said, visitors from Germany and Switzerland have increased 8.6 percent over last year. That is the case even while visitors from several EU states have experienced a double digit decline for the second year in a row.
Lietha says it is still too early to tell how the entire winter season will shape up for the area, but he's hopeful a more stable economy will have a positive impact on the area.