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Ressort: theALPS_E
Datum: 17.2.2016
Ort: Innsbruck

AlpNet: Alpine tourism gathers its strength

Eight leading alpine tourist organisations start concrete initiatives: newly commissioned studies into winter sports and biking opportunities should show the areas in which the Alps can be strengthened as a year-round destination. From 2016 these will be collectively marketed overseas. The tourist industry event ‘theAlps 2016’ with its affiliated trading room will take place from 19th to 21st October in Innbruck, Tirol, focussed on the subject “Future of winter tourism in the Alps”.

Economic crises and unpredictable events – unstable conditions have almost become the norm for the tourist industry. Military conflicts on Europe’s doorstep, extreme fluctuations in exchange rates for the rouble and Swiss franc, freak weather events, climate change and, last but not least, bargain-hunting guests who increasingly book at the last minute – these are only some of the challenges being faced by the industry.

For European tourism in the Alps, rapid responses to these challenges are particularly important: with about 375 million overnight stays per year, the Alps count as one of the most tourism-intense regions in the world, situated in a geographically and climatically sensitive environment. Measured against the rapid growth in world tourism, the alpine region is stagnating in the competition between international destinations.

With the founding of AlpNet, eight of the leading tourist organisations in the Alps have decided to confront the global challenges together, and in so doing to strengthen alpine tourism in all its facets. In the short term, the focus will be on four areas which are equally important for all destinations: the future of winter sports; new alpine summer attractions; sustainability and added value; and new markets for holidays in the Alps.

AlpNet winter study – products and marketing should be redesigned

The pioneering achievements of winter sports have positively shaped the successful development of alpine tourism. Experts agree that business and climatic changes and the reduction in economic resources have placed new strains on household incomes. In order to enable the high added-value winter season to be the basis for prosperous alpine tourism into the future, innovative strategic alliances between the most important alpine countries are critically important.

With this in mind, AlpNet has started an initiative to appropriately match products and marketing to the changed conditions. A comprehensive study into the topic of winter sports in the Alps will be commissioned and presented at the planned specialist event ‘theALPS’ in Tirol in the autumn of 2016.

AlpNet President Josef Margreiter sums up the requirements: „We are experiencing a very diverse mix of customer demands. So that winter tourism will continue to be the engine of success for our alpine destinations, we need clear recommendations for action: which guests will want to take their winter holidays in the Alps in future? Which products correspond to their lifestyle? Where can we meet these customers of tomorrow? And how can we get them to commit to us? AlpNet has taken the responsibility upon itself to generate sound results developed from a wide base, which will allow the alpine tourist industry to prepare itself for the future.”

Stabilisation of added-value – through collective market cultivation

Once again the exchange rate fluctuations of the recent past confirm that the high-quality offerings of the Alps cannot be defined in terms of price, and that a much broader mix of source markets is critically important to ensure stable added-value. Here AlpNet is pursuing two strategies:

On one hand, primarily purchasers and product managers who don’t only sell on price alone but rather in terms of value-for-money and innovative products will be allowed into the theALPS trading room. On the other hand, AlpNet is working on a strategy to collectively promote the alpine region to new source markets. Rigorous analyses of different source markets are currently being carried out. The first collective marketing activities by AlpNet have already been planned for 2016 starting with a joint presence at the Mountain Travel Symposium in Colorado, taking place in the beginning of April.

Maurizio Rossini, General Manager of Trentino Marketing, explains: „We have been presenting ourselves for some time to selected overseas markets. However, our experience tells us that with increasing distance between the place of origin and the holiday location, one destination on its own can only achieve the desired awareness with great difficulty. We are therefore convinced that a collective alpine presence in remote markets will generate a significant benefit for all partners and that together we will be better able to communicate and subsequently to sell the alpine product.”

About AlpNet
Currently eight leading tourism organisations from the European alpine region are behind the initiative: BE! Tourism, Graubünden Ferien, Luzern-Vierwaldstättersee, Rhône-Alpes Tourisme, Tirol Werbung, Trentino Turismo, Südtirol Marketing and Valais Promotion have all come together under the umbrella of AlpNet. With 245.3 million overnight stays, the members of AlpNet collectively represent 66% of the 375 million overnight stays in the alpine region.

One of the first AlpNet initiatives is to represent the international specialist tourist event theALPS. theALPS was held for the first time in Innsbruck in 2011 at the initiative of Tirol in collaboration with other leading alpine regions, with theALPS Trading room, theALPS Symposium and theALPS Award. In 2013 the AlpNet partner Rhône Alpes Tourisme (France) took on the role of host, in 2014 the event was held for the first time in Graubünden in the Swiss Alps, after that the event took place in the Trentino (Italy) in 2015 and will return to Innsbruck 19-21 October 2016.

Board Members: President Josef Margreiter (Tirol Werbung)
Damian Constantin, (Valais Promotion), Maurizio Rossini (Trentino Marketing)
General Secretary: Bettina Haas

Board Members:
President Josef Margreiter (Tirol Werbung)
Damian Constantin, (Valais Promotion)
Maurizio Rossini (Trentino Marketing)

General Secretary:
Bettina Haas

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AlpNet. Verein zur Förderung des Alpentourismus
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www.thealps.travel
office@the-alps.eu

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The annual event "theALPS" will take place in Innsbruck (picture) 19-21 October 2016.

Foto: Innsbruck Tourismus/Mario Webhofer
(use of image free of charge)

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