April 20th 2023

Winter Study Tour 2023

Excursions to Flims Laax Falera, Lech Zürs & St. Anton am Arlberg

As part of the course "Destination Management Case Studies", master's students of the MCI Tourism program visited the destinations of Flims Laax Falera, Lech Zürs and St. Anton am Arlberg. Following the department's motto "WE MAKE THE WORLD OUR CLASSROOM", the students gained practical insights into the organization of some of the most successful tourism organizations in the Alpine region during the three-day Winter Study Tour.

The students spent the first two days in the Graubünden destination of Flims Laax Falera. The special feature of this destination is the overall organisation by an integrated service company (Weisse Arena Group), which is responsible for the marketing and coordination of the leisure activities in all three resorts. In addition to the obligatory exploration of the offers on the mountain, the students got closer insights into the organization of Swiss and Graubünden tourism through presentations by Christopher Jacobson (FH-Graubünden) and Gaudenz Thoma (former CEO Graubünden Ferien and tourism consultant). Reto Fry, Alicia Martinéz and Sarah Stücker from the Weissen Arena Group introduced the organizational structures of the destination Flims Laax Falera and presented the highlights and future development plans of the destination. Particularly noteworthy is the Greenstyle initiative with which the entire destination aims to become the first self-sufficient Alpine destination. During a convivial cheese fondue in the "Tegia Larnags", the students discussed and reflected the detailed insights.

The last day of the excursion took the students to the Vorarlberg and Tyrolean side of the Arlberg region. After Director and Managing Director of Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH Hermann Fercher welcomed the students, he introduced the tourist organization of the Lech Zürs region, a member of the "Best of the Alps" association and one of the leading winter sports resorts in the Alpine region. In addition to this title, Lech Zürs is also a pioneer and role model in terms of sustainable destination development. Hermann Fercher proudly presented numerous forward-looking projects and initiatives, whose development in the region had started long before the term sustainability was as present as it is today. The second lecture on the topic of "Entrepreneurship in the luxury tourism segment" was held by Axel Pfefferkorn, who, in addition to managing the Hotel Aurelio, has been able to establish himself in recent years as a successful operating company in the luxury segment with the "pepper-collection".

The excursion ended in heavy snowfall in St. Christoph am Arlberg with a guided tour of the famous and newly built wine world of the Hospiz Alm by Mr. Adi Werner himself. Wilma Himmelfreundpointner, Marketing Manager of the TVB St. Anton am Arlberg, also welcomed the students on this occasion. With a spontaneous "Gstanzl", the students paid tribute to Wilma's achievements in the association on her last working day before her well-deserved retirement. The students were able to gain inspiring and lasting insights and impressions in the field of destination management through this special kind of lecture. To round it off with a quote by Goethe: "The best education for a clever person is found in travel".