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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

2016-2017 Winter Season Reports: Zermatt Bergbahnen AG Achieves All-time Record Result

In the 2016-2017 business year, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG generated an all-time record result, with sales of CHF 69.6 million and a cash flow of CHF 30.3 million. The company can, therefore, report excellent key figures, well above the benchmark. Zermatt’s flagship company saw an increase in revenue both from year-round excursion tourism (+8.3%) and winter sports (+3.5%).
On the occasion of the 16th Annual General Meeting on Trockener Steg on 22 September 2017, Board Chairman Hans Peter Julen presented the operating figures for 2016/17 – the best results in the history of the company. Operating income was up CHF 3.4 million to CHF 69.6 million, EBITDA reached CHF 34.4 million, up by 12.6% year on year, and cash flow rose by 14.5% to an outstanding CHF 30.3 million.
The increase in winter skier days is a particular source of satisfaction for Zermatt Bergbahnen AG’s representatives, rising by 3.5% during the business year; and without taking into account users starting out from Italy, the figure for Zermatt alone was actually up 5.1% to 1.32 million. One reason for the positive trend in the winter business is without doubt the reliability of snow cover in the Zermatt ski resort. While resorts throughout the Alps had to contend with low precipitation levels and a warm winter, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG was already able to offer visitors 200 kilometers of slopes on the first day of the season: 26 November 2016. This includes the Cervinia/Valtournenche pistes. This is the result of continually adding to and optimizing the snow-making equipment, without which the season would only have started on 7 March and would have had to close down just three weeks later in this year of low snowfall.
Although the ski business is, without doubt, the most important field of activity for Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, the company has been pursuing a strategy of diversification for many years, expanding its product range on the mountains and tapping new markets further afield. Thanks to these measures, revenue from individual tourist traffic increased across the board by 8.3% to more than CHF 14.1 million. In the summer alone, revenue from passenger travel saw a year-on-year increase of 5%.
Despite the ongoing currency crisis and uncertain economic outlook in Europe, the Board of Directors of Zermatt Bergbahnen is continuing to set its sights on a forward-looking investment policy. The high quality of the infrastructure and the alpine experience offered to guests will be consolidated and further developed. For example, the company is currently constructing the world’s highest 3S cableway from Trockener Steg to Matterhorn glacier paradise. With a budget of over CHF 50 million, this represents the biggest single investment in the history of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG. The new lift is scheduled to open on 29 September 2018 and will go by the name of the "Glacier Ride".

On 15 February 2002, the shareholders of Zermatt's cable car and lift companies voted in favor of a merger that would produce the biggest cable car and lift company in Switzerland: Zermatt Bergbahnen AG. The new company was formed from Matterhornbahnen AG, Zermatter Rothornbahn AG, Standseilbahn Zermatt-Sunnegga AG, with the sports area of the Gornergrat railway as a contribution in kind. The Riffelberg ski instructors' lift and the chairlift at Findeln were also included. This laid the foundations for a new era in the region's transport network.
Zermatt Bergbahnen AG now employs a workforce of around 240, and manages 200 kilometres of pistes and 34 transport facilities in the Matterhorn ski paradise.
Zermatt Bergbahnen AG has invested a total of CHF 476 million since 2002:
  • CHF 251 million in transport facilities
  • CHF 126 million in pistes and artificial snow systems
  • CHF 45 million in snow grooming vehicles
  • CHF 53 million in other systems
  • CHF 13 million in IT and information systems

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.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Looking for Inspiration: Simon Sinek

Simon O. Sinek (born October 9, 1973) is a British/American author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant.
Described as "a visionary thinker with a rare intellect", Simon teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. Simon is fascinated by the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact within their organizations and in the world — those with the capacity to inspire. He has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act and communicate, and the environments in which people operate at their natural best.

Recorded in September 2009 at TEDxPuget Sound

Published on December 2013 by 99U

Published on September 2016 by Inside Quest. The following video is an excerpt from an episode of Inside Quest with Tom Bilyeu.

Simon Sinek's full keynote in John C. Maxell's Live2Lead event in Atlanta, Georgia, October 7, 2016.


SINEK, S. (2009). Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.
SINEK, S. (2014). Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.
SINEK, S. (2016). Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration.
SINEK, S. (2017). Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team.

Friday, September 1, 2017

PyeongChang Is Ready For 2018 Said IOC

Following its ninth and final visit to PyeongChang (29 to 31 August), the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission left the Republic of Korea very confident that the city is ready to welcome the world to the XXIII Olympic Winter Games.
"Over the course of our three-day evaluation visit, PyeongChang’s readiness to host the Olympic Winter Games 2018 was highlighted", said IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg. "We saw first-hand the advances that have been made on venues and infrastructure, as well as heard updates on plans to further engage with Olympic fans. While details must continue to be refined in the coming months, it was evident that the Organising Committee is well on its way to delivering successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games".
With all permanent venues complete or nearing completion, in addition to focusing on operational readiness PyeongChang 2018 will now ramp up its promotional activities, with the second phase of ticket sales starting next week, and the Olympic Torch Relay set to begin in just over two months. Both of these important programmes are expected to heighten media and public attention for the Games, while rights-holders’ and partners’ campaigns showcasing the Games will also start to get underway.
The President of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, Lee Hee-beom, commented, "We are now just 162 days away from the start of the Olympic Winter Games and working to put the important finishing touches to the Games. We are listening, and we are responding to all of our stakeholders and taking all the feedback and advice from the sessions this week. We want to make these the best Winter Games ever and showcase Korea to the world as a global leader in sports and as the new hub for winter sports in Asia".

The PyeongChang 2018 Games, which will take place from 9-25 February 2018, will be the third to be staged in Asia, and the first ever in the Republic of Korea, following Nagano (JPN) in 1998 and Sapporo (JPN) in 1972.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.