Sunday, October 18, 2020

Lucas Braathen Takes First World Cup Victory



20-year-old Norewain sensation Lucas Braathen stole the show at today’s Audi FIS World Cup 2020-2021 opening race in Soelden as he edged Swiss Marco Odermatt (SUI) by 0.06 seconds to claim his first-ever World Cup win and podium. He is also the youngest winner in Sölden ever. 
Fifth in the first run, Braathen attacked the Rettenbach slope for the second time in his career (he finished 6th with bib 40 last year) with his light-hearted and fearless attitude that enabled him to achieve his first World Cup victory after only 23 races from his debut.
The second run was crucial also for another young talent, Marco Odermatt (SUI) who conquered his first World Cup victory in Super-G last season. Odermatt was the fastest skier in the second run and was able to climb back from seventh place. 
Swiss team-mate Gino Caviezel (SUI), who was in the lead in the first run, completed the podium with a solid second run. It's also the first World Cup podium for Caviezel.



Saturday, October 17, 2020

Marta Bassino Wins World Cup Opening GS in Sölden


Marta Bassino (ITA) achieved today in the World cup women’s season opener in Soelden (AUT) her second career World Cup victory. Marta stood out above all in the first run where she was able to exploit her skiing fluidity on one of the most difficult racecourses of the whole Circuit.
Marta beat her teammate Federica Brignone (ITA) by 0.14 seconds. For Brignone, it is the fortieth podium in the World Cup and for Italy, it is the first double in Sölden.
Following the Italian duet was Petra Vlhova (SVK), the protagonist of a great comeback in the second run that allowed her to recover 7 positions and finally conquer her first career podium in Sölden.


Monday, October 12, 2020

The Alpine Ski World Cup Kicks Off Next Weekend in Sölden


The upcoming Alpine Ski World Cup season will start earlier than planned.
The 2020-2021 Audi FIS Ski World Cup season is just around the corner. After 7 months of waiting, the Alpine Ski World Cup will be back next weekend. Sölden (Tirol, Austria) again will host the first FIS Ski World Cup Races of the season. As every year, the Women's Giant Slalom opens the new World Cup season.
Since the 2000/2001 season, the women's and men's ski world cup has traditionally been held on the Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden.
With the aim of creating the best possible safety precautions at the World Cup Opening event in Sölden, the Austrian Ski Federation and its Organizing Committee have applied for earlier scheduling of the World Cup Opening. After successful talks with the host broadcaster ORF and all media rights holders, coupled with the active support of Bergbahnen Sölden and Ötztal Tourismus, there was also approved for the project from the International Ski Association. The competitions as part of the AUDI FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Sölden will therefore be held on 17 and 18 October - one week earlier than originally planned.
By earlier scheduling of the Opening, it will be possible to use the entire Rettenbach Glacier area exclusively for the Alpine Ski World Cup competitions, to separate the participants, officials, and employees from tourists, and to arrange accommodation for the teams according to needs and official regulations. The ultimate aim for the organizer and his partners in Sölden is to ensure that everyone involved in the Alpine Ski World Cup has the best possible and safest conditions at the opening event.
According to the current situation, we assume that the races will be carried out without a large number of spectators as a precautionary measure with a view to optimum COVID-19 prevention. Further details about the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Opening in Sölden and corresponding event guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, will follow in the coming weeks.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Calendar Freeride World Tour 2021


The Freeride World Tour is back for another action-packed season! 5 stops across 3 continents, all culminating in the legendary face of the Bec des Rosses in the Verbier Xtreme.
As autumn begins to quickly spread through the high mountains, the moment to announce the Freeride World Tour (FWT) 2021 calendar has finally arrived, and the world’s best Freeriders will be back again soon charging hard for the world title in a brand-new format.

1. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR HAKUBA
Date: January 23-30, 2021; Location: Hakuba, Japan
2. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR KICKING HORSE
Date: February 8-13, 2021; Location: Kicking Horse, Golden, British Columbia, Canada

3. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR VALLNORD ARCALIS - ANDORRA
Date: February 22-27 2021; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra
4. FREERIDE WORLD TOUR FIEBERBRUNN KITZBÜHELER ALPEN
Date: March 6-12, 2021; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria

5. XTREME VERBIER
Date: March 20-28, 2021; Location: Verbier, Switzerland

The FWT has revamped the championship format. These exciting changes will ensure the world’s top Freeriders get the best opportunity to compete for the world title and continue to push the progression of the sport into new realms. This year will see four pivotal changes:

1. Athlete qualification will occur at the third stop (instead of the fourth), making the Ordino Arcalís Andorra ‘crunch time’ for the athletes. The same numbers still go through as 2020 (best 2 results out of 3 events counts): 13 ski men, 6 ski women, 6 snowboard men, 4 snowboard women – totaling 29 riders.

2. Two runs in Austria. After a successful test last year with snowboard men, riders this year will get two runs in Fieberbrunn and keep their single best score.

3. The FWT Finals in Fieberbrunn and Verbier will be rolled out after the cut, where for the last two events, the points will be weighted 1.5. This means the winner will take 15,000 points, compared to 10,000 for the first three stops.

4. World Champions will now be crowned for their best three results out of five.

Calendar Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2020-2021 (Update 4 October)

On Friday, October 2nd, during the Online Meeting of the Alpine Committee the proposals for the Men’s and Women’s 2020-2021 World Cup calendars were presented. One day later they were officially approved by the Council. The main focus of the new calendars for the upcoming season is to deliver a safe and fair competition.

These new calendars aim to provide a safe environment for athletes to compete and are based on the requirements to reduce numbers and costs for teams, organizers, and stakeholders. To limit interaction as much as possible, a number of events were separated to have only Women's’ or Men's’ races. Speed and technical events were also split where possible.
All races will take place in Europe. Only one event is going to take place outside the European borders, a women's speed weekend in Yanqing, China in late February. 


Men’s Calendar

The new calendar features a double weekend in Val d’Isère (FRA), with two Giant Slaloms, followed by a speed block (Super-G and Downhill). In late December, along with Sunday’s traditional Giant Slalom, Alta Badia (ITA) will host a Slalom on Monday. In January, Swiss venue Adelboden will host a long weekend with a double Giant Slalom and a Slalom. Finally, only the speed athletes will be racing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with a Super-G and a Downhill on the menu.




Women’s Calendar

As far as the Women's calendar is concerned, there will be two Slalom races in Levi (FIN) and two Giant Slalom events in Courchevel (FRA). In the final phase of the season, the World Cup will be back in Jasna (SVK) after 4 years.
Overall the calendars feature 39 races for the men and 35 for the women, spread over 18 different venues. The highlight of the season will be the 2021 World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA) from 8 to 21 February. The season will wrap up with the finals in Lenzerheide (SUI) from 17 to 21 March 2021.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Saalbach awarded 2025 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships


The FIS Council decided on the 3rd October to select Austria and Saalbach Hinterglemm as the venue for the Alpine Ski World Championships 2025. Due to the current situation, the awarding of the contract took place online. The contract was awarded 12 of 14 votes.

Saalbach Hinterglemm has shown great determination in recent years: As a partner with the Austria House at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang 2018, as a spontaneous replacement venue for the cancelled World Cup races in Sölden and Val d'Isere 2018, with only six weeks preparation time, and finally as a replacement venue for the cancelled World Cup races in China 2020 with less than two weeks preparation.

