In recent years, you've probably loaded a chair lift or hopped aboard a gondola in the Rockies with a group of Spanish-speaking skiers and riders. Latin American skiers have been visiting the U.S. in droves recently, and thanks to Ski.com's new joint venture with SKI Brasil and Viajes Holam, the influx of Latin American visitors on U.S. slopes is only going to increase.

Now, three of the largest ski tour operators in the United States (Ski.com), Brazil (SKI Brasil) and Mexico (Viajes Holam) respectively, will focus on growing Latin American skier visits in North America and Europe. Through this new relationship, Viajes Holam and SKI Brasil will utilize Ski.com’s proprietary reservation system and online booking technology while still growing their own brand identities. The new alliance will also allow access to Ski.com’s industry-leading inventory of lift tickets, hotels, condominiums, private homes, flights, ground transfers, rental cars, rental equipment and more.

"Latin America represents one of the biggest opportunities for the ski segment of the travel industry in the United States, Canada and Europe," Ski.com President and CEO Harry Peisach said. "By partnering with SKI Brasil and Viajes Holam, we open our distribution to a huge audience of highly qualified potential skiers and snowboarders who will generally stay for several days longer on average than their American counterparts."

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The three tour operators are already collaborating on marketing and integrating technology for the launch. Images Courtesy of Ski.com.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce in its most recent report, international travel to the United States is projected to increase from 59.7 million visitors in 2010 to more than 80 million by 2013. Mexico is the number two source of international travel to the U.S. and Brazil, ranked seven, grew by 34 percent in 2010. This new joint venture will target Viajes Holam’s and SKI Brasil’s existing client base and also Mexico’s and Brazil’s general population of untapped potential skiers and snowboarders.

"By forming this new joint venture, we are leveraging each company’s strengths so that we can offer our clients the ski travel industry’s widest selection of resorts and products at the best possible pricing," Viajes Holam Owner Moises Braverman said. “In addition to this being a great way to increase our capabilities, the partnership will allow us to vastly expand our audience of destination skiers and snowboarders.”

The three tour operators are already collaborating on marketing and integrating technology to prepare for a launch in time for the 2012/2013 ski vacation booking season.