Building the Winter Resort of the Future

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by Jerry Weinstein + Skift Team - Dec 2014

Skift Research Take

The winter travel market has been behind the curve compared to the broader travel market, but with recent investments in back-end technology and the embrace of a dynamic pricing marketplace, it is poised to leapfrog and nurture innovations that will enhance the quality of the experience.

Report Overview

Executive summary

While the winter winter travel market is a small subset of the overall trillion dollar travel industry, it does boast a compelling demographic: Its population is unique in travel for being among the most affluent, most passionate, and most digitally inclined. Skiing – and, more and more, snowboarding – is truly part of a lifestyle.

While there is consensus that the winter travel market has been behind the curve compared to the broader travel market, with recent investments in back-end technology and the embrace of a dynamic pricing marketplace it is poised to leapfrog and nurture innovations that will enhance the quality of the experience and finally begin to tackle, if not immediately resolve, some ongoing pricing inefficiencies. Since the 1980s, the range of activities available on the mountain has diversified. This accounts for the incremental rise in snowboarding – the kids of Boomers, aka the “Red Bull Generation” – have embraced this, redirecting resort offerings.

Attention has been paid and investments made where modernization is concerned. Not only can you now find two-star Michelin restaurants nearby most resorts, but you can grab a proper latte en piste. From New England to Colorado, the Swiss Alps to emerging resorts in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South Africa, winter travel is on the ascent.

Given the digital sophistication of the winter traveler, it should come as no surprise that this consumer demands an experience where technology facilitates seamlessness with regards to logistics, social sharing, and most importantly, enhances the skiing experience itself, without interfering with the authentic, holistic nature of outdoor sport.

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