Although relatively new to the UK snowsports industry, Skiverse, who is a leading aggregator of ski passes and destination services to travel agencies, already offers its services in over 200 ski resorts throughout Europe. This autumn Skiverse, whose mission is to give agencies easy access to ski trips or diversify their destinations, will sponsor LISTEX 2017 as they build their business within the UK.
Q: You obviously saw a gap in the market for an aggregator of lift passes and services for the snowsports industry. Tell us about the journey to launching Skiverse and why you embarked on this journey?
Skiverse evolved from an initial business idea which focused on identifying new opportunities within the ski service industry. We have been pro-active in working with and learning from every new client to adapt and grow. In 2015, we created a B2C platform and quickly realised that we needed to create a B2B platform to fully leverage our business skills and knowledge gained from the industry. We saw an opportunity to offer ski specialist agencies a simple centralised system to procure products and services with the possibility to integrate via XML. The start-up journey is never an easy one but we believe we have what it takes to succeed – a great team, good business strategy and financial investment.
2) Can you tell us more about Skiverse and how it works? Who from the snowsports industry will benefit from your services?
Skiverse’s B2B aggregator platform works like any other in the tourism sector. We negotiate with providers, agree contracts and upload all products (with detailed information) to our online booking platform. A ski specialist agency from anywhere in the world can access a catalogue of ski passes, ski equipment for hire, ski lessons, and book and manage all reservations online.
On the one hand, you have providers (such as ski resorts and ski schools) reaching out to a huge pool of potential clients, and on the other hand you have specialist agencies with instant access to an extensive catalogue of products and services without having to invest time and money in negotiating prices, agreeing contracts and managing/confirming bookings. Our XML integration capability allows companies to optimise system integration costs, so with a single integration they access an extensive catalogue of products and services throughout Europe.
3) How have you built relationships with over 200 ski resorts in Europe?
As well as building up relationships with many ski resorts we have also developed relationships with key providers throughout the European ski industry by attending trade fairs, conferences and workshops (like LISTEX). Skiverse is very proactive in creating and maintaining contact with providers and clients. The majority of clients we have today are as a result of reaching out to them initially by phone and if there was interest to collaborate we made every effort to follow up with a face-to-face meeting in order to strengthen the relationship.
4) What’s next for Skiverse?
The next step for Skiverse will be to consolidate the business achieved to date and continue to provide answers to the concerns, demands or shortcomings that we are detecting in the sector. We have many challenges ahead but we are confident that with a great team and vision we will be able to overcome each one. Our long-term goal is to expand beyond Europe and offer travel agencies in any market the opportunity to book products and services in ski resorts anywhere in the world. For example, we already have commercial development staff in China, to test the real potential of such a market in Europe.
5) Tell us about your plans for LISTEX?
We are really looking forward to attending the LISTEX event in September, but I would like to stress that our collaboration with LISTEX and all the team, goes beyond the 2-day event. Thanks to our relationship with LISTEX and especially James Gambrill we have been able to reach the British and European markets in a shorter space of time. During the event, we would like to make the most of the face-to-face meetings to generate new business opportunities with both buyers and suppliers as well as re-connect with existing clients and partners to discuss in more detail plans for the coming 2017/2018 season. We are also looking forward to hearing from other keynote speakers and understanding how the industry will continue to evolve in the coming years.