Vermont Resorts Actively Recruit International Visitors
Sarah Neith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bienvenue au Vermont, Bienvenido a Vermont, バーモント州へようこそ, 歡迎佛蒙特
Resort representatives’ and state tourism officials’ time, money and resources are increasingly concentrated on the time, money and recreation of would-be international visitors to Vermont.
Ski Vermont attends major international tourism events representing Vermont resorts and works with several resorts directly to enhance the Green Mountain State’s presence. Ski Vermont also collaborates with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM) to literally span the globe with Vermont’s varied offerings, ideal for the targeted markets.
Consumer Shows: At the London Metro Ski Show, Killington, Okemo, Jay Peak, Mount Snow, and Stowe join together with Ski Vermont for a Vermont centered booth. Within Vermont’s representation, the winter emphasis has doubled in size because of the growing interest from partner resorts. Skiing in Vermont is an ideal fit for British skiers and riders because New England is the closest English speaking ski destination. For the British, holidays pair well with a tour of Boston, plus the added convenience of a direct flight from London Heathrow. Another bonus for skiers, there’s no altitude sickness.
Starting in 2012, Ski Vermont will create a UK specific Ski Vermont brochure to include profiles on Mount Snow Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort, Jay Peak Resort, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Sugarbush Resort, and Stowe Mountain Resort. The brochure will target the UK market with reasons they chose Vermont as their winter destination: the proximity to New York City, Boston and Montreal; the allure of Vermont as a unique and genuine destination; lack of language barriers; and high level of service.
Participating resorts conduct sales calls and onsite trainings with U.K. tour operators at the London Metro Show. They inform reservation agents on the latest amenities to keep these options top of mind when booking ski holidays for the coming season. Building these relationships has proven to benefit resorts in increased bookings and repeat business.
Trade Shows: The methods for booking travel vary from one culture to another. In the U.S. citizens are highly computer savvy and shop around for the best value via online travel agents and direct booking websites. In countries that are ideal for selling Vermont as a ski destination, citizens seek out travel agents and tour operators for advice and bookings. Therefore, Ski Vermont’s international efforts focus on building relationships with tour operators who sell both direct to consumer and to travel agents. Online booking has increased in recent years, but Main Street storefronts still constitute the majority of travel booking.
The U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow is the travel industry's premier international marketplace. In just three days of pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations and close to 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries conduct business negotiations that result in the generation of more than $3.5 billion in future travel.
At Pow Wow in Los Angeles in June of 2012, the U.S. Travel Association launched Brand U.S.A., the first internationally targeted tourism marketing campaign on behalf of US Travel. The Brand USA launch generated excitement for welcoming travelers to the United States to explore not only large cities such as Las Vegas and New York City, but to come and experience the more hidden aspects of the “real America.” In September, a collaboration of VTDM and Discover New England brought a group of Argentinean and Uruguayan press. The tour covered most of New England, and stopped at three Vermont ski areas in one day, hosted by Ski Vermont. The group spent the night at the Trapp Family Lodge and visited Stowe Mountain Resort.
Ski Vermont’s presence at Pow Wow continues to generate excitement as a “new” ski destination to international travelers. Four member resorts and two sets of appointments rather than one the year prior. Killington Year Round, Stowe Mountain Resort and Jay Peak Resorts held one on one business meetings with tour operators from China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Brazil, the U.K. and the Dominican Republic to name a few. Ski Vermont shares the booth space with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, which had representatives from VDTM and our very own Trapp Family Lodge to focus on Vermont’s warmer months.
Discover New England is a three day summit with tour operators from Germany, Italy, France, the U.K., Japan and the Netherlands. Ski Vermont is represented by a strong presence from alpine, Nordic and lodging members to promote Vermont as a four season destination. Alpine members include Jay Peak Resort, Sugarbush Resort, Stratton Resort, and Killington Resort on their travels down Route 100, the skier’s highway. The Lodging and Associate Members present include The Golden Eagle Resort, The Hawk Inn & Resort, The Inn of Six Mountains, Stowe Area Association, The Stoweflake Resort and Spa, The Stowe Mountain Lodge, The Essex, The Vermont Inn, The Woodstock Inn & Resort, and Topnotch Resort & Spa. Nordic Members include Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home and Trapp Family Lodge. The Summit rotates through the six New England states each year, and this year Vermont will host at the Stowe Mountain Lodge. International tour operators will be able to visit and stay in the lodge, with coordinated pre- and post- familiarization tours of the Green Mountain State.
Sales Missions: Japan and Latin America are targeted regions for sales. The Trapp Family Lodge’s fame from the motion picture, The Sound of Music, has re-surfaced in Japan. Stowe Mountain Resort and Trapp Family Lodge traveled to Japan in February 2012 with a contingency of resorts, hotels and attractions from around New England to promote the region as a year round destination. This very high profile sales mission was executed as Japan Airlines started flying direct from Tokyo to Boston in April 2012. They both will be going on another sales mission to Japan in September with VDTM.
In recent years, Ski Vermont shifted focus from Ireland and Scotland toward pursuing new markets in Latin America. From the connections made at Pow Wow, Ski Vermont will team up with VDTM, Killington Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort and Jay Peak Resort to travel to the Dominican Republic for a sales mission. Those three resorts will also host a familiarization tour for Dominican press and tour operators in February.
