Reed Travel Exhibitions, the world’s leading event’s organiser in the travel and tourism industry, has announced the topics that will be debated at the inaugural International Ski Travel Market (ISTM), which takes place in Austria on March 17-18, 2014.
The prestigious five-star A-ROSA Hotel in Kitzbuhel will host this first ever ISTM, an exclusive two-day event that will consist each day of a forum session, followed by pre-arranged meetings between exhibitors from ski resorts and hotels and buyers from ski tour operators and agents.
Moderated by James Cove of PlanetSKI, the forums will include a panel of industry experts, with the Monday session including Cathy Rankin, UK Managing Director, Pierre & Vacances, Jean-Baptiste Gravier of La Folie Douce, and Holger Gassler, International Marketing Manager of Tirol Tourist Board.
Their topic for debate will be ‘The Future of the Mountains’ and the experts will each present their view as to how that future might be shaped. Cathy will be approaching the subject from an environmental perspective, whilst Holger will be focusing on the importance of catering for the needs of the family to entice this all-important customer group back to the mountains thus introducing the sport to a whole new generation. Jean-Baptiste will offer a view on the all-round experience and how that can be expanded beyond simply skiing. They will also be looking at the importance of social media, special events in resorts and whether a general marketing strategy as is employed by many key resorts or those targeted on specific objectives are more effective.
Tuesday’s topic focuses on ‘Market Growth and Resort Development - USA v Europe’ highlighting the differences in the North American and European approach. Panelists will also examine how American resorts have successfully partnered with top European destinations to develop transatlantic exposure and expand their customer base. Taking part in this session will be two more renowned experts: Yan Baczkowski, Snowmass Director of Tourism and the former Tourist Director of Verbier, and Bob Stinchcomb, the vice-president of business development for Vail Resorts.
“Both days promise to be a fascinating mix of stimulating debate, new ideas and, of course, prime networking opportunities between the resorts, inbound ski travel suppliers and leading outbound ski tour operators” remarks Peter Grimster, ISTM Exhibition Manager.
“Recent additions to the buyer programme include seven from Russia featuring Komet Travel Design, Quest Travel and Ledaro Tour and with 70 total buyers and 65 suppliers already registered for the event, the first ever edition of ISTM looks set to provide an essential springboard for new business across Europe and beyond” adds Grimster.
Among the 65 exhibitors so far confirmed to take part in ISTM are; Premier Luxury Mountain Resort, GriwaRent AG, Eurotours International, Grand, Tirolia Kitzbühel Betriebs GmbH, InterContinental Davos, CGH Residences, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, Maisons & Hotels Sibuet, Ski Banff Lake Louise Sunshine, AlpinCo AS, Dolomite Mountains Srl, Paradiski Tour, Swiss Alpine, Resort SA, Starling Hotels & Resorts, Domaine du Mont d’Arbois, Chalet la Ferme des Petites Frasses, TUI Austria Holding GmbH, Gastein Tourismus GmbH, Lake Annecy Ski Resorts/ La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand, Valloire Galibier, Bellevue Hotel and Appartment Management AG, Vail Resorts Management Company, Virgin Limited Edition - The Lodge, Verbier, Hôtel de l’Etrier / Best Mountain Resort, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Tourismus, Rosa Khutor Resort and Radisson Rosa Khutor.