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  • Mountain Travel Symposium 2015

Attendance at Mountain Travel Symposium

Monday • April 27, 2015

From April 12-18 Whistler was host to the 40th Mountain Travel Symposium (MTS), the single largest and longest-running annual gathering of mountain travel professionals. Primarily MTS has been about the mountain/ski resort industry but pushing and building the summer season has become an important component as well.

Representatives from over 20 countries establish relationships, build their business and create a stronger mountain business community. Jikke attended MTS to provide enhanced representation of Fernie as a travel destination. Below are a few of the details from the attendance at MTS.


Sunday April 12th

  • MTS Registration & Networking Receptions


  • TRADE Exchange (13 min speed meetings with travel trade, OTAs)
    • 103 buyers/service providers registered
  • Networking Receptions, Marketplace Trade Show


  • TRADE Exchange Day 2 (13 min speed meetings with travel trade, OTAs)
  • Networking Receptions, Marketplace Trade Show



  • Destinations@MTS (DMO specific speakers & panel sessions)
  • Networking Receptions, Marketplace Trade Show


  • GROUP Exchange (13 min speed meetings with groups and ski clubs)
    • 128 buyers/service providers registered
  • Networking Receptions, Marketplace Trade Show


  • MICE Exchange (13 min speed meetings with Meetings/Incentive/Convention/Expo planners)
    • 48 buyers/service providers registered

Learnings from a DMO perspective:

  • Timing (supplier rates, content, transportation info)
    • For northern hemisphere have ready by February (ie Feb 2015 for 15-16 season)
    • For southern hemisphere have ready by August (ie Aug 2015 for 16-17 season)
  • Build sales relationships face-to-face
    • Effective sales & communications requires face time periodically (annually). MTS is an excellent, well run event to achieve this
  • DMO presence at MTS is very effective
    • DMO represents the destination – a ‘local’ organization that knows all the product and services, and provides direction to the market and leads to members (ie accommodators).
    • DMO playing the indispensable role of intermediary /resource person to the marketplace - to be a single point of contact on a destination to assist with contact info, content, advise, travel info, transportation, etc.
    • DMO gathers important information to relay back to members and stakeholders (opportunities, challenges, etc). Transportation issues as a key example.
  • Fernie has a lot of opportunity and needs to think bigger and better
    • Competition is huge thus making it simple for the marketplace to go somewhere else if it’s easier for them to do so awhile getting a quality experience.
    • In dealing with travel trade and groups focus on timing, quality content, professional communication and service.
    • Fernie has the product, the experience, the WOW factor. We need to be better in the other areas - communications, more and better content, transportation, etc
  • Content is King
    • Work with the marketplace to ensure their content on Fernie is accurate, quality and engaging (images, copy, videos, etc)
    • The onus is on us, the destination/supplier, to give them content and follow-up to make sure they integrate it.
    • Embrace the online world 100%
  • Travel trade/Tour Operators are still very relevant in the world of long-haul travel
  • More and more Tour Operators are working with Jonview to access suppliers
  • Airport transportation is our biggest hurdle in driving sales during the winter season. YYC #1
  • YYC shuttles need to be daily and at least twice a day
  • Local resort to town shuttle is critical to attracting destination visitors in the winter season
  • Start to work more with Whitefish and Kalispell for winter US group sales (multi-resort)
  • OTA industry is an ever growing force that needs to be strategically analyzed, taken advantage of and embraced
  • The sharing economy is impacting the accommodation & travel sector globally, including Fernie (Airbnb, HomeAway, Vayable, etc). Need to better understand the opportunities and challenges.
  • The Ski Clubs service an older clientele, it’s an old model for ski groups. The clubs need to identify how to get the younger markets involved or they may not exist in the near future.
  • There are opportunities in the meetings and incentive travel market. Initiatives must be very targeted given the products/services/experiences available in Fernie. High-end accommodation is wanted. Ideally high-end with meeting space.

If you are interested in more details please don't hesitate to contact Jikke at the Tourism Fernie office at 250-423-2037

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