Hurrah for autumn! There’s a chill in the air, the first frosts make the world look white again, and in the Ski Independence office we start each day with a barrage of emails with photos of early snowfall. It’s also the time of year that suppliers from various ski resorts come to visit and remind us why theirs is the best ski resort!
It’s an exciting time for all the reservations team – we spend all day, every day, all year long spouting off all kinds of statistics and facts about snow and skiing, but at times we forget just how awesome getting out onto the snow really is. The visits from our overseas friends not only enable us to put faces to names and re-inforce our good relationships , but also remind us exactly what we’re missing when we’re sat behind our desks (thanks guys!) and we really appreciate the considerable effort it take to come to Edinburgh to see us.
Over the course of the last few weeks we’ve had visitors from Aspen, Vail, Banff, Winter Park, Steamboat, Whistler, Heavenly and Telluride… with many more to come throughout the next month. There are representatives from hotels, tourist offices and lift ticket offices and their job here is almost more of a social catch up than any kind of hard sales pitch because our reservations team have been here for several seasons with very few changes – something that’s very rare for the travel industry. We catch up on resort developments and usually find time for a couple of cold beverages in an Edinburgh hostelry – well it’d be rude not to!!
Each resort has different ‘unique selling points’ and it’s good to be reminded of these – but we make sure that we get out to resort as often as we can and actually sample things for ourselves, so you can be guaranteed that the advice you get from Ski Independence is tried and tested, not just sales chat! We’re all skiers so we know how important your ski holiday is, and you can always talk to someone who’s tried things first hand. I think this is invaluable when there’s so much choice. Of course, you may choose to do some of your own research too – I really like www.welove2ski.com for great articles and good advice, and the Ski Club of Great Britain (www.skiclub.co.uk) is reliable too. But what of user generated review sites like Tripadvisor? That’s definitely a useful resource, but it’s hard to know how much trust to put in the opinion of a complete stranger – some negative reviews are entirely justified, others are malicious, and some are just plain ridiculous!! When deciding whether to use a review as part of your decision making process it might be prudent to read other postings made by the same user and see whether they seem like someone you might have things in common with – I know a guy who routinely complains at every hotel he stays in – he looks for things to find fault with and is triumphant when he finds something… some people are just weird!
It’s been a recurrent theme this autumn for our overseas suppliers to talk about their Trip Advisor ratings – particularly in the USA, this is big business and can make or break a hotel. I agree that the information you can gain from personal reviews gives you a much fuller picture than any glossy sales brochure, but treat it with caution and don’t be afraid to ask us too – we take pride in giving unbiased advice and handpick our resorts and hotels carefully – not every hotel suits every customer, but if we don’t like it, we don’t sell it.
Not sure what you’re looking for and don’t know where to start? Then please just pick up the phone and give us a call, it’s what we’re here for!