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Costa del Sol news

Tourism

The site, naturalski.com, has information about all the European ski resorts and a catalogue of around 55,000 hotels
29.10.12 - 19:58 -
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Miguel Ángel Ferrero and Diego Jiménez are doing their bit to promote winter tourism with their new website launched on Monday: www.naturalski.com. This is the first site in Spanish specialising in skiing holidays, with information about resorts and facilities to make online hotel reservations for winter breaks.
The site, with a database of more than 55,000 establishments all over Europe, is the latest business project launched by the Malaga-based owners of the site www.quehoteles.com and the book store Agapea, who hope to fill a gap in the market.
Through www.naturalski.com users will have access to information about all the European ski resorts, 150 in total, and even images showing the condition of the slopes, as well as maps and directions and ski pass details, all from the comfort of their own home.
Once the client has selected a hotel they are redirected to another web, www.invierno10.com, where they can complete the reservation. GPS coordinates are provided for each hotel so they can be located more easily.
The site will also give skiers the chance to hire equipment and book courses at “very competitive” prices, thanks to the reduced operative costs, points out Ferrero.
Transaction security is another of the website’s advantages as is the constant updating of the hotel catalogues, which involves “a lot of hard work”, and the immediate response to customer queries.
Success
These are precisely the keys to the success of the Malaga business’s first tourism website, www.quehoteles.com, which has increased its turnover since its launch in 2005, despite a 40 per cent fall in the market in general due to the crisis, points out Ferrero.
So far this year they have sold 251,735 nights in hotels after “improving the service with more establishments, more availability and better prices”. Now the pair are hoping that their winter holiday booking site will follow suit. To help them they have a team of seven IT engineers and ten customer attention staff, who work in the group’s premises in the San Rafael industrial estate, as well as another four employees in the contracts department in the Andalusian Technology Park.
In fact the idea for the ski site stemmed from a comment made by an employee and ski enthusiast who pointed out that it was difficult to find a hotel and information about ski slopes on internet.
A light bulb went on in the business partners’ heads and the project was born.
Ferrero is keen to stress that skiing is not an elitist sport as many think; in fact it’s “quite affordable”. As an example he suggests a low season package including five nights full board in the Vallnord resort in Andorra, five days’ ski pass, two hours of classes a day and equipment hire for 230 euros per person.
In a few weeks’ time the website will also allow customers to hire their ski equipment online, thanks to negotiations with numerous individual suppliers.
Meanwhile the team are celebrating the launch of the new site in the best way possible: a two day break in the Sierra Nevada.

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