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Jean-Henri MIR - Treasurer of the ANMSM, Mayor of Saint-Lary 

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What are the missions of the ANMSM?

The National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts has three main missions. It represents and defends the municipalities, support for mountain resorts, with the public authorities by addressing the specific problems of this place. It supports the municipalities, in a more personalized way, to develop operational programs and strengthen the attractiveness of the resorts through actions linked to sustainable development, the deployment of the Famille Plus label and prevention and safety on the slopes. Finally, it promotes the winter and summer mountain destination in France and internationally. The ANMSM works with contributions from winter sports resorts. The main action relates to skiing, but today we note that a development in terms of complementary activities is undertaken concerning well-being, in the same way as heritage, for example. However, we currently do not have a specific modus operandi or sufficient budgets. There are regional resorts that bring together thermal activities, as in Occitanie and, in this context, more specific work is carried out. In addition, we have initiated the National Observatory of Mountain Stations (OSM) in partnership with Atout France, as well as 9 mountain observatories, to measure the results in attendance by activity theme, etc. It is an essential tool to have a rendering of the Pyrenees massif.

What are the trends in mountain resorts?

Customer expectations are taken into account. Nowadays, one in five people do not ski and this part of the clientele is important. Apart from skiing, sports activities are developed (dog sleds, hiking, Nordic skiing, paragliding, etc.), as well as well-being activities around thermoludism via the complementarity of thermal spas. Hydrotherapy in the Pyrenees, and in particular in Saint-Lary, a small spa with 2 spa visitors, adds a plus to winter activity thanks to a spa center which is in the process of being expanded. Of the 000 winter sports resorts in the Pyrenees, more than half have a wellness and relaxation center in thermal water either on the slopes or a few kilometers from them. For us, the mountain well-being offer represents an essential complement to the ski area.

Are strategies between stations in place?

We are grouped together in a structure, the Pyrenean Confederation of Tourism, which I have the honor to chair and which brings together all the resorts of the Massif, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Two years ago, we signed a Destination Pyrénées contract with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This highlights certain destinations for which the Atout France structure is the operational arm and, thanks to the mobilization of the territory, establishes a certain operational strategy.

The objectives of this contract revolve around three main areas: the development of the snow activity, roaming and the well-being objective, which has made significant progress today. The thermoludic branch is a major element with themes and scenarios specific to each resort. The purpose of this Destination contract is to develop in welcoming national and international customers in a four-season tourism. It is essential to be a force of proposal on stays presenting themes which depend on one or more activities. We are trying to take this approach to the level of the Destination Bien-être contract.

Currently, centers are developing, there are still some being built. The well-being offer therefore allows, once the winter season has passed, to continue with the thermal season and to benefit from a thermoludic offer all year round. The challenge for us is to have a clientele that can respond, in a specific way, to this thermoludic offer, which requires a lot of promotion and international marketing work.

© DR

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