Nowadays, the resort’s business has to operate in the context of a highly competitive environment. Managers essentially search for new facilities and innovative decisions in order to maintain the clients’ loyalty and attract new visitors (Brey, 2010). One is supposed to be particularly creative to fit all the demands that appear in the tourism field.
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Professors in Tourism School, Horner, and Swarbrooke, note that one of the best alternative solutions that might assist resorts’ management in gaining popularity is the integration of some alternative options into the general range of the proposed facilities. According to the professors, the educational opportunities might be in a great request with an average modern tourist that seeks for self-development along with a classic vacation (Horner & Swarbrooke, 2004).
From this perspective, the foundation of the Ski School in Sun Peaks Resort seems to be a timely implemented measure aimed at maintaining the sustainability of the business’s performance. According to the corporate data provided by the company, the school offers a wide range of educational activities including group and private lessons for various types of program levels and age ranges (Sun Peak Resort, 2016). One might, consequently, assume that a significant part of the resort’s clientele takes advantage of the provided facility.
Therefore, the study at hand is aimed at analyzing the benefits of the implementation of an educational option into a research spectrum of facilities; its impact on the clients’ loyalty as well as its contribution to the improvement of the general business’s performance. One is determined to examine the relevant aspects of the example of the Ski School in the Sun Peak Resort as the latter has the highest rating among all the Canadian resorts from the standpoint of family comfort and skiing facilities (Ski Resorts Ratings, 2016). As a result, one expects that the study of the company’s experience is likely to be highly productive.
History shows that the initiative to combine resorts with ski schools received a lot of critics when it was first introduced at the end of the nineteenth century. The ski resorts would willingly offer skiing facilities for their guest, whereas they were not ready to provide any training options for them. Thus, an average ski-amateur had to choose between a specialized ski club and a classic ski resort. The idea to interconnect the two options seemed to be too costly and was supposed to be unpopular. Managers could not believe that guests would agree to pay extra money for being trained as long as they already spent a considerable sum on the primary resort’s facilities (Anderson, 2007).
The implementation of additional options into the general range of resorts’ facilitates began to gain popularity in the first decades of the twentieth century. Thus, one might find the descriptions of the first US ski schools situated on the territories of famous resorts the foundation of which dates back to 1928-29. The American journalist, Morten Lund, notes that the combination of professional sport and vacation became a true outbreak in the tourism industry. According to the author, people willingly gave their preferences to those destinations that had offered some more options than a standard holiday plan (Lund, 2005).
The story of another famous American resort serves to be one more proof of the efficiency of the implementation of education abilities into a resort’s services. Hence, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Pico Resort in Vermont had to face to face a critical competitive challenge. Its close neighborhood to another vacation destination, Killington, prompted the management to look for alternative solutions in order to hold the resort’s positions in the local market. From the historic perspective, one is now able to claim that it is the development of the educational aspect of the resort’s offer that rescued the entire business.
Hence, the involvement of high-quality specialists in ski school as well as the development of multi-level ski programs enabled the Pico Resort to win the competitive race. Specialists note that in spite of the advantageous environment and sites that Killington offered, tourists would choose Pico because of the wide spectrum of the self-development opportunities in the skiing field (Oliver, 1996).
In the modern tourism market, ski schools have already become an integral part of the ski resort business (Ormiston, Gilbert, & Manning, 1988). Specialists put a particular emphasis on the current trend that resides in enlarging the range of facilities in the prospect of gaining extra competitive capacity. Thus, numerous resorts try to introduce some additional courses and training in order to satisfy the modern demand for self-development (Mill, 2007). Therefore, there is no surprise that every resort that is situated in a favorable environment has a specialized service that encourages guests to undergo a ski training course.
Some specialists explain the phenomenon of ski schools’ popularity by the current trend to spend time with use. Thus, a professional analyst in the resort management field, Percy Sing, claims that people are inclined to spend their free time actively, learning something new and improving their skills, thereby, they eagerly grasp the chance to do some sports while on holiday (Singh, 2006). Moreover, the learning environment plays a significant role in people’s intention to subscribe to the course. In other words, even those that do not initially intend to visit the classes are likely to change their mind when they see other guests of the resort making progress.
