With 357 winter sports resorts spread over 7 massifs, the French ski area comprises 8,000 km of slopes covering more than 1,180 km² and occupies thus 30% of the world ski area.
World leader in winter tourism just ahead of the United States, with 53.9 million skier-days sold during the 2014-2015 season, the development of mountain tourism activity has resulted in the establishment of a fleet of 3,731 sky lifts which also ranks France as the world leader with 18% of the total supply.
The French mountain resorts, which represent a market of 9 billion revenue by the end of 2016, have inevitably entered into a process of optimizing the management and operation of their infrastructures and are now relying on the IoT power to inform the decision-making process of their operators.
Field data at the heart of the “Connected Mountain” transformation
Just as the “City”, the “Mountain station” is confronted with the challenges of the 21st century, such as the ecological, climatic, energy and technological transition. IoT aims to provide security, comfort and ease for the various stakeholders in the life of Smart Stations. Sensors and / or wireless acquisition nodes, adapted and miniaturized to obtain the lowest level of intrusiveness possible, capture accurate data reflecting the reality of the field. These real-time and continuous data foster the understanding and decision-making processes of ski area operators.
Smart Ski Resort uses this field data to control its energy consumption and make it more efficient, monitor in real time the changing weather conditions of roads for a fluid and secure access to the station; move from corrective maintenance to preventive maintenance and ensure the integrity of its infrastructures and the safety of users …
As well as the City becomes Smart, Ski Resorts explore the benefits of the digital transition, discover, experience, co-build and develop.
Proactive maintenance allowed by the IoT makes it as responsive as possible so that skiers are never inconvenienced.
Real-time data acquisition systems, based on a multitude of specific and miniature sensors, enable accurate and continuous measurements to be carried out reliably, continuously and in real time to monitor the state of infrastructure such as ski lifts whose integrity is crucial for a ski resort.
The same type of systems, embedded on mobile assets, capture in real time accurate data of position, trajectory, displacement, vibration, shock …
Real-time and continuous monitoring of accurate and relevant measurement points provides a detailed knowledge of the operating conditions and functioning state to optimize the mobile machinery use, anticipate the wear of their components and eliminate the costs of corrective maintenance measures. This agility offers an optimal management of the equipment park and the service provided.
Maintaining the viability of the road access network to stations is a strategic issue. Based on a network of wireless stand-alone sensors, wireless acquisition systems continuously collect road weather observation data to provide real-time decision support for operators who trigger necessary interventions at the most appropriate time, increasing the operator’s responsiveness and reducing operating budgets to a significant extent.
Internet of Things and more broadly the digital transformation are affecting today all the dimensions of the mountain tourism business model.
Meetings such as Alpipro and Digital Montagne have the ambition to unite the whole French ecosystem which explores as much the impact of digital on the customer experience in mountain and as on solutions aiming at a better understanding and exploitation of the constituent infrastructures of the ski stations.
In parallel, Smart Resort 5.0 was included in the contract of the State-Region Plan 2015-2020 and was proposed as a structuring project for the mountain sector within the framework of the Regional Innovation Strategy (Area of Specialization: Sports, Tourism and Montagne) of the Rhône-Alpes Region. More connected, more responsive, more participative, the Smart Ski Resort is only at the beginning of its mutation. For both, actors and users, the mountain experience will be definitively smarter.