Michael Partel Photo: Mountain-Management C.

How safe are our ski areas?

Hygiene regulations as an opportunity - a comment by Mike Partel.

Many guests will ask themselves this question when choosing their upcoming skiing holiday - provided the travel restrictions fall by then. This affects not only the ski regions of Tyrol that are currently heavily affected by the media, but generally all ski regions.


The topic of health and hygiene has taken on a whole new dimension with Covid-19. In the coming weeks, we expect politicians to issue clear guidelines on how winter operations can be started and carried out. Let us hope that good and sensible solutions can be found.


It is therefore important to deal with the topic of safety (health) at an early stage - tailored to this new and special situation - and to communicate accordingly. This affects not only hotels, restaurants, public spaces in the ski area, but also the mountain as a whole.


It starts with parking, through cash register areas, boarding areas, etc., to the "new après-ski" and other entertainment options.

The employees must be actively involved in the process. Photo: SI

Add something to statutory provisions!

Adapting to these new framework conditions is a great opportunity for very prudent, opportunity-oriented companies. Try to actively involve your employees in this process. At which “touch points” can we offer the guest a “wow”?


It will be a clear expectation that the prescribed measures will be implemented. So let's think about how and where we can put something on! Where can we show that we make a special effort to protect the health of our guests?


You have probably experienced differences in this area of ​​service providers yourself in the past few weeks, whether you just handed someone a mask at the entrance or whether an employee personally cleaned the shopping cart in front of you. Apart from their appearance or gestures of welcome, these are experiences that are transported further.


You can score here! So we use the great opportunity to set accents, retain guests and positively influence their recommendation (Net Promoter Score). Times of crisis are times of opportunity!

30 percent of the guests are "fans" (those who see winter sports as an important enrichment of their lives). These guests will definitely want to get back on the slopes. Photo: Flumserberg

You have to work hard for your guests.

Think about how you want to address the topic of "security" in advance - after it is clear what and how it will be required by the authorities. From the homepage via social media to information at the parking lot, in the valley station etc.


From our own studies, we know that around 30% of our guests are "fans" (those who see winter sports as an important asset in their lives). These guests certainly want to be back on the slopes. The other part, we have to “work” harder this year. It can be assumed that holidaymakers, similar to the upcoming summer, will hesitate, wait, and stay more at home.


So special efforts are needed to engage this group with proactive activities related to your efforts to adapt to this new situation. We all know that due to the media presence in relation to COVID 19, special efforts have to be made to demonstrate credibly that you are "fit" with regard to the special precautions.


For Austria, the number 1 position worldwide (together with Germany) in the area of ​​"Health & Hygiene" - see "The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 - page 72" - must be maintained! Switzerland and France are also among the top 10 in the ranking.


Italy follows a little behind. The Alpine countries enjoy a high reputation worldwide. It is important to maintain this trust.