Experts met at the 6th World Snow and Mountain Tourism Congress

Under the title “Reinventing snow and mountain tourism to attract new clients”, worldwide tourism experts met in order to analyze and present this market’s principal keys and opportunities in the present economic situation and considering the internationalization of markets.

New technologies will be essential tools to attract snow and mountain tourism clients in the future. Electronic marketing has already started to play a fundamental role in influencing the consumers’ taste and this is where important efforts will be made.  This is one of the conclusions drawn for the Sixth World Snow and Mountain Tourism Congress held in Ordino (Principality of Andorra) on 13 and 14 April 2010.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Taleb Rifai, regretted that snow and mountain tourism is underestimated and pointed out that efforts must be made in order to place it where it deserves to be. This effort would comprise an initial investment and the subsequent use of information technologies. “We must convert tourism into an outstanding sector and make it the heart of the transformation towards a different world, different to what we are leaving behind in 2008”. The Secretary-General believes that the sector’s keys to the future comprise popularising snow and mountain sports, getting them out of the exclusivity niche they are in and linking them to sustainability by making the most of new technologies.

Snow and mountain tourism has resisted relatively well to economic turbulences, but if it wishes to continue growing, its offer will necessarily have to adapt to world demand and it will have to make the most of nature’s attraction among tourists.

Normally, snow and mountain destinations have similar offers, and they need to differentiate themselves in this forever more balanced world. Filling this gap through the development of a unique experience in order to link scenic, cultural and modern interests and thus attain differentiation from the other destinations is fundamental for the internationalization of the destination and in order to attract new markets.

All experts recognise the fact that snow and mountain tourism is presently going through a complex stage, but nevertheless, many believe that, with the necessary tools, this industry will surmount this phase and recuperate part of the lost time.

The sixth edition of the Snow and Mountain Tourism Congress, organized biennially by UNWTO and the Government of the Principality of Andorra, has welcomed a total of 31 speakers and 350 participants and constitutes an important reference forum where experts can exchange experiences and knowledge on snow and mountain tourism.