Sunday, October 15, 2017

What Is Going On Here? Is Facebook Dead for Marketers?

"Facebook’s algorithms require you to pay for an audience you already own and that’s utter bullshit (...) Make the exodus. Start supporting small social media networks. Start promoting peoples’ websites again. Start subscribing to their blogs. We need to shift the consolidation of power that the major Social Media Networks have back to us again", Kira Leigh in Art+marketing

"Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts. And it’s getting worse", Kurt Gessler in Medium

"The Facebook anguish continues", Lucia Moses in DIGIDAY

On Friday I watched the last episode of South Park. Watching the adventures of Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick gives me the opportunity and ideas to introduce subjects to discuss in my classes in a different way. And I think the 4th episode in the 21st season of South Park is perfect to meditate about what is going on with Facebook.

"You see, what I've done, Adam, is built a completely self-sustaining chaos machine (...) doing nothing more than that Facebook was designed to do. I make money on Facebook for my fake content in order to pay Facebook to promote my fake stories". Butters Stotch as Professor Chaos in Franchise Prequel (Facebook is the ultimate weapon for Professor Chaos, he has found the perfect tool to spread lies and misinformation about Coon and friends).

If we look back, we see that Facebook was born as a social networking service. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students; however, later they expanded it to other Universities. Since 2006, Facebook is open to anyone who fulfills the minimum age requirement and has a valid email address.
Traffic to Facebook increased steadily after 2009. Right now they claim they have 2 billion monthly active users (June 2017).
Facebook has affected the social life of the contemporary world forever. Facebook allows people using the internet to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives, and other acquaintances. It has reunited lost family members and friends. Facebook allows users to trade ideas, stay informed with local or global developments, and unite people with common interests and/or beliefs.
When I joined Facebook it was still a social networking site.
But a few years ago everything changed.
First, Facebook’s preference for video over text posts was a fact. And now is more or less a wall of news.
"There’s a large segment of the population that gets most of its news from Facebook,(...) If there’s been an overall decline in high-quality news that’s circulating on the platform, that is generally concerning from a philosophical standpoint", said Matt Karolian, director of audience engagement at The Boston Globe.

Despite you follow Facebook optimal content mix rule, 50% links, 25% video and 25% photos, you are seeing a huge fall in your post consumption or daily average reach. And there is only one way to compensate that: paying to promote your posts. Facebook algorithms have one objective: to get more money of potential advertisers because Mark Zuckerberg's platform is under the growing pressure of shareholders who want revenue.
The point is, under the current conditions, many marketers think now, and I agree, is time to move away from Facebook.

"In my mind, we’re kind of at the mercy of the algorithm", Aysha Khan said. "But there’s a lot of stories that are getting underwhelming responses that readers can’t even see. It is this constant thing, trying to figure out how to incorporate it into your workflow. At one point they were pushing images, and then they were pushing video, and live video. I don’t think it’ll ever stop"
"To some, the issue points to the need for publishers to diversify their audience sources through search, direct traffic, and newsletters, while others registered resignation",  Lucia Moses in DIGIDAY

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Referendum on Innsbruck/Tyrol Bid for the 2026 Winter Games To Take Place Tomorrow

A referendum which could make or break Innsbruck's bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games is scheduled to be held on Sunday, October 15th.
The Tyrolean population will be called to vote on: "Should the state of Tyrol make a self-assured offer for sustainable, regionally adapted, as well as economically and ecologically sound Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Innsbruck/Tyrol 2026?".