For Saalbach, it was a long and intensive journey from the application to the award of the contract. "We put a lot of energy and passion into the bid", says Bartl Gensbichler, President of the Salzburger Ski Association and President of the Saalbach Hinterglemm Ski Club. "The joy is all the greater now that we have been awarded the contract. We have used the time between the originally planned award date and today efficiently and refined our concept. Nevertheless, we are now naturally lacking valuable preparation time. But our machinery is running like clockwork, and we have already proven many times that we work well under pressure. So, I am not worried that we will make a great ski festival out of the World Championships 2025".
Peter Mitterer, Managing Director of the Hinterglemm Lift Company, continues: "We have a perfect team. Every member has the skills and know-how needed for his/her position. Everything works hand in hand, and everyone knows what they must accomplish. Of course, we face a huge workload between now and 2025. The new 12er KOGEL lift has already created an ideal training centre for the athletes, and the new Rosswald reservoir has laid a good foundation for further training slopes. The next step will be the construction of the new Zwölferkogel Nordbahn to put the finishing touches to our local mountain in Hinterglemm."
"With Switzerland (Crans Montana/Valais), Germany (Garmisch-Partenkirchen) and Austria (Saalbach Hinterglemm), three equal partners have applied to host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2025. We are very honoured that Austria, with Saalbach Hinterglemm, has been awarded the contract. We would like to thank all our supporters for their confidence in us and assure them that we will again do everything in our power to make this World Championships, together with OK Saalbach, a true celebration of Alpine skiing. We are convinced that Switzerland and Germany are also two great organisers and wish them every success for the next attempt", says ÖSV President Peter Schröcksnadel.
"It is a great honour for us that the FIS Council has chosen us. We appreciate the trust in our competence", says a thrilled Mayor, Alois Hasenauer with satisfaction. "We are ready!"
"We are beyond happy to bring the Ski World Championships 2025 to Saalbach! The current emotions are unbelievable! Saalbach 2025. What an awesome feeling", says Heinz Fuchs, Chairman of the Tourism Board in Saalbach Hinterglemm. 

Concept: One mountain – all competitions

The Zwölferkogel in Hinterglemm is the venue for all disciplines, providing optimal conditions for the athletes as well as the entire production team. The central location, with only one finish area, facilitates the coordination between sport and visitors. The already existing infrastructure is used in the best possible way. As far as the sports facilities are concerned, they have already been tested in various races following their adaptation, based on the most recent sports data. The reconstruction of the Zwölferkogel lift, which was started immediately after the end of the season in March 2019, will give the finish area a new character and will offer considerable advantages and a reduced workload for the sport in the future.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Changes to the World Cup Calendar Announced


The FIS Alpine World Cup preparation meeting in advance of the Technical Committees at the end of the month took place on Wednesday as a hybrid meeting both at the FIS Headquarters in Oberhofen and with virtual participation. The meeting was chaired by Chairman of the Alpine Committee Bernhard Russi, in addition to the FIS led by the Competition Management, Peter Gerdol, and Markus Waldner, the ski industry SRS with Rudi Huber, and the World Cup Organisers through Srecko Medven, President of Club 5.
As the main point on the agenda, the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup men’s and women’s calendars 2020/21 were reviewed in-depth, after months of discussions between FIS, the National Ski Associations, and Local Organising Committees as well as the rights holders.
Changes to the calendar include separating a number of events to have only Women's’ or Men's’ races as well as dividing speed and technical events to limit the number of participants in total.
One of the first events adapted in the calendar is Levi (FIN). This season the Women’s tour will head to the Finnish venue for two Slalom races on 21st and 22nd November with the Men’s Slalom rescheduled later in the season.
Additionally, Alta Badia’s (ITA) Parallel race for the men has been replaced by a Slalom.
Adelboden (SUI) will host three races with an additional giant slalom on Friday 8th January. The women will be racing in St Moritz (SUI) with two Super-G races on 5th - 6th December, one week earlier than previously scheduled followed by Courchevel (FRA) hosting a two-race technical weekend.
The calendar includes one Parallel event per gender in Lech-Zürs (AUT) at the new FIS World Cup parallel opening. FIS, Swiss-Ski and the Davos Organising Committee have decided to postpone the debut of the parallel on 1st January 2021 to the following year. Since the competition will take place near the center of Davos during the peak tourist season, it would have been challenging to conform to theCovid-19 specifications.
Overall, the Men’s calendar will feature 39 races, while the women will compete in 35 races. The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s and Women’s calendars for 2020/21 will be approved by the FIS Council on 3rd October, following the FIS Technical Meetings taking place from 30th September to 2nd October.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

FIS Cancels North American Alpine World Cup Races


The International Federation of Skiing (FIS) announced that the North American races of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup have been canceled for the upcoming ski season. After discussions among FIS, the National Ski Associations and the Local Organising Committees in Canada and the USA together with their stakeholders, all parties have together decided that the Alpine World Cup tours will not travel to North America in late November for their traditional two-weeks of competitions.
For the Women, this schedule shift impacts the Killington (USA) Giant Slalom and Slalom events on 28th-29th November and the speed week in Lake Louise (CAN) on 1st-6th December.
For the men, this impacts the speed weekend in Lake Louise, 25th-29th November and both speed and tech events at Vail/Beaver Creek (USA), 1st-6th December.