NEWS FROM THE RESORTS:
Jay Peak Resort
With close to 50% of Jay Peak’s visitors coming from north of the border, you’ll find plenty of guests (and staff) speaking French. And if you stop by in March, more than 1,000 folks from the UK call the resort home. In addition, Jay Peak is again partnering with Ski Vermont and Porter Airlines to market winter getaways to Vermont from the Toronto market.
Mount Snow Resort
Mount Snow is looking forward to welcoming more than 450 young men and women from the United Kingdom this winter for a week-long ski and ride program. This large contingent of youth from across the Atlantic discovered Mount Snow through the efforts of the group sales team, which developed relationships with UK tour operators while attending the London Ski and Travel Show over the last couple of years and through aggressive prospecting while state-side. Mount Snow was an easy sell for many of these groups given its proximity to the major gateway airports in Boston and New York, providing a travel day starting with breakfast in the UK and ending in time for dinner in West Dover. Four to five hours of on-hill instruction by a certified ski or snowboard professional is included in each student’s package along with lodging, meals, activities and lift ticket.
Mad River Glen
MAD RIVER GLEN – SKIE-LA SI TU PEUX
Ski areas from across the nation are trying their darndest to attract more skiers to the mountains and are increasingly reaching out around the globe to fill their chair lift seats. Not to be out done, Mad River Glen has mobilized it’s “marketing machine” such that it is to capture it’s fair share of the international ski market. So how does Mad River Glen attack the international market? Easy – they just print up their iconic sticker in languages from around the world. Also available in German, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek and Italian.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo continues its efforts to attract visitors from Canada and the U.K. Okemo Group Sales Director, Brian Halligan, and his team attend the Toronto and London consumer shows. “This is still a growing business for us,” says Halligan, “and the nice thing is that international visitors typically book longer stays than domestic visitors.” Okemo’s Canadian spring school-vacation week is strong with family groups.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
International visitors will enjoy ease of access to Smugglers’ Notch Resort with convenient airline gateways in Montreal, Boston and Burlington, and airport transfer arrangements from Burlington to the Resort easily booked at the time of reservation. For guests wishing to have a car accessible, Smugglers’ offers special rates with Thrifty Car Rental. There is also the opportunity to travel light because Smugglers’ offers winter outerwear sized for children and adults for rent in its 3 Mountain Equipment shop, along with rental equipment including high performance skis. The Guest Service Desk is open 24 hours for guest assistance upon arrival.
In addition, Smugglers’ Notch is again partnering with Ski Vermont and Porter Airlines to market winter getaways to Vermont from the Toronto market.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Charm unique to Vermont combined with a level of service and overall experience found exclusively at the world’s best resorts, make Stowe Mountain Resort a one-of-a-kind winter destination. In a place where the community and landscape are legendary for hospitality and adventure, a nearly-completed ten-year master plan has elevated the Stowe brand to the upper echelon of world-class status yet again. With Stowe’s historic Village and brand new Stowe Mountain Lodge, Spruce Camp, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and mountain improvements, it’s easy to state that Stowe is one of the best ski resorts in eastern North America.
The Burlington International Airport (BTV) offers direct flights from New York, Boston and Montreal, offering international travelers the option of taking shorter flights to North America and combining a metropolitan ‘city stay’ with their Vermont ski holiday.
International visitors are also encouraged to take advantage of Stowe’s International Vacation Rewards Program. By booking lift tickets online at least three days in advance, guests save 15% plus earning many added value benefits. In addition, Stowe is again partnering with Ski Vermont and Porter Airlines to market winter getaways to Vermont from the Toronto market.
Visit http://www.stowe.com/vacation/specials/vrp/ for more details.
Stratton Mountain is a popular choice for international visitors with a strong UK representation. Visitors from Great Britain appreciate the spacious accommodations, friendly service and choice and level of coaching in the ski and snowboard school programs, particularly our children’s programs. Stratton is a close drive to New York and Boston, giving international visitors a perfect opportunity to escape to scenic New England towns during a trip to the East’s major cities. www.stratton.com
Sugarbush Resort is again partnering with Ski Vermont and Porter Airlines to market winter getaways to Vermont from the Toronto market.
Trapp Family Lodge
Trapp Family Lodge participates in International Familiarization Trips and hosts a multitude of international media events and Travel Writers throughout the year. Trapp Family Lodge contracts and with over twenty tour operators and five receptive operators , in England, France, Germany, Italy, Boston, New York City, Los Angles, Canada, and Brazil.
Trapp Family Lodge also involved in print media with most of its international partners. International Brochure distribution and fulfillment though Discover England , and Stowe Mountain Programs. Plans to convert the Trapp Family Lodge site to Spanish, German, French, Italy and Japanese are underway.
Trapp Family Lodge will participate in the following international trade shows and sales missions:
- Ottawa – Montreal ( tour operators, media ) – September
- Porter Air Media Event – October 2012 Toronto
- French Sales Mission ( travel agents , tour operators, media) – October 8-13,2012 m-France
- World Travel Market ( tour operators, media) November 4-7 – London
- Toronto Sales Mission (travel agents, meeting planners, tour operators, media) – Winter 2012
- Japanese Sales Mission – February 2013 –Japan
- Discover New England Summit ( International Tour Operators that activity promote New England) April 2013 – Stowe Vermont
- International POW WOW June 2013 – Las Vegas
We want to be your tour guide! Ski Vermont offers individual media tours of our member resorts.
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