On 17 February 2016, the "Tiroler Tageszeitung" wrote in an article that IOC president Thomas Bach asked the alpine city for an application for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid for 2022 suffered an "epic fail". For 2022, the bid process collapsed in an unprecedented way.Four qualified European cities dropped out of the six-candidate race, one-by-one, each for their own geopolitical or economic reason. In the end, it was snowless Beijing defeating lesser-known Almaty, Kazakhstan, the only two cities remaining, to host the Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach’s "Agenda 2020" was introduced to help repair the defective process and the image of the Games,
The ÖOC (Austrian Olympic Committee) has been working on a proposed bid by Innsbruck and the surrounding Tyrol region to host the 2026 Olympics for the past year and has received strong backing from both the Austrian government and Innsbruck mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer.
Recent referenda on hosting Olympics held in various countries have tended to result in the rejection of bids, but Peter Mennel (pictured), the secretary general of the ÖOC, argued that the Tyrol-wide roadshow to sell the merits of the bid will pay dividends.
In October 2016 the Austrian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced that it will conduct a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of bringing the Olympic Winter Games back to Innsbruck in 2026.
On 6 December 2016, the ÖOC commissioned a working group including renowned companies to conduct the report.
The study released by the Austrian Olympic Committee (ÖOC) published on 22 June 2017 suggests Innsbruck could host its third Olympic Games in 2026 on a shoestring budget of about (USD) $1.3 billion (1.175 billion euros), a mere fraction of the cost of recent Winter Games.
Leveraging legacy from the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games and experience from hosting the Games in both 1964 and 1976, a study suggests Innsbruck could host a regional Games where 77 percent of the sports venues already exist and the remaining will be comprised of temporary installations. Under this proposal, no new venues would need to be constructed.
Venues would be spread across the Tyrol region and in Southern Germany. The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Agenda 2020 reforms permit a more widespread Games footprint and venues situated across international borders if it leads to costs savings and improved sustainability.
The study proposes to use facilities at venues across all of Tyrol: Innsbruck, Igls, Kühtai, St. Anton am Arlberg, Hochfilzen, and Seefeld. The two ice hockey venues were to be determined, as was the possibility of using the existing speed skating rink in Inzell in Germany.
For Austrian NOC Secretary-General Peter Mennel "Agenda 2020 is a fact, as is the certainty that the Winter Games have to come back to traditional, tried and tested winter sports sites. Innsbruck/Tyrol is predestined to organize modern, sustainable Games — according to the motto: Small but Beautiful".
2026 marks the 50th anniversary of Innsbruck's 1976 Winter Olympics. Innsbruck could be the first city to host the Winter Olympics three times.

Other possible bidders for the 2026 winter Olympics include Calgary in Canada, Sion in Switzerland, Stockholm in Sweden, a city in Norway and Sapporo in Japan.
The IOC will select the host at its September 2019 session in Milan, Italy.

Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Destination Management Starting in October 2018

A Postgraduate Programme in Mountain Destination Management presented by the University of Andorra, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the UNWTO THEMIS Foundation and Pallarsactiu, with transfer coursework from Colorado State University (CSU).

The Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Destination Management is aimed at graduates and professionals from both the public and private tourism sectors with expertise or a direct role in the creation or implementation of strategies, management policies, planning and promotion of mountain tourism destinations.
The programme will enable them to enhance their knowledge and professional skills, develop strategies and manage sustainable and responsible mountain tourism destinations.
  • Format: Blended: on-line with two on-site sessions.
  • Language: English
Participants are required to complete the admission process by May 31st, 2018.

"Located in the Pyrenees, the Principality of Andorra is a top mountain destination in Europe, attracting over two million tourists and nearly eight million visitors overall from around the world each year. Like many mountain destinations, our economy and livelihood depend on our ability to provide quality tourism services, improve sustainability and remain competitive.
The objective of the Postgraduate in Mountain Destination Management is to provide students and professionals the knowledge and training they need to successfully meet the unique demands of the mountain tourism industry.
The programme’s international perspective and blended learning format ensure a uniquely diverse student body and an intellectually stimulating course of study. Furthermore, students can choose from one of two certificate programmes, the Postgraduate Certificate in Mountain Tourism Destinations Planning or the Postgraduate Certificate in Mountain Tourism Destinations Marketing. Both rigorous and practical, graduates of our programmes will be equipped with the skills and abilities to become successful and effective leaders in a rapidly evolving and growing indust

Mr. Miquel Nicolau i Vila
President of the University of Andorra

"I trust that this Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Destination Management, an initiative of the University of Andorra and the UNWTO. Themis Foundation with the support of Colorado State University, will be an invaluable tool to advance mountain tourism as an effective means to promote social, economic and environmental development in mountain destinations across the world".

Taleb Rifai
Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)2017.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

