Vail Valley: Mountain Travel Symposium starts March 29 |

Vail Valley: Mountain Travel Symposium starts March 29

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado

The speakers and participants in 34th annual Mountain Travel Symposium in Keystone March 29-April 3 will be confronting a new set of realities as they review the nearly final lodging results for the past season.

The symposium attracts 900 to 1,100 participants per year, including many from the Vail Valley, and includes two trade shows ” the trade and group exchanges ” where resorts, airlines, lodging, and transportation providers meet with international and domestic tour operators, group travel coordinators, and travel agents to discuss and negotiate contacts for next season.

The forum, which includes two days of professional development, offers updated and innovative training sessions for participants from around the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America.

This year’s forum, “Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones,” is tailored to help attendees gain a better grasp on how current circumstances will dictate a new approach and tactics for managing their business.

The forum launches April 1 at the Keystone Conference Center at 8:30 a.m. and features general sessions with three perspectives on today’s economy and its impact on the mountain travel industry.

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Dr. Lalia Rach kicks off the forum with her consumer-centric presentation entitled “Survival Guide: Understanding Consumers During ‘Interesting’ Times.”

The second general session provides a business focus in “The State of Destination Mountain Travel 2010: Taking It From the Top; Where and How Do We Go From Here?” beginning at 10:15 a.m. and featuring Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts and Mike Shannon, CEO of KSL Capital Partners.

Ralf Garrison, founder of the Mountain Travel Research Program, will introduce the session with the most recent mountain lodging data available and will include details from the past six months as well as preliminary indicators about the coming summer and winter forecast.

The third general session, Thursday, April 2 at 8:30 a.m., features Dr. Oren Harari on “Blueprint for Success in Turmoil: The Culture of Change,” with a closer look at the big picture and how attendees can better manage and organize themselves and their business in these times of mandated change.

For more information about the Mountain Travel Symposium and the forum presentations, go to

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