Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mountain Travel Forum 2013: Session III

General Session III
Wednesday, April 10th 4:30PM - 6:00PM
Connecting Travelers and Suppliers: Disruption or Status Quo?

  • Innovators are driving the travel industry, including start-ups, traditional intermediaries and even global distribution systems. The push is ever-changing between customers (mountain travelers), suppliers (resorts and lodging properties) and those who connect them. That’s our focus.
    Philip Wolf, PhoCusWright founder and industry visionary, talked about the need for companies to constantly evaluate their sales, marketing and distribution strategies. Not working? Wolf says "change it".
"The latest skier/traveler study by PhoCusWright, a travel industry research and consulting firm, drew a lot of press, especially its discovery that people who ski and ride equally are the best customers. They travel and spend more, and more often. Alas, they are also a small piece of the overall pie, about 16 percent of the travel market.
The more relevant news, for most resorts, concerned the composition of the overnight traveler. They tend to be older, digitally connected (82 percent), and they rely on digital sources for their information. Half of them book online exclusively. So: enable people to buy digitally, even at the area, through an app via smartphone. Standing in a ticket line is so wasteful and inefficient, so 20th century.
A few surprises in the study: snowboarders described themselves as less adventurous than skiers describe themselves; and nearly two-thirds of destination travel planning is done by—of all things—men. They want to know about snow conditions, and how to minimize hassle for the family, too" (SAM April, 2013).

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