National Ski Areas Association Announces New President

The board of directors of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), a nonprofit trade association that represents ski area owners and operators in the US, has named Kelly Pawlak as NSAA’s new president and CEO. Pawlak, who is vice president and general manager at Mount Snow Resort, Vt., will assume the position January 1, 2018.
"Finding someone with Kelly’s experience and knowledge of ski area operations as well as an appreciation of the challenges ahead will be a true benefit for the association and ski resort operators", said Tim Silva, general manager at Sun Valley Resort, Idaho, and chair of NSAA’s board of directors.
Pawlak has been Mount Snow’s VP/GM for the past 12 years, nd has worked at the resort for more than 30 years in a variety of executive positons, including VP of operations, human resources, and marketing and sales.
"I am honored and excited for this tremendous opportunity", said Pawlak. "At Mount Snow my love of skiing quickly grew into a passion for the ski industry, and now I look forward to putting my experience to work on the national level".
On May the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has honored its 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Berry, NSAA president, who leaves the Presidency after 25 years at the helm of the organization.
Over the course of his quarter of a century fostering the world’s largest and most influential ski industry trade association, Berry has successfully shepherded NSAA and the industry through unparalleled challenges, growth, and consolidation; assaults from climate change as well as demographic and economic forces; and an intensified legal and regulatory environment. Through his insightful leadership and passion for the sport, he has secured a remarkably stable foundation for NSAA’s long-term future and positioned the industry for sustained growth.
"I could not be more pleased than to recognize Michael’s contributions with our organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award", said Tim Silva, chairman of NSAA’s Board of Directors. "In fact, it is somewhat poignant that he was my first boss in Sun Valley more than 40 years ago. Few in the ski industry are as deserving of acclaim and recognition from their peers than him".
Berry has been involved in the ski industry for nearly 60 years.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 313 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 414 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Calendar Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2017-2018

It's finally time to get excited for five months packed with action on snow, the new 2017/18 World Cup season is less than 3 weeks away!
This is the calendar for the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2017-2018.

Soeldenden (AUT)
October 28th Giant Slalom / Ladies
October 29th Giant Slalom / Men

Levi (FIN)
November 11th Slalom / Ladies
November 12th Slalom / Men

Killington (USA)
November 25th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 26th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 25th Downhill / Men
November 26th Super G / Men

Lake Louise (CAN)
December 1st Downhill / Ladies
December 2nd Downhill / Ladies
December 3rd Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
December 1st Super G / Men
December 2nd Downhill / Men
December 3rd Giant Slalom / Men

St. Moritz (SUI)
December 8th Alpine Combined / Ladies
December 9th Super G/ Ladies
December 10th Super G / Ladies 

Val d'Isere (FRA)
December 9th Giant Slalom / Men
December 10th Slalom / Men

Val d'Isere (FRA)
December 16th Downhill / Ladies
December 17th Super G / Ladies

Val Gardena / Groeden (ITA)
December 15th Super G / Men
December 16th Downhill / Men

Alta Badia (ITA)
December 17th Giant Slalom / Men
December 18th Parallel Giant Slalom / Men

Courchevel (FRA)
December 19th Giant Slalom / Ladies
December 20th Slalom / Ladies
December 20th Parallel Slalom / Ladies

Madonna di Campiglio (ITA)
December 22nd Slalom / Men

Lienz (AUT)
December 28th Giant Slalom / Ladies
December 29th Slalom / Ladies

Bormio (ITA)
December 28th Downhill / Men
December 29th Alpine Combined / Men

Oslo (NOR)
January 1st Ladies’ City Event
January 1st Men’s City Event

Zagreb / Sljeme (CRO)
January 3rd Slalom / Ladies

Zagreb / Sljeme (CRO)
January 4th Slalom / Men

Maribor (SLO)
January 6th Giant Slalom / Ladies
January 7th  Slalom / Ladies

Adelboden (SUI)
January 6th Giant Slalom / Men
January 7th Slalom / Men

Flachau (AUT)
January 9th Slalom / Ladies

January 13th Downhill / Ladies
January 14th Super G / Ladies

Wengen (SUI)
January 12th Alpine Combined / Men
January 13th Downhill / Men
January 14th Slalom / Men

Cortina d'Ampezzo (ITA)
January 20th Downhill / Ladies
January 21st Super G / Ladies

Kitzbuehel (AUT)
January 19th Super G / Men
January 20th Downhill / Men
January 21st Slalom / Men

Kronplatz (ITA)
January 23rd Giant Slalom / Ladies

Schladming (AUT)
January 23rd Slalom / Men

January 27th  Downhill / Men
January 28th Giant Slalom / Men

January 27th Giant Slalom / Ladies
January 28th Slalom / Ladies

January 30th Ladies’ City Event
January 30th Men’s City Event

Gamisch Partenkirchen  (GER)
February 3rdt Downhill / Ladie s
February 4th Downhill / Ladies

February 11th Downhill / Men
February 12th Giant Slalom / Ladies
February 13th Alpine Combined / Men
February 14th Slalom / Ladies
February 15th Super G / Men
February 17th Super G / Ladies
February 18th Giant Slalom / Men
February 21st Downhill / Ladies
February 22nd Slalom / Men
February 23rd Alpine Combined / Ladies
February 24th Team Event / Mixed
March 3rd Super G / Ladies
March 4th Alpine Combined / Ladies

Kranjska Gora (SLO)
March 3rd Giant Slalom / Men
March 4th Slalom / Me 

Ofterschwang (GER)
March 9th Giant Slalom / Ladies
March 10th Slalom / Ladies

Kvitfjell (NOR)
March 10th Downhill / Men
March 11th Super G / Men

Are (SWE)
WC Finals 2018
March 14th Downhill / Ladies & Men
March 15th Super G / Ladies & Men
March 16th Team Event / Mixed
March 17th Giant Slalom / Men
March 17th Slalom / Ladies
March 18th Slalom  / Men
March 18th Giant Slalom / Ladies

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Today is World Tourism Day!

