World Economic Forum.jpg

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort Davos, there's much being debated.

DEBATES: Spanning over 100 pages, the programme deals with conflicts and new global challenges. This year's motto: "The fourth industrial revolution."

PARTICIPANTS: 2,500 politicians, business leaders and scientists from more than 100 countries, from Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Spacey to US Secretary of State John Kerry and German President Joachim Gauck.

FOOD: With around 90 hotels and many more restaurants, the Alpine town is completely booked up, and often more overpriced than usual.

COST: The WEF costs 32 million euros (35 million dollars), according to organizers. This averages at 12,800 euros per attendee. However most guests will cover their own travel and accommodation costs. The security expenses of the summit are presumably enormous, but have not been divulged.

FUNDING: The foundation is financed by its members, 1,000 of the world's biggest companies. An annual WEF membership costs between 50,000 and 500,000 Swiss francs (50,000 - 500,000 dollars), depending on the company's size.

SECURITY: 1,000 police officers and 3,000 soldiers are on duty in Davos, with another 2,000 soldiers ready to fill in. Fighter jets are blocking the restricted airspace over Davos, while the ground is being secured with anti-aircraft defences, street blockades and security checkpoints.

DAVOS NIGHTLIFE: Daytime debating is followed by over a dozen parties every night, attended by big names in business, the nobility and Hollywood. Last year's total cost was estimated by food experts to reach 35 million euros.

LITERATURE: German author Thomas Mann (1875-1955) brought Davos to fame in his 1924 novel The Magic Mountain. It describes a health resort where his wife Katia had stayed. Today it is a luxury hotel.

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