Complete reduction of counter staff through automated ticketing sales process – Sportbahnen Vals3000 AG ventures new paths

Together with Pricenow AG, Sportbahnen Vals3000 AG has chosen an innovative approach: ski tickets can be purchased either directly online or from ticket vending machines on site – there is no longer a counter for ski tickets at the lift station.

The Vals3000 snow sports area on the Dachberg reaches up to almost 3000 metres and delights at every altitude with its beautiful natural scenery. This includes a gondola lift, three T-bar lifts and a children’s area. In order to ensure the sustainable economic operation of the mountain railways and to use resources optimally, the company has focused on a groundbreaking strategy: since the winter season 2019/20, ski tickets can be purchased either directly online in the Pricenow web shop or on site at ticket vending machines. The counter for ski tickets has been completely removed. In order to provide customers in need of advice with the best possible service, the mountain railway staff will help on site in case of any problems.

The original cash desk is replaced by the Pricenow webshop
and two ticket machines

«The connection between the implementation of the Pricenow web shop with all relevant interfaces and the innovative approach of ticket vending machines without on-site cash desks has proven very successful. By externalizing the ticketing process, the customer is involved in the purchase process and he picks up his ski ticket by himself.» says Maurus Tomaschett, CEO of Mountain railways Sportbahnen Vals3000 AG.

The idea behind the consistently digital ticketing method was a new pricing strategy. Significant personnel costs can be saved through automated ticketing. This means that the guest can still be offered ski tickets at attractive prices. The process here should be service-oriented and tailored to customer needs.

Maurus Tomaschett is convinced: «The question we had to ask ourselves was how a smaller ski area can stand out and position itself in a competitive environment. The fixed costs in a ski area are the same every day, even when the slopes are empty.  That’s why we decided to work on the cost side through purely digital ticket sales, thus enabling a new pricing strategy. For this we also had to provide the technical facilities, which Pricenow has competently implemented for us in the form of their modern web shop».

Webshop Pricenow Bergbahnen Vals

Pricenow Webshop for Visit Vals AG

This includes the user-friendly and modern Pricenow web shop for Sportbahnen Vals3000 AG. The focus here is on a customer journey that improves sales. The Pricenow web shop has a clearly arranged display, so that you can easily find the desired ski ticket in a short time. The guest can buy his ski ticket comfortably from home or on the way in the mobile responsive web shop: This way the day on the slopes can start carefree.

Winter sports enthusiasts can purchase their ski ticket online in the web shop and, thanks to the existing interface integrations, load it directly onto their SwissPass or a SKIDATA keycard. This means that guests can pass directly through the access system of the mountain railway without further interaction at the ticket counter and start on the slopes without queues. In addition, the SKIDATA pick-up system has been integrated into the web shop in cooperation with Pricenow’s partner SKIDATA. This allows guests to convert their Print@Home tickets into ski tickets in seconds at the ticket vending machines at the lift stations.

The mix of the technical implementation of ticketing by Pricenow and the innovative approach without a ticket counter at the lift station is proving to be successful: customers are responding very well to the new approach and both the web shop and ticket vending machines are being used actively. With its radical step, Sportbahnen Vals3000 AG shows how the possibilities of digitalisation can be fully exploited and in particular smaller mountain railways can potentially gain new perspectives. The winter season has got off to a promising start, as Maurus Tomaschett says – so nothing stands in the way of a successful second part of the winter season!