ABTA is launching a campaign to help agents take advantage of the winter sports market, and to encourage consumers to book through the trade.
The association says selling ski is like selling cruise because there are a lot of regular and repeat customers in both markets.
"The average ski customer tends to have been before and may have a lot of knowledge about the resort and destination," said Julie Jones, senior membership manager.
"Therefore it's absolutely vital for agents selling ski to ensure that they are knowledgeable about what they are selling and can provide the customer with insights and advice over and above what they might already know."
She urged agents to make sure they look at appropriate training to ensure that they can give customers added value.
"Ski holidays by their nature require agents to have some degree of specialist knowledge and the more value you can add to a customer's experience with expertise and advice, the better," added Jones.
She said agents can provide regular skiers with ideas on new destinations to visit and explore, while ski novices often prefer to book with an agent for advice on things such as ski hire, ski passes and insurance.
"The advantage is that once you've got a satisfied customer, skiers offer great potential for repeat business," she said.
"Satisfied ski customers can often be your best salespeople as they often know other skiers and are happy to pass on word of mouth recommendations."
ABTA's winter sports campaign will involve exhibiting at the Ski and Snowboard show running from the today (October 31) until November 4 (see separate story).
by Bev Fearis
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
From spectacular art and interior design, to outstanding culinary and sustainable innovation, the Conrad New York is Lower Manhattan's newest luxury address.