Canceled Races:

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 28th Downhill / Men
December 29th Super-G / Men

Killington (USA)
November 28th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 29th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
December 4th Downhill / Ladies
December 5th Downhill / Ladies
December 6th Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
December 4th Super G / Men
December 5th Downhill / Men
December 6th Giant Slalom / Men

The objective of FIS is to carry out a full World Cup competition programme, protecting the health and welfare of all participants to the best extent possible. The temporary re-alignment of the FIS Alpine World Cup Calendar caters to this goal by focusing on athlete safety, reducing travel, and providing competitors with a detailed competition calendar. 
"The desire and motivation to hold these races as scheduled for all parties were strong", said Markus Waldner, FIS men’s Chief Race Director. "The training set-up and races in USA and Canada are very much appreciated by the teams. But ultimately, the unique logistics and situation for the early season alpine races have current travel restrictions and corresponding quarantine regulations in both directions, which led to this joint decision".
"The Organisers and National Ski Associations provided us with excellent health and safety plans to stage the events and were fully prepared to host the races", echoed Peter Gerdol, FIS women’s Chief Race Director. "But ultimately, the logistics involved with the travel from Europe and between the two countries, and the quarantines involved, made it too unpredictable to ensure that athletes could participate in the competitions".

The adapted calendars, to be approved in late September, involve the rescheduling of the Alpine North American competitions at existing locations later in the season.
These preliminarily include events in December, with Val d’Isere (FRA) taking on an additional weekend for the Men. The planned Giant Slalom races will be moved up one weekend to 5th-6th December making room for an added Downhill and Super-G on 12th-13th December to replace one of the North American weekends.
The Women’s tour will add a Downhill to its traditional weekend in St. Moritz (SUI) on 5th-6th December. The Swiss resort has picked up a Downhill as part of its race weekend to compensate for the Lake Louise race. Additionally, Courchevel (FRA) will host a two-race technical weekend in December.

The revised calendars with the latest adaptations will be approved following the FIS Technical Meetings from 30th September to 2nd October for ratification by the FIS Council on 3rd October and will be published on the FIS website at that time.

Although the North American alpine skiing competitions will be missed this season, all parties look forward to the FIS Alpine World Cup’s return to the USA and Canada for the 2021-22 season.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Calendar Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2020-2021


This is the calendar for the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2020-2021.

Sölden (AUT)
October 24th Giant Slalom / Ladies
October 25th Giant Slalom / Men

Lech Zurs (AUT)
November 13th Parallel / Ladies
November 14th Parallel / Men
November 15th Mixed Team Parallel 

Levi (FIN)
November 21st Slalom / Ladies
November 22nd Slalom / Men

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 28th Downhill / Men
December 29th Super-G / Men

Killington (USA)
November 28th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 29th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
December 4th Downhill / Ladies
December 5th Downhill / Ladies
December 6th Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
December 4th Super G / Men
December 5th Downhill / Men
December 6th Giant Slalom / Men

St. Moritz (SUI)
December 12th Super G/ Ladies
December 13th Parallel / Ladies

Val d'Isere (FRA)
December 12th Giant Slalom / Men
December 13th Slalom / Men

Courchevel (FRA)
December 15th Giant Slalom / Ladies

December 18th Super G / Men
December 19th Downhill / Men

Val d'Isere (FRA)
December 19th Downhill / Ladies
December 20th Super G / Ladies
December 20th Alpine Combined / Ladies

Alta Badia (ITA)
December 20th Giant Slalom / Men
December 21st Parallel / Men

December 22nd Slalom / Men

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

December 28th Giant Slalom / Ladies
December 29th Slalom / Ladies

Davos (SUI)
January 1st Parallel /Men
January 1st Parallel /Ladies

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

Zagreb / Sljeme (CRO)
January 6th Slalom / Men

St. Anton (AUT)
January 9th Downhill / Ladies
January 10th Super-G / Ladies
January 10th Alpine Combined / Ladies

Adelboden (SUI)
January 9th Giant Slalom / Men
January 10th Slalom / Men

Flachau (AUT)
January 12th Slalom / Ladies

Wengen (SUI)
January 15th Alpine Combined / Men
January 16th Downhill / Men
January 17th Slalom / Men

