UNWTO International Conference on Tourism and Snow Culture ~ Snow Experiences and Winter Traditions as Assets for Tourism Destinations ~
Today´s visitor has more access to information about a destination than ever before. Rapid technological advances have changed personal travel needs and desires allowing the visitor to have a more in-depth experience at a destination. As a result, visitor demands have shifted from passive tourism activities, such as shopping and sightseeing, to an increasingly more active role in experiencing a host destination´s culture.
Destinations must adapt to the new market demands and must adopt new business models and innovative approaches to meet these demands and, at the same time, provide quality, memorable experiences. Sustainable tourism can be a tool to provide more authentic and interactive experiences for visitors while contributing to the socio-economic wellbeing of the host destination.
An example is tourism in snowy regions. Snow-related activities such as skiing and snowboarding are highly sought after by adventure and sports enthusiasts around the world. National and international sport competitions, either for one singular sport or encompassing various sport disciplines, take place in well-established resorts throughout the year. Nonetheless, alternative forms of snow-related activities are on the rise, particularly in destinations going after niche markets, including family and cultural travelers. Elements related to cultural and adventure tourism have become more important pull factors in destinations in rural areas and at the same time push factors in the motivation of travelers to choose one destination over another. The desire to immerse in local culture and traditions, gastronomy and folklore is a crucial factor to understand the needs of today´s travelers.
The UNWTO International Conference on Tourism and Snow Culture aims to continue the momentum and to contribute to the objectives of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by providing a platform to discuss best practices for the sustainable development and promotion of tourism related to snow experiences and winter traditions. In addition, the participants will exchange ideas on how to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth for host communities, and identify ways to utilize resources efficiently.
- Contribute to a better understanding of current trends and shifting demands. (i.e.: new product development in tourism related to snow experiences and winter traditions)
- Discuss proactive approaches to mitigate direct and indirect challenges posed for snow destinations: (i.e.: climate change, infrastructure needs, sustainable policies, and seasonality)
- Present best practices on how to develop and promote sustainable snow tourism as a tool to revitalize local communities.
- Provide a platform for business-to-business discussions on investment opportunities and public-private partnerships.
- Identify ways to improve collaboration among central and local governments and host communities in order to develop sustainable management plans in snow destinations.
- Identify ways to creatively brand and promote snow tourism experiences.