On December 16 the first in the MTN Creates Virtual Event Series took place with MTN First Tracks.

James Gambrill CEO of Mountain Trade Network revealed the findings from the latest MTN consumer research ‘State of the Snowsports Market. Some key findings were:

Shifts to late season (March and beyond) bookings are accelerating with over 65% of respondents now planning to only travel in March/April

Most skiers would be happy with strict measures in ski resorts including limiting numbers on lifts

If quarantine requirements could safely be reduced to 3 days over 75% of respondents would accept this

Communications from resorts is much improved (in the eyes of consumers) but tour operator communications is still only rated as adequate at best.

There are further signs of as potential strong recovery in 2021/22 with over 60% of respondents planning to take 2 or more ski holidays to make up for lost time on snow in 2020/21.

MTN Premium members can view the presentation slides and full recording here

In the afternoon we spoke to Warren Smith of the Warren Smith Ski Academy in Verbier, Sara Leombruni of Val Thorens Tours and Elena Protopopow of the Tirol Tourist Board. With Verbier open, Val Thorens opening without lifts running and resorts in the Tirol opening for locals only on Christmas Eve we compared and contrasted the different approaches across different alpine nations and the outlook for 2021.

As is the case this year the situation has moved on since these conversations last week, however all of our panellists stressed how everything possible is being done to welcome both domestic and international guests as soon as possible.

MTN Premium members can view the interviews here

Finally we spoke with Charlie Owen of SBiT (Seasonal Businesses in Travel) who now represent over 300 companies to find out the latest implications for the winter sports industry as the UK/EU transition period approaches it’s end on December 31st.

This was followed by a wide ranging conversation with Chris Thompson, formerly Managing Director of Ski Famille and now part of the Firebird Partnership which works with a number of travel companies to help them navigate the current and future challenges.

MTN premium members can watch the conversation recordings here

Finally we were joined from the Three Valleys by Ella Robinson of Apres Ski Bands, who revealed how they are adapting their product to the ‘new normal’ and introduced one of their favourite acts the amazing Hobo Chic who closed the event with a virtual live set, which you can now enjoy below!

Thank you to all of our speakers and attendees. If you would like to view the recordings and join us for our next virtual event in January 2021 contact us at for more information on premium membership of MTN.