LAST WINTER, WE WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO CATCH UP WITH DIRECTOR OF THE MORZINE–AVORIAZ OFFICE DE TOURISME, CHRISTOPHE MUGNIER. HERE, THE LES GETS NATIVE TALKS ABOUT HOW HE CAME TO BE WHERE HE IS TODAY AND WHAT MORZINE-AVORIAZ HAS PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE.
“I joined the Morzine-Avoriaz Office de Tourisme as its Director in May 2016. For the previous seven years I was in charge of events at the Office de Tourisme in Meribel in the Three Valleys and during 2014 and 2015 we organised two World Cup finals; one for mountain biking and the other for skiing. These are two of the most popular sports in our mountains and it was the first time that France had hosted a Ski World Cup final. Both events were a huge success and helped to put France back on the map for big international mountain sports events.
Originally I’m from Les Gets and many years ago I started working as a ski coach. During the summer months I needed to find another activity and it’s from here that I started work in tourism. Eventually this ‘side’ job became my main one!
Morzine-Avoriaz will always enjoy a unique location as a holiday destination because of its proximity to Geneva Airport and the ‘two-in-one’ combination of Morzine and Avoriaz. The two resorts offer something for all types of skier. However the mountain holiday market does face some challenges at the moment. On one hand we must guarantee good access to our ski area and good service too, especially with the climate situation that we are all aware of. On the other hand we must take into account the different consequences that Brexit might have, and has already had, on the British population visiting our region.
Morzine-Avoriaz will continue to stay competitive as a mountain resort during these challenging times because of our ‘two-in-one’ situation. Morzine and Avoriaz compliment each other and offer real advantages for winter and summer tourists. We really walk on two feet so we will strengthen and take advantage of this natural situation. Many tourists visit Morzine as a mountain village – we must be sure to take care of them during both seasons.
To help us in our endeavours to maintain the popularity of Morzine-Avoriaz, we are looking at some new events and initiatives to really increase our visibility. This autumn we’ll share a brand new platform for Morzine, which we’re all very excited about.
Developing the summer season will be a real focus for my team and I. Let’s take a quick look at the last one, during which many important events were hosted in our village – the Spartan Race, Harley Days, Trophée des Jeunes Vététistes. We’ll keep working in this direction to bring in new and exciting events. Next summer Morzine will host the Europa Spartan Championship and the Pass’Portes du Soleil exhibition village too. We’re also planning some important events for July to boost the popularity of the resort outside of the school holidays.
The best part of my job is meeting new and different people every day; there’s no routine in my role! I’m often asked to recommend ‘must do’ activities and this winter our Christmas events are not to be missed. During the holidays we’ll have a huge programme of more than 40 different spectacles created specifically for children but which everyone will enjoy including magical light displays and more. Whatever the weather and whatever the snow conditions, Christmas is always a truly special time in Morzine. All events take place in the main square outside of the Office de Tourisme and I hope to see you there!”