Innsbruck, Obergurgl – January 2023.
Premiere at 2670 meters above sea level
The first Smart Pricer Conference was a complete success. Under the motto “Pricing on the mountain – for the mountain”, hosts Christian Kluge (CEO, Smart Pricer), Stefan Richter (Country Manager DACH) and Dr. Werner Hanselitsch (CEO, Liftgesellschaft Obergurgl) welcomed decision-makers from the mountain ropeway and tourism industry from the entire D-A-CH region in a breathtaking setting in Obergurgl, Austria, at 2,670 meters.
The aim of the conference was to summarize the current challenges of winter tourism and to demonstrate with best practices how to secure profitability through the use of holistic price optimization, dynamic pricing and revenue management – and how to drive digitalization on the mountain.
Main Speaker Christoph Debus (CFO FlixBus) and Oliver Fritz (WIFO)
The series of lectures was kicked off by Dr. Oliver Fritz, Senior Economist at WIFO (Austrian Institute of Economic Research.), with a summary of the current initial situation of alpine winter tourism. Special attention was paid to forecasts, changes in customer behavior and economic factors that literally influence pricing for ski destinations and mountain ropeways.
“Due to the continued pessimistic forecasts for economic development and survey results regarding winter vacation planning, there is also an acute need for action in pricing in order to be able to serve the different customer groups in a targeted manner,” Dr. Oliver Fritz.
Building on these findings, Christian Kluge, CEO of Smart Pricer, showed insights into the practical implementation of a dynamic pricing models within the industry. “Since every mountain ropeway and ski destination differs, it is important to analyze the initial situation of the respective partners and align the pricing model on this basis.”
Therefore, valuable practical insights are provided by the price sensitivity studies that are conducted on a regular basis in order to measure the target groups’ willingness to pay and to take them into account in the continuous price optimization process. “Dynamic Pricing is an ongoing process of continuous optimization and close cooperation with our partners. So far, no one who has introduced Dynamic Pricing with us has stopped again,” says Stefan Richter, Country Manager DACH of Smart Pricer.
Dr. Werner Hanselitsch, CEO of Bergbahnen Obergurgl, confirms: “The introduction of Dynamic Pricing in Gurgl in the 2021/22 season is a success story“, because apart from annual revenue increases of up to 15%, the new pricing strategy achieves a significant increase in the online share of tickets sold. Jack Falkner, CEO of Bergbahnen Sölden, emphasizes that in addition to the price, the significantly higher average validity period of the ski ticket also has a positive impact on sales.
Christoph Debus, CFO of FlixBus (former CEO of Condor Airlines), agrees and rounds off the series of presentations with interesting practical transfers on revenue management from the mobility and airline industry. “Data-driven dynamic pricing or revenue management has gained acceptance in all industries such as the airline industry, hotel industry or mobility service providers. In addition to realizing revenue increases, more customer data also enables improved control options through personalized offers and the sale of additional services.”
Christoph Debus showed in his key note presentation how to use data and technology to optimize prices for maximum profitability and customer satisfaction. In addition, the importance of ancillary revenues was discussed, which according to his personal assessment inherits an enormous revenue potential for ski destinations in general: “There is a great revenue potential for mountain ropeway businesses in the area of ancillary offers and extra services.“
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion with open discussions between attendees, main speakers and experts Mario Tuta (Stoic Analytics) and Philipp Lütolf (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts) on the topics of pricing, data management and best practices.
Finish on the slopes of Obergurgl
After a varied panel discussion with interesting presentations and lively discussions, the morning was rounded off by a delicious lunch with a breathtaking view. In keeping with the motto “Pricing on the mountain – for the mountain”, the ski equipment was then put on and the day ended together on the beautiful slopes of Obergurgl.
We can look back with great satisfaction on the first Pricing Day, with a total of more than 30 participants. From exciting lectures to delicious food and skiing together at perfect bluebird conditions, everything was included.
These are the top insights we derived from the event:
The overall economic mood is slowly improving again
Guests’ willingness to pay increased by +7 to +10% in winter 22/23
Mountain ropeways should try to price within psychological thresholds such as 70, 75 and 80 EUR when setting prices (example: adult 1-day ski pass).
Smart Pricing is an elegant way to allow price-sensitive customers to continue skiing by attractive offerings while simultaneously increasing revenues with solvent customers that are willing to pay for short-term bookings.
Additional revenues such as parking, cancellation insurance, ski depot are a powerful lever to further increase revenue per guest
For more information about the Pricing Day insights – or if you would like to pre-register for similar Smart Pricer events in the future – contact us here or write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Bergbahnen Gurgl for the great location, snow and sunshine, SKIDATA for supporting the event and all the guests who joined us in Gurgl to make the first Smart Pricer Conference a success.