Sun Peak’s Practice
Sun Peak’s ski school is one of the largest ski schools that currently exist in British Columbia, in Canada. The school offers a wide range of programs to meet any preferences and requirements. Thus, one might find courses for children, teenagers, and adults as well as various levels of training including beginner, intermediate, and expert. One might, likewise, choose between group and private lessons and different styles of skiing (Sun Peak Resort, 2016). The resort itself has an exclusively high rating and positive reviews on the famous trip advisor platform, known for its independence in estimation judgments (Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre, 2016).
According to the data available, one might assume that the school sets reasonable prices for its educational option. The statistics show that the major part of the resort’s guests tends to use the ski school services during their vacation in the Sun Peaks Resort. The percentage correlation between children and grown-up students is rather insignificant. Thence, the number of people in various age groups is almost equal (Facilities & Services, 2016).
In the meantime, founding an effective ski school and integrating it successfully in a resort’s environment seems to be a hard task to complete. To begin with, one is likely to face the problem of involving the right people in the teaching staff. As long as most of the ski resorts and the Sun peaks resort, in particular, have strong implications for family vacations, it is particularly important that the trainers are represented by high-quality skiers so that parents might feel calm entrusting their children to them. The injury risks are extremely high in the relevant field that is why it is vital that school professionals are capable of ensuring proper discipline and safety (Fry, 2006). This point is of high significance for any resort as a series of accidents on a track are likely to do considerable harm to the resort’s image in the market.
Moreover, ski school has a more complicated structure than a classic ski resort due to multi-level programs that it offers (Gill, 2000). Therefore, one resort might have to perform extra financial contributions in order to provide the necessary equipment both for teachers and students. As far as quality skiing equipment is directly directed with a security issue, the expenses in this sector can hardly be reduced (Page, 2014).
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Furthermore, a ski school is a seasonal activity that requires a particular type of advertising and advancement. A tourism manager, Peter Murphy, says that it is particularly difficult to convince people to visit a resort that mainly offers seasonal options (Murphy, 2009). Meanwhile, practice shows that the seasonal income is able to compensate for the decreased gain during the idle period (Agarwal, 1997).
Lastly, some specialists point out that those resorts, that decide to found a ski school, are, likewise, apt to face a critical ethical problem. Scientists state that ski schools experience considerable pressure on the part of the “green” communities (Kubota & Shimano, 2010). According to analysts, however, the negative impact that ski schools have on the environment is rather insignificant, although it does not prevent a particular part of the society from expressing protest appeals (Swarbrooke, 1999).
The relevant analysis is aimed at examining the impact that the ski school in the Sun Peaks Resort has on the general performance of the company. One is determined to study the cost-effectiveness of the relevant facility as well as its role in maintaining the clients’ loyalty. Therefore, the principal question of the research is whether a ski school is a beneficial implementation for a resort of a similar type as the Sun Peak Resort. One might suggest that the received findings will be useful for other entrepreneurs in the relevant tourism field.
The study has a mixed design, which means that both quantitative and qualitative aspects will be included in the structure of the research. The research might be referred to as the exploratory type; thus, one does not suggest an initial hypothesis but is determined to generate it on the basis of the received findings.
Data Collection Tools
In order to collect the relevant data, a worked-out research survey will be employed. One intends to set a strict sample framework to raise the level of data validity. Therefore, the targeted research group will be comprised of adults only. One will apply random sampling as the simplest way of data analysis. The research survey will consist of the close questions in order to reach the maximum clarity in people’s assessments. The questions for the research survey will be the following:
- Would you go to the Sun Peaks Resort if it did not offer the ski school service?
- Did you initially intend to go to the ski school when you were planning your trip to the Sun Peaks Resort?
- Do you think the ski school is the major advantage of this resort?
- Would you like to visit another resort that has a ski school?
- Does the presence of a ski school determine your choice of a resort?
- Would you advise your friends or relatives to go to the ski school in the Sun Peaks Resort?
- Do you think the cost of the ski school in the Sun Peaks Resort is reasonable?
- Would you like to try another ski program in the same school?
Data Collection Process and Analysis
The major part of data collection will be performed through the online resources that will enable one to find the maximum number of the resort’s guests. The survey will be offered to those people only that have experience of visiting the ski school at least once. The survey will be sent to the participants that confirm their agreement via e-mail. As long as the data collection is finished, one will perform quantitative analysis to generate the total figures. Finally, one intends to analyze the received data and draw relevant conclusions.
One is determined to ensure that the research is to be conducted in accordance with the norms and standards of the Code of Ethics in the relevant field. Therefore, one will fully follow the guideline for Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (Research Ethics, 2016).
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