theALPS 2016

There were some really interesting trends discussed at theALPS conference last week - the principal, annual Alpine tourism forum that brings together suppliers and buyers in a large networking and trading symposium.

Sustainability was one of the key trends with some suppliers offering niche products that not only have minimal impact on the environment but offer clients' unique take-aways from their brush with the natural world. Architectural, dietary and cognitive gains were the key benefits that clients could expect from staying in eco-sound dwellings.

Currency movements were high on the list of (particularly Swiss) suppliers with price movements impacting their affordability / value perception. The conference didn't offer any quick fixes that the G20 hadn't chanced upon but emphasising the quality of the product (crucially over the longer term) was the preferred strategy.

There was a large delegation from North America, principally because of the strong USD, as well as a sizeable Chinese contingent because, as was continually emphasised, a small percentage of a large figure equates to the latter. Here the North Americans and the Chinese sang from the same sheet - the Alps has a unique brand that eclipses whatever is produced locally in the 2 respective markets.

Early next year we should hear where theALPS conference is headed next following the records numbers of attendees in Innsbruck this last week.

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