Exhausted but happy participants departed South Lake Tahoe over the weekend after several intense days of buying, selling, learning, schmoozing and skiing at the 43rd Mountain Travel Symposium.
More than 1,100 participants representing 24 countries took part. Fresh snow and bright sunshine capped the week of events, and those who were there to do business said they had full schedules and lots of deals got done. Most also got in a few runs on the slopes of Heavenly Resort as well.
New this year was the Young Leaders Summit, an initiative investing in the upcoming generation of industry leaders. Fifteen young leaders participated in exercises and conversations to build leadership and professional development skills, connected with current industry leaders, and discussed challenges facing the industry.
The Trade Exchange, comprised of one-on-one appointments between buyers and sellers, included nearly 350 companies and over 500 participants. More than 30% of those Trade Exchange companies were international.
Group leaders representing ski clubs and councils from across the country and professional meeting planners, representing millions of dollars of business to the mountain destinations, met with representatives from destinations, resorts, lodging and service providers at the Group and Meetings Exchange.
Also a part of MTS is the two-day Forum, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 11-12. The Forum is comprised of keynote speakers, MTS Talks, Ignite MTS, panels featuring industry leaders and interactive group workshops on topics in the tracks of sales, marketing and destinations.
This year’s general sessions included interviews with Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller (more below) and Andy Wirth, retiring president and COO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. Highlighted speakers included Bruce Kirkby, acclaimed explorer, writer, photographer; Kirsten Lynch, EVP, CMO, Vail Resorts; Bob Stinchcomb, SVP, Sales, Alterra Mountain Company and Giancarlo Cescatti of Madonna di Campiglio.
Mountain Travel Symposium moves to Whistler, BC, for 2019, taking place March 31- April 6. The event will be held at the Whistler Conference Center in Whistler Village.
Featured Image: View from Room 923 at the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, where the 43rd Mountain Travel Symposium was held.