skiers are getting older.
A New Analysis of the UK Snowsports Market reports mature skiers have brushed off the effects of the recession to spend as much time on the ski slopes as during the boom times of 2007/08. The survey of the future prospects of the ski industry found that mature skiers were taking advantage of the cheaper euro (highest in four years) to head off on one or even two ski holidays in a single season.
Recent research from the new ‘SkiBase Report’ has shown that demand in the ski market is being sustained by experienced, mature skiers. The ski market in the short to medium term will be driven by people who have already been skiing, whilst there is an opportunity for commercial organisations to not only focus on the market that exists today but to look at the future, by actively engaging and attracting new prospective customers to ski.
The research revealed that the ski market overall needs to be managed to ensure new people take up skiing and to serve the needs of this part of the market. Skiers are resilient and will always continue to ski whilst one of the major reasons people gave for not skiing, as expected is cost. Disposable incomes have been squeezed in the past few years and the perception continues that skiing is too expensive.
"Overall, skiers are saying they intend to take more ski holidays over the next five years" says Roy Barker, Director of SPIKE who carried out this research. "We wouldn’t interpret that is saying the market is set to boom, but longer term it shows the ski market is in good shape for the future".
Over 18,000 people took part in the wide-ranging survey which quizzed respondents about every aspect of their skiing habits. The survey asked respondents used to rate their resorts and comment on their experiences. Any negative comments were subtracted from the total number of positive ones to give each country a score, with the average for all the countries set at zero.
Italy has been chosen as the top destination by UK skiers in one of the biggest surveys ever undertaken on the state of the UK ski industry. Italy narrowly beat France to top the Ski Index for the quality of skiing, which asked people to give overall ratings for quality of skiing, accommodation value for money, restaurants and bars, lifts and activities outside skiing.
The study also found that France had the most loyal skiers, with over 74% of people who skied there saying they are likely to choose the country for their next winter break.
The USA and Canada were given the top score when it came to the quality of entertainment and bars, while Andorra and Austria also scored highly.
Eastern Europe scored the lowest when it came to the perception of quality among respondents, although it scored highly when it came to value for money. Switzerland was rated as the least value for money, with a score of -30%.
North America was home to four of the Top five ski resorts, with Canada’s Whistler ski considered the best overall ski resort in the world with a satisfaction score of 72.9, followed by Banff, (63.1) Vail (61.5), Breckenridge (59.7) and Europe’s Tignes at fifth with (43.5).