Ever since its inception, World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27 September to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. As the official day set aside in the United Nations Calendar the celebration seeks to highlight tourism potential to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing some of the most pressing challenges society is faced with today.
This year, World Tourism Day presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the international community, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.
The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The aim is to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a United Nations specialized agency, is the leading international organization with the decisive and central role in promoting the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. Its membership includes 156 countries, 6 territories, 2 permanent observers and over 500 Affiliate Members.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

National Ski Areas Association Releases 2017 Annual Environmental Report

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) released its 17th Sustainable Slopes Annual Report detailing the ski industry’s progress in implementing the principles of its Environmental Charter during the 2016/17 season. The report highlights results of the industry’s Climate Challenge Program, a voluntary program for resorts to inventory, target and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and engage in advocacy on climate change solutions. "More now than ever, resorts are making climate action a priority in their operations and advocacy", said NSAA president, Michael Berry.
The Climate Challenge program provides technical support and recognition to ski areas that are developing carbon inventories, setting goals for carbon reduction, and measuring success in reducing their overall carbon footprint. Participating resorts are: Alpine Meadows,Alta Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Beaver Valley Ski Club, Boreal Mountain Resort, Bridger Bowl Mountain Resort, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort, Granite Peak, Hunter Mountain, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, June Mountain, Killington Resort, Lutsen Mountains, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mont Tremblant, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, Mt. Bachelor, Pico Mountain, Soda Springs, Snowbird, Snowmass, Steamboat Ski & Resort, Stratton, Squaw Valley, Sugarbush Resort, Taos Ski Valley, Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, Timberline Lodge & Ski Area, and Winter Park Resort.
The Annual Report highlights that in 2016/17, Scope 1 and 2 emissions totaled 204,477 MTCO2e for all Climate Challengers. Participating resorts implemented on-site projects that reduced emissions by 2,424 MTCO2e and purchased RECs equivalent to 33,024 MTCO2e. The cumulative impact of on-site projects since 2011 (which accrue annual reductions for the life of the project) totals 44,064 MTCO2e reductions. The cumulative total of all REC purchases since 2011 is 190,847 MTCO2e. Together, the cumulative impact of all on-site Climate Challenge projects plus REC purchases since 2011 is 234,911 MTCO2e in reduction.
Also highlighted in the 2017 report is the Sustainable Slopes Grant Program, now in its eighth year of providing seed money and in-kind donations to support important ski area sustainability projects. New this year, Ultra-Tech Lighting awarded an in-kind grant of 10 Snow-Bright™ light fixtures to Granite Peak, which will result in savings up to 85 percent over conventional lighting in operating electricity. Also, new this year, Arapahoe Basin is receiving the benefits of an in-kind consulting service grant from Brendle Group, which will help A-Basin assess the important intersection of human resources and sustainability and reap the economic benefits of incorporating sustainability into HR practices, including improved employee retention and productivity. Mt. Bachelor received a cash grant to install an infrared motion sensor control system for lighting in the Pine Marten Lodge, helping to reduce electricity use and reduce the ski area’s carbon footprint by 120 MTCO2e or 2 percent. Massachusetts-based HKD Snowmakers awarded a high-efficiency snowmaking grant to Copper Mountain Resort, which will decrease the resort’s compressed air consumption, save power, and reduce the ski area’s carbon footprint. All four grant recipients are members of the Climate Challenge.
"The ski industry thanks, NSAA supplier members Brendle Group, CLIF Bar, HKD Snowmakers and Ultra-Tech Lighting for their generous support of this program, which this year resulted in more efficient snowmaking systems, lower emissions from operations, and groundbreaking work on marrying sustainability and HR in our industry", said Geraldine Link, NSAA public policy director. With the help of these sponsors, the Sustainable Slopes Grant Program has awarded $123,500 in cash grants and $359,000 in in-kind grants, for a total of $482,500 in support of resort sustainability projects.
The report additionally recognizes the winners of SKI Magazine’s Golden Eagle Awards for environmental excellence. This year’s winners include Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Massachusetts in the small ski area category, Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico in the medium-sized category, and Squaw Valley I Alpine Meadows in California the large resort category. Onno Wieringa from Alta Ski Area received the Hero of Sustainability award for his commitment to Alta’s triple bottom line performance, founding the well-respected Alta Environmental Center, and sharing his sustainability experience widely in his leadership roles across the ski industry.

