7th September 2017 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
More than half of skiers say Brexit has had no impact on their skiing plans. However a major survey says there are problems ahead.
The figure is revealed in the 2017 Ski Club of Great Britain Consumer Research report.
It concludes that skiers love skiing – even more than they did last year.
The report, now in its 5th year, is one of the biggest pieces of research in the snowsports field and gives a broad picture of the state of the market.
It looks at the habits, intentions and attitudes of people in the UK who go on snowsports holidays, and assesses the state of the market and its potential for growth or decline.
More than 12,000 people – almost 11,000 of them skiers or snowboarders – completed a detailed online questionnaire.
The “uncertainty of Brexit” was one of the things they were asked about:
- 52 per cent say Brexit has had no impact on their holiday plans for the next 12 months
- 31 per cent say their holiday will cost more as a result of Brexit
- 2 per cent say their holiday will cost the same or less as a result of Brexit
- 6 per cent plan to take a holiday outside of the EU because of Brexit
- 97 per cent of the skiers who skied last winter say they are likely to ski this winter too
However the MD of Ski Famille, Chris Thompson makes this point:
“Consumer perceptions re need for concern and realities may differ. With 80% of survey respondents being over 40 there may be a natural bias to a particular view on the risks or benefits of Brexit,” he said over on the PlanetSKI facebook page.
The report says there are reasons to be optimistic, but there are clouds on the horizon and the industry needs to attract more people to snowsports.
“By most criteria ski is a market doing reasonably well,” it says.
“It is resilient, made up of affluent wealthy enthusiasts who seem to weather economic storms well. They value their skiing holidays and want to do more.
“However, all markets need new blood. Even the most resilient markets decline….. unless more people come into skiing than leave through natural attrition the market will shrink putting pressure on those organisations that serve the market.
“We can’t tell what the attrition rate is in the ski market – but anecdotally we can be pretty sure that the rate of acquiring new skiers has declined significantly since 2008.”
The research also suggests there’s scope for the main tour operators to attract more customers by tailoring their product, with 48 per cent of those polled saying they want more flexible travel dates and lengths of stay.
Launching the report at the SCGB HQ in Wimbledon, the Club chairman, Rob Crowder, said there was a message for the travel companies.
“You are keeping 52 per cent of the market happy but there is a fantastic opportunity to do more for 48 per cent of the market and I think that is a challenge,” he said.
“This was one of the key findings I take away with me from the session,” said the CEO of Ski Solutions, Craig Burton.
“Flexibility is the key to the future and people do not want to have to accept the fixed holiday some offer but rather have it tailored to suit their needs. Whether it be length of stay, choice of dining or even amount of time spent on the slope.”
Among the non-skiers questioned, those who said they did not intend to ski gave several reasons:
- too expensive
- too much hassle
- too dangerous
- not for me
- Guaranteed snow is the most important factor when choosing a holiday
- 64 per cent are package holidaymakers, 31 per cent arrange their trips independently
- 82 per cent travel by plane
- 92 per cent own at least some of their own equipment
- 91 per cent have their own helmets
- 98 per cent have their own boots
- 40 per cent are highly likely to return to the same resort next winter as last
- The top 5 resorts most likely to be recommended are all in North America (Breckenridge, Sun Peaks, Banff, Park City, Whistler)
The research was carried out by Spike Marketing.
The results are based on responses from 12,463 people. A total of 10,954 were skiers/snowboarders and 1,501 did not participate in any snowsports.
If you want a full copy of the report email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.
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