The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting, held in Davos has just taken place. This means that politicians, business leaders, big tech CEOs, celebrities, and the leaders of charitable organizations descended on the Alpine town in the Swiss Alps and they were joined by an entirely different group of professionals – escorts.
Several women who work as providers have come out and talked to mainstream media outlets about the sudden uptake in clients that occurs every year. While discussions of international affairs and the world economy took place the global elite did their share of partying and relaxing with scores of providers from the area. This year at the WEF, the discussion surrounded climate change, the cost of living crisis, and the Ukraine war.
Business is booming for escorts at Davos
Throughout the summit, between January 16 and 20, the world’s oldest profession was well represented. Providers reportedly were booked into the same hotels as Davos’ most important guests. A provider, Liana, spoke to the German tabloid Bild. She told Bild that she had to dress in formal business attire to blend in with the crowd of international professionals. “There are strict controls, you can’t get into some hotels,” Liana said.
Laina went on to tell Bild, that her rates were €700 ($1012 CND) for an hour and €2,300 ($3328 CND) for the whole night. Several escort agency managers in Switzerland- where prostitution is legal, told the media that during the WEF meeting at Davor and most other summits, the demand for their services spike.
The managing director at one of these agencies in Zurich told Bild that “On the day of arrival and departure, we also have more inquiries.” This particular agency didn’t send providers directly to Davos, but the demand was increased on days attendees were catching flights to and from the summit.
Another agency director that provides services in Aargar ( approx 100 miles from Davos) told a media outlet that, “Some [clients] also book escorts for themselves and their employees to party in the hotel suite.” Salomé Balthus, an escort, author, and German public intellectual, who attended Davos to meet with clients told the same outlet that “I prefer to take money from the rich than from the poor.”
Does the WEF have a public image problem?
Heavy criticism has come to the WEF in recent years. This comes from a broad cross-section of society, even from groups with opposing political views. The spike in providers coming to Davos at the time of the annual WEF meeting has not helped, but to be fair, environmental activists have also lambasted the WEF for having attendees fly into the summit in an array of greenhouse gas-spewing private jets while talking about ways in which they can halt climate change. The WEF frequently is called out for major elitism. Many argue that the Davos attendees don’t adequately understand the daily lives and difficulties of ‘normal people’ as they are made up of exclusively global elites.