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. Formed in 1962, NSAA today represents 313 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 414 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Looking For Inspiration: Nespresso. The Choices We Make Campaign

A case of simple, believable, and good marketing.
Brand loyalty is the goal dreamed by the big brands and marketers do everything possible to encourage loyal customers.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to try to establish an emotional bond and share values with their clients. Brands such as Apple or Nespresso cultivated vast tribes of loyal followers. Having a distinct personality gives customers a reason to remember a brand and a reason to buy it. And this campaign is a good example of how it could be done.
The reason that led me to look at this campaign at first was its slogan:

After all, we are the choices we make, aren’t we?

Another good slogan by Nespresso after the famous What Else?
The slogan was featured in the first Clooney commercial in 2006. The Nespresso What Else campaign was developed at McCann France, Paris.
Then, I tried to know a little bit more about the whole campaign.

On September 12th Nespresso released this integrated brand campaign, sharing the personal stories of the farmers behind the Nespresso brand. They invite all coffee lovers to discover the heart-warming stories that have been made possible thanks to Nespresso’s uncompromising choices.
Alfonso Gonzalez, Nespresso Chief Marketing Officer explains "Sustainability has always been at the heart of what we do at Nespresso and we wanted to use this new campaign approach to help coffee drinkers learn what is behind the coffee they enjoy every day. All of the stories in this campaign showcase how our choice to find and cultivate the best quality coffee can have amazing consequences on the people who grow and nurture it. In the end, we believe that we are the choices we make" (adforum).
The Choices We Make Campaign was developed by J. Walter Thompson London.

Launched in 1986, Nespresso is the worldwide pioneer and market leader in high-quality portioned coffee.
Nespresso has adopted a differentiation strategy through an image of exclusivity, based on high-quality products, an extensive customer service, and premium pricing.
"The brand emphasizes that it offers a whole lifestyle with its products. Consumers believe that buying Nespresso products makes them members of an exclusive club of like-minded café connoisseurs" (Business Development Strategies).
In 2003, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program was created together with the Rainforest AllianceNespresso chose to build a community mill in Jardin, Colombia to enhance the quality of your coffee. But it ended up improving a whole lot more.
To reduce the environmental impacts of coffee processing, while also improving the consistency of coffee quality, Nespresso and key partners built a new milling facility for one longstanding community of coffee farmers.
Nestled deep in the Andes, the new mill in Jardín, Colombia, has a centralized and more efficient process, bringing together around 200 farmers and saving them each up to four hours of processing a day. They also earn more as the mills allow for more consistent processing and higher quality beans.
The mill has enabled coffee farmers to double the volume of Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program quality coffee, secure a higher premium and increase progressively their net income by 17 percent.
The facility saves around 60 percent of the water that was previously used and prevents pollution.
At the end, coffee farmers in Jardín, Colombia, earn more, have more time to spend with their families and save precious water, all thanks to the Community Mill.

The first video shows Humberto, a passionate coffee farmer benefiting from the Community Mill. He has been able to support his daughter’s passion for butterflies all the way to University where she is studying biology, thanks to the time and resources he has saved by processing his coffee centrally.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Calendar Freeride World Tour 2018

Date: January 20-27, 2018; Location: Hakuba, Japan
Date: February 3-9, 2018; Location: Kicking Horse, Golden, British Columbia, Canada

Date: March 1-7, 2018; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra
Date: March 9-15, 2018; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria

Date: March 31 - April 8, 2018; Location: Verbier, Switzerland

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Freeride World Tour Expands To 3 Continents In 2018

After a long summer season of anticipation, the Freeride World Tour (FWT) announced a completely revamped competition schedule for the upcoming 2018 season.
This year, the FWT unveils two brand new locations for the opening events in Hakuba, Japan, and Kicking Horse, Golden, BC, Canada – two legendary freeride destinations.
Forty-five riders in four categories – ski men, ski women, snowboard men, and snowboard women – will make the five-stop international journey. All riders will face a round of qualification cuts after the fourth stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria before arriving at the grand finale in Verbier, Switzerland in March/April 2018.
Sadly, the 2018 event will not be taking place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc for the first time. Haines, Alaska, also dropped from the 2018 Freeride World Tour.

The Freeride World Tour (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years show that the base of the sport is growing exponentially.
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices, and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.