As the vision of the ski resort Mont Tremblant already states, the destination has the primary objective to become more attractive to families than it is today. When we say "families" we think on couples with children. Why to target families? The destination already has a great number of young and also aged visitors. The basis for this vision is to attract middle aged people with children. Basically families are a great target for profit increase of the destination, especially children. Children have great influence on their parents and that can be used as a major advantage in income. As the destination already has a world known brand and as it already visited by a great number of visitors, Mont Tremblant has to alter its existing skiing destination image.
Recommendations for the destination to alter its image as a family destination start from negatives that don't support this idea.
The number one objective that the Mont Tremblant ski resort has to change in order to become more attractive for families is the price. For couples, and singles a stay in Mont Tremblant usually doesn't represent a big cost, but for families with three and more members it can become really expensive. By altering its image it must also attract the middle class families, in order to achieve that it has to reduce prices, especially in the core locations of Mont Tremblant. According to the Canadian Trip Advisor, high prices are present in mountain grocery stores near hotels. According to CLD desLaurentides most of the visitors spending goes on accomondation (33%), services provided at the destination (25%) and for food (19%). This can represent a great obstacle for family visits. The destination cannot be described as an ideal place for currency exchange. The Canadian Trip Advisor recommends that all the currency exchanges should be done outside of the resort because that way you can avoid the $5 fee for transaction if you use your ATM card. Price regulations are a great way to influence and solve this problem.
Another thing that has to be solved in order to become a more family friendly destination is the health care for visitors, which is a big concern for families. According to the Cnadian Trip Advisor, the two main hospitals near Mont Tremblant don't accept U.S.A. insurance and because of that, if you want to be examined by the doctor you have to pay 750 CAD (Canadian dollars) per person. Basically this is for all foreign insurances. That represents a great problem for a family destination, as children health is the main concern of parents at foreign destinations. Medicine at the destination can only be bought at two pharmacies located in the ski resort. In order to solve this problem, the government has the main roll to decrease the fees or to implement new regulations that allow approve foreign health insurances and also to make the medicine available at more locations all around the resort.
Another problem, are the ski tracks at the destination. According to the information of Rendez-Vous, Mont Tremblant the destination has 17% of beginner skiing tracks, 33% of intermediate tracks and 50% of expert track. In order to attract more families, the destination has to increase the number of beginner tracks that are very important for children and for their parents. The destination will that way show its care about children safety at skiing especially if we start from the idea that young children and even most of parents don't know the basics of skiing. A positive fact is that there are plenty of skiing schools available at the destination.
Another barrier that is not promoting the family image is the language. The information provided by the CLD desLaurentides shows that 90% of people at the Mont Tremblant resort speaks French, 7% speaks English and only 0,7% speak both English and French. Why obstacle? We have to start from the assumption that not all of the destinations visitors will be locals, or French speakers and the nearby border of U.S.A. has to be considered too. In that case Mont Tremblant has to develop as a multilingual destination.
The Canadian Travel Advisor states that at the Mont Tremblant ski resort "lunch boxes" are not allowed at the on the mountain top of the Grand Manitou lodge. Instead of that you have to buy the food for a much higher price compared to the prices at the footer of the mountain. That can be a high expense for families and it can be very frustrating in some cases because food has to be always available to children. Solving this problem, by allowing lunch boxes at the destination's main attractors can increase the family image. Also, stated in the Canadian Travel Advisor, equipment theft represents another issue of the resort, which can be regulated by more effective security level from the local police.
The official web site of Mont Tremblant indicates that there is only one movie theatre present at the destination which is considered as a great attraction for families in the evening hours. The lack of more movie theatres increases the crowd in the present theater and that way it reduces the overall family experience. A good recommendation for the resort would be another movie theater which would decrease the overload of the present one and that way it would improve the overall family experience.
Solving these problems, the destination will not only have benefits of the new attracted families, but also it would increase the overall experience of the current visitors. The destination is very developed and has a huge potential for new ideas and for new investors.
Implementation and Stakeholders
The owner and the main stakeholder of the Mont Tremblant ski resort is Intrawest which owns the resort from the year 1993 as stated from Lorne Bassel , the executive VP of Intrawest Placemaking.
The case study "Stakeholder Involvement in Corporate Social and Social Strategies in Mont Tremblant" by Carolyn P. Pharand showed that Intrawest involved and favored stakeholders that were essential for the permits and licenses required to start the business at Mont Tremblant. While the governmental groups and economic groups were not considered as a essential decision maker even though they were the main stakeholders in Intrawest's social activities. The study showed that a small number of stakeholders had the main word in the decision making regarding the development of the resort, while other stakeholders had limited or no influence in that sector. The facts showed that residents did not have any control over development decisions because that was the lead by Intrawest and the City. The reason for that mainly is legitimacy and power. The more resources a stakeholder group owns or controls the more power it possesses. Intrawest and the City, as the main stakeholders, have influence on all other stakeholders. But the City is influenced by Intrawest because of the economic dependence that Intrawest has over the City as the main investor in the resort. Intrawest had great influence also because of the support and use of professional consultants. In the beginning the community favored Intrawest because the success of the resort was influenced by the overall success of the company. Now, Intrawest has distanced itself from the community stakeholders. Because of that the perception of the community about Intrawest has changed from positive to negative. That kind of Intrawest's strategies had both a negative and a positive development impact on Mont Tremblant as a touristic destination.
For Mont Tremblant in order to become a more attractive destination for both families and other tourists it has to involve all stakeholders. That is primarily the problem that Intrawest has to solve because it is the main stakeholder and decision maker. Intrawest has to notice the negatives of this kind of stakeholder and decision making monopoly that they are currently leading in order to develop Mont Tremblant into a sustainable touristic destination for families and other visitors. That kind of plan change is essential for all four stakeholders.
Mont Tremblant is basically a heaven for investors. Ranging from the overall benefit that Canada as a county is offering. "Elite" the division of elite investment group states that Canada has the best overall quality of life, Strong economy and low unemployment level, huge oil and natural gas reserves, strong technological infrastructure and a stable and rising currency. Also the "Elite" the division of elite investment states that Mont Tremblant is a magnet for tourists with over 2.5 millions of visits annually and it is the number one ski resort on Eastern North America. The resort owns 20 golf courses, and Intrawest (the main stakeholder) is investing more than $1 billion for the construction of two nearby resorts and also additional $7 million for a casino in Mont Tremblant. The government is investing $95 million to improve the road, electrical and sewage infrastructure. The price of land in Mont Tremblant is rising which is an excellent opportunity for future profits. Mont Tremblant is definitely becoming a top destination both for tourists and for investors.
- Le Grande Foret - "Elite" A division of elite investment group
- Stakeholder Involvement in Corporate Social and Environmental Strategies in Mont Tremblant - Carolyn P. Pharand
- Community Profile Mont Tremblant - MLI Muskoka Language International
- Families Love Mont Tremblant - Family Vacation Choices