The early years

On June 19, 1950 Swissair invited the concierges of the city of Zurich to an evening flight followed bya snack at the airport’s restaurant.
Many of the participating concierges saw each other for the first time on this occasion and decided on the spot to form a comradelyand friendly cercle.

The first meeting took place on August 7, 1950 and was attended by all the concierges who had also participated at the mentioned Swissair event. In addition to the already existing Cercle Lucerne and the adjoining cities of Geneva, Basel and Lugano, the desire for a unified Swiss association arose.

At the founding meeting of “The Golden Keys Germany” where the first President of the Zurich Cercle Mr Oskar Wirth was present as a guest, the pioneer Mr Ferdinant Gillet, President of the European Clefs d’Or, expressed the wish “that Switzerland shouldn’t be missed any longer amongst the circle of European Clefs d’Or associations. Switzerland as a prime tourism country should no longer stand aside, because he who rests will rust.”

At the Zurich general assembly on January 19, 1953 an unanimous decision was made to initiate thefounding of the Swiss Concierge Association. Subsequently, on January 20, 1953 an opinion poll wassent to around 150 well-known concierges in Switzerland.

Thanks to the positive feedback, aninvitation to a meeting with a provisional program was issued by the Zurich Cercle on March 10,1953. The meeting took place on May 2nd, 1953 at the Savoy Hotel Baur en Ville. During the speech at the opening of the meeting and the founding act, President Mr Oskar Wirth explicitely thanked the Zurich Cercle for their efforts towards a unified Swiss association. A further appreciation went to Swissair for their courtesy and for taking on an important key function as concierges between hotel and flight guests. “This recognition of our work deserves a very special thank you.”Friendship-collegiality-willingness to help-that’s what the new association should stand for.

The concierges want to get to know and learn to appreciate each other, while remaining politically and especially union neutral in order to make the beautiful and difficult job easier for each other. 

The”Clefs d’Or Suisse should and must be adapted to our Swiss uniqueness, without refraining from joining the European Union.” For the benefit of the guests and in order to raise our reputation, the spirit of camaraderie must intervene, because what a colleague in Zurich cannot do, a colleague in Geneva, Lugano or Basel could for example. At the same time, it should be a goal to think of the newcomers in the profession and to support them, to pave the way for the capable and to recommend eager employees to each other. Honesty is also part of the Les Clefs d’Or spirit, for example when the guest’s wishes cannot be fully met.

This applies to the guest, the cooperation in Switzerland with other concierge colleagues and also on an international level, as this is not only a benefit for the guests but also for the hotel industry.In addition, everyone is asked to find a way of mutual cooperation within the hotel for the benefit of the guest and the hotel, in which the concierge supports other departments with his/her long-established knowledge. Last but not least and despite the competition in the hotel industry, a concierge must maintain and promote the good reputation of the Swiss hotel industry. 

Section Presidents of our section since 1950