Echo Trails’ Swiss Advisory Council

Echo Trails' Swiss Advisory Council

In order to insure Echo Trails provides the finest travel service, we have a board of travel experts from Switzerland on our Swiss Advisory Council.

Annemarie Meyer, CEO Glacier Express

Annemarie’s 30+ years of executive positions in management, marketing, sponsorship, event and hospitality with global organizations such as FIFA-World Cup, America’s Cup, Alinghi and UBS and Swiss “world-wide” destination brands such as Davos and St. Moritz, portray Annemarie as one of the best “inside Switzerland look” executives in Switzerland today.

Over the past 4 years as Glacier Express CEO, Annemarie has enhanced and raised the brand with the new “Excellence Class” to one of the world’s highest quality level experiences.

From our time working together during the St. Moritz, Canton of Graubünden days to now, Annemarie has always been there to provide valuable “inside Switzerland” recommendations to me. The 50th Glacier Express trip certificate signed to René Welti in 2018 by Annemarie is an example of her professional dedication to Switzerland tourism.

Martin Barth, President & CEO of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne

Martin Barth has served as the President & CEO of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne for the past 15 years.

He has traveled the globe to assemble Switzerland’s and the World’s top CEO’s, Ministers, Academia, Finance, Startups, the Next Generation & Young Tourism University Talents to meet & address the future challenges in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry to shape a more sustainable future.

Martin also works with the Swiss – Federal Innovation agency funding science-based projects to increase competitiveness of small to medium size Swiss businesses. As a practitioner turned researcher and professor turned entrepreneur, Martin continues to consult for various professional associations and organizations in destination promotion, tourism and hotel management areas globally. He is an Alumni of the prestigious St. Gallen University in Switzerland. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Hospitality Management School in Lucerne.

As the North America Ambassador for the WTFL, René Welti attended and has offered tourism related services during a number of the Forums

Hans Lerch Swiss Advisory Council

Hans Lerch  – Swiss Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Hans’s 50-year tourism career highlights include CEO positions in two of Switzerland’s most preeminent Kuoni & Hotelplan travel companies. Our desks were next to another during my first job in Switzerland as counter clerk in the Kuoni incoming department. Hans subsequently transferred to Kuoni’s  Japan and Far East offices; 29 years later becomes the CEO.

In addition to being a Board member of numerous Swiss companies, Hans also became the Executive Vice Chairman, Abercrombie & Kent responsible for the USA & Worldwide business operations. The combination of Hans’s intense drive and business acumen to think “outside” the box contributed to many of his performance & organizational successes. It’s a privilege to maintain this special relationship.

Ruedi Jaisli, Mr. “Outdoor Switzerland”, Switzerland Tourism Milestone Award Winner

Ruedi’s entire professional career is focused on tourism within Switzerland, conceiving, developing, promoting, implementing and guiding sustainable travel by visitors from all over the world.

Ruedi was instrumental in coordinating the various hiking, biking and related tourism organizations in Switzerland to conceive a common signposted, color-coded national, regional, local hiking, biking, mountain biking, in-lineskating and canoe trails program all under one umbrella. This program is now called “Swiss-Mobility and used worldwide to plan and experience your own authentic Swiss outdoor experience.

Ruedi has hiked & biked more Swiss trails than anyone else in Switzerland and that’s why he is called Mr. Outdoor Switzerland. Ruedi and René Welti have worked together on many outdoor Swiss programs that included guiding Switzerland Tourism familiarization tours, transferring visitors from the Zurich airport to their first overnight and briefing them on their itinerary. Today Ruedi is one of ECHO Rail & Trails, Zurich Meet & Greet personnel and continues to provide invaluable “Switzerland Outdoor” expertise.

Louis Palmer, Global Environment Leader & United Nations – Champion of the Earth award winner

As a child growing up in Lucerne, Louis had a dream to travel around the world in a solar powered car to raise awareness and show people there are solutions to stop global warming.

With his inspiration and “Never give Up” action attitude in 2008, Louie was the first person in the world to circumnavigate the world, logging over 36,000 miles through 40 countries over an 18 month period and finishing in Lucerne. For this achievement Louie was awarded the European Solar Prize and in 2011 was awarded the United Nations – Champion of the Earth award.

Today Louis and his wife Dr. Julianna Priskin, co-founded the “Switzerland Explorer”, the world’s first electric tour bus and offer Lucerne Panorama Sightseeing & Chocolate Tours and tailored tours to the public.

Louis’s “Ted Talk” and Champion of Earth videos provide “golden nuggets” of what you can achieve by asking people for their help and being creative. It’s René Welti’s privilege to have gotten to know both Louis & his wife and also have participated in one of their local Lucerne tours.

Diccon Dewes, Best Selling “Swiss Watching” Author

Diccon grew up in deepest Hampshire.  He received a degree in International Relations from LSE and an 18-month world trip set him up for a career in travel writing, though he took the scenic route via bookselling.

After ten years at Lonely Planet and Holiday Which? magazine, Diccon decamped to Switzerland, where until recently he was manager of the Stauffacher English Bookshop in Bern.

As well as grappling with German grammar, re-learning to cross the road properly, and overcoming his innate desire to form an orderly queue, Diccon has spent the last few years exploring the bits of Switzerland he’d never heard of before. And eating lots of chocolate.

The result was Swiss Watching
, a book that became a bestseller.
His website carries on from the book providing facts and photos about Switzerland, mixed with insights and thoughts on Swiss life.

Diccon is now a full-time writer, occasional radio guest, permanent expat and recently obtained Swiss citizenship. Diccon has a Swiss “GA” Pass that allows him access on all Swiss public transportation and available for personal one-on-one guiding anywhere in Switzerland.

Diccon and René have co-guided Rail tours together.


Renato Fasciati, CEO Rhätian Railway – Switzerland’s largest private railway company

With a 20+ year career in Swiss Railway Executive positions, Renato is the current CEO of the Rhätitian Railway, the largest network of private railways in Switzerland. He is also a Board member on a number of other Swiss Rail related companies.

ECHO Rails & Trails uses the RhB railway on its Chur to St. Moritz, Bernina Express & Glacier Express segments. In addition, René Welti represented the RhB in the USA during the 1990’s when he also represented the Graübunden Tourist Office along with the St. Moritz, Davos and other Swiss resorts and Swiss transportation companies.