Christopher is a graduate of the IMC in Krems, one of the most renowned tourism universities in Austria. During his studies he conducted internships at a 5-star hotel in London and at a tourism consultancy in Austria. He also spent an exchange semester at the Mirbis University in Moscow. In 2003 he joined Kohl & Partner, the leading tourism consultancy in the Alpine Region. In 2008 and at the beginning of 2009 he worked for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Horwath HTL in Moscow, Russia before he re-joined Kohl & Partner in summer 2009.
Currently he is one of the partners of the company and responsible for tourism destination projects outside the German-speaking markets.
Christopher has implemented projects in 19 countries – from Albania to the Ukraine. He supported Mountain Resort development projects in Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Romania and the Ukraine. He was a speaker at several international tourism conferences including the 2nd Euro Asian Mountain Resort Development Conference in Ulsan, South Korea or at the International Ski Salon in Moscow, Russia.
In 2016 Christopher will be the Scientific Director of the 9th World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism, hosted by UNWTO, the government of Andorra and the Comú of Sant Julià de Lòria.
3rd March - 09:00h – 10:45h
Tourism product development in mountain resorts – how to meet customer demand but stay authentic?
Over the last decades many mountain resorts realized that well-prepared skiing slopes and modern lifts are not enough to be an attractive year-round tourism destination. Skiing might still be the main reason for many visitors to go to mountain resorts and the ropeway companies and accommodation facilities still generate the highest revenues during the main skiing season, but as tourist patterns in general and requirements for holiday destinations in particular changed, also mountain resorts had to adapt their offer. Modern mountain resorts continuously try to enlarge their product portfolio, especially to attract visitors outside the main skiing season and non-skiers during winter season. At the same time, the fierce competition among mountain resorts forces successful mountain resorts to offer something new, ideally something innovative, every year or every other year in order to remain competitive, to be present in the media and to have an argument for repeating visitors to come again. As a consequence mountain resorts have to find a way of balancing customer demand for new facilities/attractions to increase revenues and stay authentic as a mountain destination. Christopher will highlight tourism product development issues in mountain resorts, show best practice examples and stimulate discussion about sustainable tourism development in mountain destinations.