Who are we?
We are an Iranian/Swiss travel agency; unique and first of a kind. We have existed since 1989 when we opened our offices on the site of the EPFL (Federal Polytechnic University of Lausanne). Our team, whether based in Switzerland or in Iran, consists of experts in our field and contributes diverse and complementary skills. We are proud to have been named the Swiss representatives for the Iranian Tourist Office in 2015.
Reza NAFISSY, General Director
Born in Mashhad in Iran in 1957, Reza Nafissy arrived in Geneva in 1976 after he had completed high school to begin his tertiary studies:- International Relations in Geneva followed by Political Science and then a post-grad in Business Management in Lausanne. He worked as the Commercial Director for British Caledonian Airways for Switzerland between 1985 and 1988 before starting his own company, Traveland, representing the airlines TWA, Wardair Canada & Air Europe as well as Tech Travel, a tour operator company specializing in North and Central America ( USA, Canada, Mexico), located at the EPFL ( Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne).
Reza lives in Lausanne, Switzerland and is fluent in French, English and Persian.
Based in Lausanne.
Reza ALVAND, Director of Operations
Born in 1972 in Tehran, Reza Alvand trained in Information technology but has many other interests and talents. He is a coach, a photographer as well as a passionate travel guide and organizer. Currently working as a technical consultant, he also contributes to numerous conferences, seminars and ateliers coaching both individuals and companies in life management.
Since finishing his tertiary education in 1994, he has been organizing and serving as guide for voyages into the mountains and deserts, imparting knowledge on Iranian culture and traditions, music, cuisine and sport. His wife, Azin Moghadam, is a chef and together they run a private restaurant in Danâvand at the foot of the Alborz, Sir and Zeitoon mountains.
Based in Tehran.
Patrick RINGGENBERG, Cultural Director
Born in Lausanne in 1970, Patrick Ringgenberg holds diplomas from the Superior School of Fine Arts of Geneva (formally E.S.A.V), Religious Science from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes ( Paris-Sorbonne) and a doctorate in History from the University of Geneva. As a researcher associated with the Institute of Religions, Culture and Modernity at the University of Lausanne, he has been familiar with Iran since 2000 and has written several works on Iranian culture:- A Guide to Iran, an essay on Persian Painting or Visions of Paradise, An Introduction to the Book of Kings ( Shâhnâmeh) by Ferdowsi, and more recently, awaiting publication, a complete study dedicated to the Sanctuary of Imam Reza in Mashhad. He is also the author of essays on medieval and oriental culture (The Union of Heaven and Earth-Landscape Painting in China : Imagery in Christian Art. Resembling God : Mirrors of the Middle Ages.), on the history of religion and esoteric culture ( Diversity and Unity of Religion according to René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon ; The Theories of Art and Traditional Thinking) and on Islamic Art ( The Symbolic Universe of Islamic Art; Ornamentation in Islamic Art) He is the photographer who produced the images that illustrate this website. His personal website is : http://patrickringgenberg.com/
Based in Lausanne.
Jean URFER, Director, Tech Travel
Jean Urfer studied History and Chinese at the University of Geneva before continuing his studies in Chinese History as a Swiss Confederation scholar at the University of Beijing. He then lived for several years in China during which time he was asked to serve as a guide/conference speaker on numerous voyages around Asia. His knowledge of Asia and his passion for travel led Jean into a new professional direction and together with Reza Nafissy, developed a travel agency specializing in culturally themed voyages. Jean Urfer is fluent in French, English and Chinese.
Based in Lausanne.