French mountain resorts are fighting for those who do not ski in the mountains
According to the latest research of major European marketing agencies, 25% of those who come to the mountains do not engage in active leisure in the usual way: they do not ski, do not cut snow on the virgin lands, and do not wind kilometers along a flat ski track. Apparently, they are generally not interested in sliding along the tracks as a process. However, these 25% still come to the mountains, and the task of the organizers of the resorts is to make their stay not boring. And for this winter, sports resorts and stations recently mobilize all their creative abilities, inventing new activities for those who do not skate.
Winter French resorts literally apply the practice of marketing, according to which it is necessary to adapt their offer to new clientele expectations, in other words – the one who best meets the needs of the client will always be on top in the literal and figurative sense.
“The holiday market in the mountain resorts of France has become so competitive that it is no longer possible to complacently use what nature has given us. We can not fight for the existence of the old ways, installing more modern lifts and putting into operation new rental stations snowboards. The preferences of our customers are changing, and this needs to be recognized, ”said Thierry Baudier, CEO of Maison de la France.
Just look at the list of new proposals for active recreation in the resorts of France, who have recently enjoyed increased popularity in order to understand that people in mountain resorts do not just want to ride.
ice climbing training in Osua, Savoie
snowshoeing with white nights in shelters, White Valley, Chamonix
driving a car on ice in Chamrousseus, Val d’Isere
walk through frozen creeks in Deux-Alpes, Le Dauphine
hot air balloon flights to Metabier, Jura
ice diving in Morzine on Lake Montrión, Haute Savoie
trip to the village of igloo (Eskimo huts) in Orseire-Merlette, Southern Alps
dog sledding in Saint-Lary-Soulan, Pyrenees, etc.
“Consumer preferences change from year to year. Now they say not to “ski”, but “to rest in the mountains”, just as in summer they go not to the beach, but to the seashore. The difference is in the evolving idea of multisport recreation – when people do not limit themselves to one type of mountain activity and prefer more and more variety. More than a quarter of vacationers who come to the winter resorts do not ski, and of 64% of those who ride, 32% are engaged in other activities. Skiers are becoming less and less sporty: there are times left behind when people stood on skis for ten hours a day – from the opening to the closing of the lifts.
Now the average skiing time does not exceed four hours, ”said Jacques Guillot, Mayor of Chamrousse and leader of the commission at the Association of Mayors of Mountain Stations, which has 102 members and who invested 800,000 euros in France this winter for a joint advertising campaign, the slogan of which“ You are attracted by mountains »And which aims to attract the largest number of customers in order not to ski, snowboard or cross-country skiing as usual, but to simply relax in the mountains.
To meet the diversity of needs, the French mountain resorts, mobilizing all their creative abilities, do not refuse any new opportunities to attract “non-ski” clients. A variety of non-standard forms of recreation are attracting holidaymakers more and more, and mountain resorts are intensively invested in the development of this area.
In Alpe d’Hueze, for example, the ice grotto is given to sculptors to translate their fantasies on various topics. In Combos, dog sleds bring people to dinner at mountain farms. In La Mongee in the Pyrenees, Laurent Courier, a lecturer at the European Space Agency and an astronomy consultant, conducts various astronomical experiments for children and adults.
A popular form of recreation in France is traveling on snowshoes to absolutely wild places – to the Vanoise Park or to the reserve of the Granges Mountains in Chatel, Haute-Savoie, where you can watch mountain chamois, foxes or squirrels in Superbess, Auvergne – where you can take a night walk with infrared binoculars like or enjoy a hot wine and stop for a picnic in an alpine shelter.
What do those resort organizers who are looking forward and taking care of their future do? Applying the results of a study by the marketing agency Cofremka on the basic needs of consumers that must be met by successful mountain resorts ordered by the French Agency for Tourism Engineering, the administrations of mountain resorts must scrupulously apply the 3 R rule: Break, Joy of a new meeting and Restoration.
“The mountains should guarantee a break with ordinary, urban life, provide Joy with new meetings and allow friends and families to share joyful moments, help restore personal,“ spiritual ”and physical Resources, each in its own rhythm. There are three customer motivations. ”
Having a keen desire to become “an ideal place to charge batteries”, many mountain stations in France invested in modern alternative forms of outdoor activities. In Isola, a new center called “Aquavalle” offers a sauna, Turkish bath, jacuzzi and power exercises. In Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle in the High Vosges, Labo Noel offers “massage on Phoenician tables” with an aromatherapy sauna, starting from the age of … eight years! By the way, because more and more adults are resting in the mountains with children; this group of consumers is allocated to a separate sector, for which almost everywhere special slopes are equipped for riding adults and children.
One of the important reasons for visiting mountain resorts is the opportunity to try specific “mountain” cuisine, for example, Beaufort Alpine cheese in Praloña la Vanoise or visit small taverns with traditional checkered tablecloths, offering mountain-classic rakletov and fondue.
“Tourists want to give meaning to their holiday. They want to spend time in nature, but on condition that it will be equipped, animated and commented. Many prefer to simply spend their free time in the mountains rather than go in for sports intensively, ”said Frederick Léonard, president of Ikor, a marketing consultancy.
The article used materials from the newspaper Les Echos (Les Eco), France, as well as the company Gorimpex, which presents several areas of design and arrangement of modern mountain resorts on the Russian market:
Prinoth snow compacting equipment (snowcat and special equipment)
Lifts and cable cars Pomagalski
Anti-avalanche systems GAZEX
Snowstar snowmaking systems
Equipment for the tracks – landmarks, mats, nets, signs, etc. Gespi
Artificial surfaces Neverplast for mountain and plain trails
In addition, the company is engaged in designing and assisting the customer in collecting data, developing a feasibility study and a detailed design for year-round use of mountain complexes; installation and commissioning of cableways and lifts; the supply of spare parts for snow machines and cableways from a warehouse in Moscow, personnel training and repair of snow machines.