Maribor (SLO)
January 16th Giant Slalom / Ladies
January 17th  Slalom / Ladies

Kitzbuehel (AUT)
January 22nd Super G / Men
January 23rd Downhill / Men
January 24th Slalom / Men

Crans Montana (SUI)
January 23rd Downhill / Ladies
January 24th Alpine Combined / Ladies

Schladming (AUT)
January 26th Slalom / Men

Kronplatz (ITA)
January 26th Slalom / Ladies

Garmisch Partenkirchen  (GER)
January 30th Downhill / Ladies
January 31st Super-G / Ladies

Chamonix (FRA)
January 30th Downhill / Men
January 31st Parallel / Ladies

Garmisch Partenkirchen (GER)
February 5th  Downhill / Men
February 6th Giant Slalom / Men

Cortina d'Ampezzo (ITA)
7th - 21st February

Yanqing (CHN)
February 27th Downhill / Ladies
February 128th Super-G / Ladies

Bansko (BUL)
February 27th Alpine Combined / Ladies
February 27th Super G / Ladies
February 28th Giant Slalom / Ladies

March 6th Downhill / Men
March 7th Super G / Men

Jasna (SVK)
March 6th Giant Slalom / Ladies
March 7th Slalom / Ladies

Are (SWE)
March 12th Giant Slalom / Ladies
March 13th Slalom / Ladies

Kranjska Gora (SLO)
March 13th Giant Slalom / Men
March 14th Slalom / Men

March 17th Downhill / Ladies - Men
March 18th Super G / Ladies - Men
March 19th Team Event / Mixed
March 20th Giant Slalom / Ladies
March 20th Slalom / Men
March 21st Giant Slalom  / Men
March 21st Slalom / Ladies

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Anna Veith Retires. Thank You For All The Great Moments You Have Given Us

Last Saturday Olympic champion and overall World Cup winner Anna Veith announced her retirement from professional skiing. She has won everything there is to win in skiing.
The 30-year-old officially put an end to a career that included 15 World Cup wins, three world titles, and three Olympic medals, including women's Super-G gold at Sochi 2014. Some former Alpine Ski stars paid their own tribute to the Austrian skier.
"I have lived my childhood dream and now is the right time for me to take a step back (...) I am delighted to be able to end my career in a happy and successful place", said Anna Veith, who currently holds the title as Austria’s most successful ski racer.
"Until now I was able to call ski racing my job. I have never done anything else or loved anything as much. The smell of fresh snow. Early mornings spent on the glacier. The Team. These are all things I will miss dearly. I don’t know what’s next yet, but I look forward to finding out", she said.

 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Relive Hirscher Outstanding Victory at 2015 Garmisch Giant Slalom



Marcel Hirscher’s runs were all anyone could talk about after the 2015 Giant Slalom race on the Kandahar. After dominating the first run and clocking a time 1.99 seconds faster than everyone else’s, Hirscher was far from done for the day. He entered the second run as if the massive gap didn’t exist, attacking every turn of the rutty course and won his 30th World Cup race with a massive 3.28 seconds advantage. The 3.28 seconds margin turned out to be the third biggest in World Cup history, the first two belong to the legendary Ingemar Stenmark. Marcel Hirscher won the race in front of Felix Neureuther and Benjamin Raich.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

COVID-19 and Ski Resorts (V). Lessons from Mad Men



In my marketing classes at university, my students really like it when I use videos from TV-shows (from South Park to Yes Minister) as teaching resources.
Now, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I am re-watching one of my favorites, Mad Men, looking for inspiration for my next article and I was really surprised by how relevant this series actually is for what I’m currently working on.
Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. Mad Men is set in '60 America at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. The series' main character is advertising Creative Director Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm).

In the last episode of the first season, we find one of the greatest pitches ever shown on TV.
"In Greek, ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain from an old wound (...) This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again", Don Draper: (Mad Men S1: E13).



