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About Thorolf Dold
Thorolf Dold founded Four Seasons Travel and began supporting himself at the age of 16.
He initially earned his living as a hotel porter, skiing instructor and labourer. Then, at the age of 19, he graduated from secondary school in Innsbruck and went on to complete his military service with the High Mountain Company regiment (no. 6) in Absam.
Straight after completing his military service, Dold accepted a job as Managing Director of Wagons Lits in Innsbruck where he was responsible for the station restaurant and all the businesses in the station area.
He then went to Germany, where he went from being a tour guide to the chief tour guide of NUR Deutschland within the space of a few months.
After spending 2 years as a chief tour guide in Romania for the German tour operator Neckermann, Dold moved jobs to TUI where he soon became the area representative for the Far East, Italian Adriatic coast, the cost of West Africa from the Cameroon to the Ivory Coast and the Costa Brava. Finally, he became manager of the Tui international travel agency and then returned to Tyrol in 1972.
Here, he found employment as Managing Director of the Inner Ötztal valley tourist board with virtually unrestricted responsibilities. Within 4 years, he succeeded in increasing the number of overnight stays from below 700,000 to 1,300,000.
In order to move to Innsbruck and spend time with his mother, who lived there, he secured the post of Managing Director of the Neustift tourist board in 1976. Despite being very successful here, he decided to become self-employed in 1982.
With a starting capital of around 70,000 Austrian schillings he opened the Four Seasons Travel office, supported by his wife Britta. He quickly expanded his business, targeting tourists from the USA and Israel.
Following a decline in US tourists, Dold switched his focus to the East and began to encourage Eastern Europeans to visit Tyrol. He encouraged Österreich and Tirol Werbung to focus its advertising on the Russian market and presented their first Russian directors to the Russian travel agencies and Russian market – employed at his own expense.
He also invited in excess of 00 Russian travel agencies to Tyrol, again the expense of the Four Seasons Travel agency, where he introduced them to the tourist region of Tyrol with the help of various broad-minded hotel owners and tourist boards. This led to an ever increasing number of Russians travelling to Tyrol each year.
As part of this tapping into the Russian market, Thorolf Dold began to move away from mass tourism. He held Tyrol evenings and served food created by award-winning Tyrol chefs in a highly regarded 5-star hotel in Moscow which was always fully booked. Here, ministers and members of the Duma assembly met Tyrol representatives. As such Thorolf Dold left the other large-scale operators like TUI behind and began to serve more individual travellers and small groups from his own travel agency in Moscow.
Today, the Four Seasons Travel agency has significantly honed its approach, focusing primarily on business travel, seminar groups and study groups, especially from Russia. The company also offers expeditions into the outermost areas of Siberia, organised by the Moscow office.