Axess in Catalonia: Digitized Ski Resorts
The Catalan railroad and tourism services com¬pany Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) is pushing ahead with the digitalization of its mountain tourism business. Axess hard- and software solutions for ski operations are han¬dling everything around the perfect day in the snow.
More than a decade ago Axess equipped the largest FGC ski resort, La Molina, with entry gates. In 2019 the coopera¬tion was extended and all other resorts in the group were also equipped with Axess SMART GATES, PICK UP BOXES and TICKET KIOSKS. The biggest step towards complete digitalization was de¬cided in 2020, when the corona virus pan¬demic called for accurate access control and detailed monitoring of all skiers. FGC took the opportunity to put the manage¬ment of the resorts on a new, digital base with an end-to-end Resort solution.
A Custom Resort Solution
Thanks to a well-functioning partnership, Axess was again called upon for this en¬deavor. FGC’s wish: an integrated system that would link ski ticketing, equipment rental, B2C and B2B online sales channels as well as the integration of FGC’s own ERP software, amongst other develop-ments. After only a few months of imple¬mentations, ski operations were launched despite the uncertainties due to covid-19, and the 2020/21 season started with the complete Axess solution. This included the ability to manage correctly & in real time the precise occupancy of each re¬sort, based on data from presales & pas¬sages at the gates.
The large number of resorts, including a train line, made the project a special chal¬lenge for the IT architects of the project. For example, the Axess system should al¬low different pricing per resort & also sell train tickets for the Nuria mountain train, which is integrated into the Vall de Nuria Ski Resort and is the only way to reach the resort. In addition, it should allow guests to easily change train tickets without human interaction and to book a new seat on a different train either up or down. Currently, under the motto ‘zero sales¬desk’, FGC seeks to reduce the traditional manual points of sale to the absolute min¬imum in the coming season. Instead, they will strengthen the web sales with a fully online self-service portal for skiers as well as increase the number of PICK UP BOXES & TICKET KIOSKS at the resorts in order to eliminate all queues and social contact at the ticket offices.
Complex B2B System
Another milestone in digitalization is the B2B system in the background. On the platform that Axess developed for FGC, travel agencies, hotels and other wholesale ticket providers can seamlessly reserve and purchase multiple tickets for any resort. All the tools & flexibility that both the partners and FGC itself expect in a professional B2B solution are already included. Tickets are then retrieved at PICK UP BOXES.
Worthy of note is the digital connection of the La Molina ski resort with the neigh¬boring private ski resort Masella, which also relies on Axess technology. The two resorts now offer a fully integrated shared product called ‘ALP2500’, which gives skiers an easy way to travel between the two connected resorts throughout the day, while giving both resort managers a fair, transparent & seamless way to share revenues between the resorts based on ALP2500 sales and passages.