Having our customers at the center of our destination marketing strategy requires an understanding of the main phases of the Tourist Life Cycle – from the beginning of the inspiration process until after the return.
The life cycle of the tourist trip consists of three phases.
  • Before the trip. This is the inspiration phase, but also the decision and purchase phase. Tourists look for information about the places they would like to go to. In this phase, destination marketing teams are the key to easing the start of the process keeping the consumer inspired to choose our destination.
  • During the trip. This is the experiential moment by nature. It runs from the moment the physical journey begins until the moment one returns to one’s usual place of residence. Tourists’ perception of a destination is made up of all the services consumed and each of the experiences. To a great extent, this is what determines the final degree of satisfaction related to the trip.
  • After the trip. This phase is becoming increasingly important. Communication with tourists must be maintained in order to get their opinion on the trip.
I wrote in my previous article that, under the current circumstances, we must focus our efforts on the inspiration phase of the customer journey. People are dreaming about their future trips to our ski resorts (#dreamnowtravellater) so we must keep them inspired with good memories. It is time to keep our guests emotionally linked to our destinations.
And in the 21st century, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram have entirely changed the way marketers reach their audiences. If you’re a social media marketing professional, you’re well aware that selecting a social media platform is all about understanding where your audience is and which one is the most impactful platform to achieve your destination goals.
Instagram is now an integral part of the social media landscape. It is the fastest growing platform in the history of social media.

"Instagram marketing is no longer something to consider — it’s just something to do. It comes with the job now. Those who understand this are no longer asking themselves WHY they should do it, but rather HOW they should do it correctly in order to get the results they want", Iconosquore. Instagram Marketing Trends & Benchmarks Report 2019.

Instagram is a visual platform where people come to share moments, find passions, and most importantly, get inspired.
Instagram is producing higher engagement rates for destinations compared to Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
Instagram is the new "Carousel", a time machine taking our customers to a place where they want to go again and our prescriptors/influencers are the ones to help us play the show.
Nich-Influencers in the 10k-100k follower range offers the best combination of engagement and broad reach, that exceed influencers with higher followers. When choosing to collaborate with this influencer segment, you are looking also for the quality of interactions.

Why Nich-influencers?
  • Cost-efficient: Nich-influencers come at a much lower cost.
  • Better than word of mouth: Consumers have higher chances of listening to recommendations from this kind of influencers than an average person.
  • More authentic: They are seen as more credible sources in the eyes of followers, compared to other sources.
  • Higher engagement rate: Due to their niche focus, these influencers tend to have higher engagement rates on their posts.
So, gather your team of influencers, and keep your guests on the loop. Because the "show must go on"...

The Ski Racing Podcast: 2020 Season Review Part 1

Thursday, April 9, 2020

COVID-19 and Ski Resorts (IV). The Road to Recovery



The 2020 outbreak of COVID-19 has produced the longest shutdown of tourism on record (and we don't know how long it will last).
The Tourism sector, and ski resorts particularly, are severely affected by the current Corona crisis, and the global spread of the pandemic is going to impose a significant dampening effect on the rate of recovery.

Three elements will be decisive in the process of recovery of tourist demand in general and in ski resorts in particular:
  • Fear management and confidence-building
Risk and fear may alter tourists' travel plans, influence their choice of destinations and, in some cases, lead them to decide not to travel. How countries and destinations manage the crisis and get out of it will be a fundamental element in their recovery process.
The speed and strength of the recovery will depend on the perception of risk, and the guarantees that destinations can offer to visitors.
Mature markets may adopt a more cautious approach to travel, looking for safe destinations. Proximity and moving within a socio-culturally similar geographical space can be decisive elements in increasing the sense of security for these markets.
The worst-case scenario for recovery would be that COVID-19 was perceived by people like an open crisis with governments that do not control the outbreak.
Closed borders and restrictions to tourism will be still in place until is completely safe to travel again.

