Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Families Welcome Ski Resorts

Families are a main market for Ski Resorts and they are trying to look more appealing and accessible to families and kids. The Industry Report published a post about how european ski resorts are getting more and more into the family way. More than 50 ski areas have taken direct action to lure the family market by raising the minimum age kids pay for their lift tickets to nine. The Industry Report's Patrick Thorne says the trend began to take off in Switzerland at Zermatt, Saas Fee, Villars, and Gstaad, and has now spread to Austria at St. Anton, and Italy at Cortina and Val Gardena. Recently more than 200 European resorts have published their price schedules for the 2008-09 season and the growing trend is obvious. Swiss resorts, for example, are showing rates for kids, ages 9-16, at 30-50 percent of adult prices.
The resorts of the Alps of Lake Geneva Region (Switzerland): Villars/Gryon, Les Mosses, Leysen, Les Diablerets, and Château-d'Oex/Rougemont have joined in a regional marketing strategy (Free for Kids up to 9) to offer free ski passes to kids under nine.
"This creates an additional argument on price/family budget as 55 percent of our clients are families (all social levels), often with rather young kids," Guy Chanel, Villars' marketing manager told the Industry Report. Chanel says they have determined fewer kids are tempted to learn skiing as pre-teenagers as used to be the case in western Europe 15-20 years ago. "Skiing is perceived as an expensive sport activity nowadays".
Older kids 9-15, Chanel says, are usually skilled with Web and e-procedures. They usually pay 50-65 percent of an adult ski pass, but "we have launched an online system that allows them to book their ski pass online and automatically get 20 percent or more discount on the public price".
Swiss Ski Resorts which are especially suitable for family holidays, with a range of services geared specifically to the needs and wishes of children, their parents and accompanying adults, have been awarded with the "Families Welcome" label since 1996.
Patrick Thorne notes there is movement on the other end of life's scale as well. The age at which seniors receive discounted or free skiing continues to slide upward or is being removed all together.