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Industry experts get on board for International Ski Travel Market

Two keynote speakers to join the second annual International Ski Travel Market (ISTM), which takes place in Switzerland in March.

Reed Travel Exhibitions, organisers of International Ski Travel Market (ISTM) are delighted to announce the appointment of two keynote speakers to join the event. Urs Eberhard, Vice Director and Head of Markets, of Switzerland Tourism, and Mathew Prior, Managing Director of Specialist Holidays Group, TUI Travel PLC, will kick off the event on Monday 23rd March 2015, addressing the ISTM audience on topics currently affecting the ski travel industry.

Mr Prior brings a wealth of experience to the role with his passion for and experience in winter travel and tourism. He currently leads a portfolio of companies including Citalia, Hayes and Jarvis, Le Boat, Sunsail, The Moorings as well as TUI SKI’s portfolio, and his experience for turning around companies will be invaluable for ISTM delegates.

Mr Prior said: “Ultimately, the most important aspect of making a success in the travel industry comes down to hard work, marketing and the presentation of the products on offer to potential clients. We know all about the beauty of the mountains and the appeal of winter destinations, but it is about connecting with people and clients to show them why a winter holiday is the right choice by implementing the right strategy”. 

“I have worked in some of the most challenging roles in the winter tourism industry to great success, and I know with the same hard work the ski industry can continue to live up to its sterling reputation and deliver for clients and people everywhere.”

The appointments come in the midst of some serious challenges for the tourism industry in Switzerland. On January 15, 2015 the Swiss Central Bank abolished the Euro minimum exchange rate. The country has suddenly become more expensive owing to currency exchange rates - and not only against the Euro, but for the time being also in relation to the US dollar, British Pound and other currencies. 

Urs Eberhard, said: “Recent developments in the Swiss currency market show, that Switzerland has to work even more on delivering the best service and quality, more convenience, seamless travel and a premium experience. We are a premium destination and we have to differentiate ourselves not on price but on the highest ski areas, snow guarantee, authentic villages, short distances, excellent public transportation system and last but not least in being the original winter tourism destination. If you want the original winter tourism country, you have to come to Switzerland. Everything else is a copy. We also try to create demand for the alpine winter product in long haul markets and started some very successful initiatives in North America, Brazil, China, South East Asia, India and even the Gulf Countries. We are excited to host the ISTM in Davos, one of the very first winter tourism destinations in the Alps, and to show exhibitors and buyers that the Swiss winter has not lost any of its appeal.”

The exclusive resort of Davos and the brand new InterContinental Davos hotel will host the ISTM over the 23rd and 24th of March, 2015 and the event is once again organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions. Having launched the successful inaugural 2014 event in Kitzbuhel, Austria, Reed Travel Exhibitions, with more than 30 years of experience, is well placed to deliver another smooth and successful event for the ski and winter sports market. 

More than 65 Exhibitors including European resort tourist boards and inbound ski travel suppliers, and 65 leading outbound ski tour operators and global buyers are expected to arrive in Davos, alongside top decision-makers from the ski industry and members of the international press. 

Among its many highlights, the Davos event will offer intensive one-on-one meetings between suppliers and buyers to be conducted alongside seminars and ample networking opportunities. To ensure everything runs perfectly, all buyers and suppliers will be pre-qualified against strict criteria for participation from ISTM.   

The latest additions to the list of exhibitors and buyers ably demonstrates that connecting the key players in the ski industry at an event such as ISTM is a great opportunity to develop new relationships, as well as nurture existing ones.

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