  • The Economy
Safety and security represent only a part of the bundle of issues producing weak travel demand. Coronavirus is a global economic catastrophe. Figures from countries around the world show we are seeing a massive surge in unemployment, unprecedented in historical terms.
Current uncertainty defies all efforts to forecast where the economy may go in the future.
High unemployment rates and people's fear of losing their jobs lead to lower consumption, starting a cycle that will lead to an economic depression. Concerns about the economy falling consumer confidence and consumer concerns about not having enough money to travel. Reticences to spend will slow recovery long after the direct crisis ends.
After more than three weeks of severe restrictions due to the Corona crisis, surveys are beginning to show a declining mood in society, with more people expecting a very negative or negative economic development in the future.
As a consequence, more people will limit their consumption after the crisis. This would particularly affect travel, shopping, restaurants and cafes, and the purchase of luxury goods. In addition to consumption, the possibility/desire to go on vacation this summer also decreases as uncertainty about the future increases. For people who still want to go on vacation, most of them will choose to travel within their own country.
But we can be optimistic. The good news for ski resorts is skiing tourism has shown in previous situations that it is more resilient to the crisis than other sectors in the tourism industry. Travel is related to income and the family income of skiers is higher on average than that of other tourism models.
  • Self-reward. The desire to travel
The coronavirus lockdown and mass quarantines are typified to be long periods of hardship and strict modification of normal behavior patterns. Evidence shows that a sharp period of restriction results in an increased desire to travel. Travel is considered a core necessity by a large share of the western population and a fundamental part of their way of life. Tourists are mainly motivated by the desire to escape, to "get away from it all". One of the key characteristics of the XXI century tourists is their need to escape from everyday routines and issues in a bid to achieve some form of fulfillment. The current trend of tourist experiences include some degree of escapism, and many people would express the need to travel away as the main reason for taking a holiday.
Skiing Tourism provides an opportunity for the population who are seeking self-fulfillment and excitement through participating in physically and mentally stimulating activities while traveling to breathtaking mountainous areas. For passionate skiers travel to ski resorts to ski is the ultimate form of self-reward or self-indulgence.

Walking the road to recovery will require a complex roadbook full of recommendations.

  • Focus in local and regional markets
Restrictions to travel will be in place for a long time. So, local and regional markets (drive distance source markets) will rebound faster once the crisis ends. The rate of recovery will be in direct proportion to the extent and magnitude of privation that has been felt by the population.
Long haul markets will not recover for at least a year, and there is great uncertainty in how airlines are going to face this crisis and how it is going to affect our way of traveling.
Based on current developments, and notwithstanding the high level of ongoing uncertainty regarding the pandemic, IATA estimates that industry-wide RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometers) will contract by almost 40% in 2020, with the decline broad-based across all regions. The rebound in air travel after COVID-19 is expected to take longer than the recovery seen in previous crises due to the unprecedented travel restrictions around the world and the global recession which has been triggered as businesses and borders are closed.

  • Inspire
We must focus our efforts on the inspiration phase of the customer journey. People are dreaming (#dreamnowtravellater) so keep them inspired with good memories. It is time to keep our clients emotionally linked to our destinations. With people isolated and plenty of time to surf the internet, social media offers a tremendous opportunity to attract and keep on the loop a significant share of this pent-up demand. Markets are not yet receptive to promotional campaigns but that will change immediately once the outbreak passes. Ski Resorts must be prepared with inspiring promotional campaigns ready to be launched in short notice.
  • B2C
The answer to the crisis is Personalization. Guests demand a customer journey more personalized, emotional, on a one-to-one level. Restrictions to travel encourage individual travel. Transactions will be more impulsive and instantaneous, and for these times Business-to-consumer marketing will be key. B2C marketing refers to the tactics and strategies in which a destination promotes its products and services to individual customers. B2C marketing efforts will tend to focus on building trust and inspiring desire, and rely strongly on the power of emotion and shared values. The biggest challenge for ski resorts B2C marketers is reaching and engaging their customers and understand how to break through all the noise to reach them. And also establishing an emotional connection with your customers means more work and a bigger investment in personal terms. The easier the planning and booking process for the customer is, the better. It must require lower levels of investment for them in terms of time and money. And we must add to the equation flexibility, to pay and cancel.


I am writing this from Tirol. Tourism is very important for Austria, and ski resorts a fundamental part of Tirol's economy. Businesses are suffering and friends have already lost their jobs. It is no wonder there is despair in local businesses and companies especially taking into account that more than 80 percent of the Tourism business in Tirol are family businesses.
But there is room for hope. On Tuesday the most extreme measures of the quarantine were lowered: a breath of freedom on the way back to normality in Tirol. You can go for a walk in the fresh air and leave the limits of your municipality of residence. The city of Innsbruck reopened its parks and gardens. Definitely a first step on the long road to recovery.