A major research project suggests the number of British skiers and snowboarders is far higher than previously thought.


The survey, commissioned by the short break specialists Ski Weekends concludes that almost 1.8 million are participants in snowsports, with more than 1.4 million taking part at least once a year.

Previous recent studies have put the annual figure at between 1 million and 1.2 million.

The survey was sent out over the summer to 440,000 people aged 18 to 65 across the whole of the UK.

It’s not clear how many responded but we are told that it is “statistically representative”.

It means the conclusions can be considered accurate with a 99 per cent confidence level.

Since children and older adults were excluded from the survey, it could be assumed that the actual number of skiers and snowboarders is even higher the headline figure suggests.

Size of the market:

  • 4 per cent of the UK market (1,480,000) ski at least once a year
  • 1 per cent (123,333) ski once every 3 years
  • 3 per cent (158,572) ski once every 7 years
  • Total number 1,761,905
Survey on size of snowsports market















The Managing Director of Ski Weekends, Dan Fox, told an industry conference that two smaller surveys were carried out at the same time.

The first involved a representative sample of the UK ski market and the second was targeted at those who took short ski breaks.

Dan Fox, Ski Weekends

Dan Fox presenting the findings
















“The results were not always what we expected,” Dan Fox said.

“A large part of my reaction was really?”

The data will be pored over and analysed by tour operators and ski companies in their attempts to attract more business.

UK Ski market survey results

Who’s going skiing?













“Overall the report is a really positive view of the UK market, not only is it larger than we thought, skiers go considerably more frequently,” Dan Fox told PlanetSKI.

“We all thought it to be an ageing market, but in part this is driven by the fact that older skiers actually ski more times each year. It’s important to remember that 24% of skiers are still on family holidays, so the next generation are thankfully already on the slopes!”

At the Val d'Isere glacier

More of us than we thought
















More from the survey:

  • 34 per cent of UK skiers are aged 51 to 60 with the next biggest group aged 43 to 50
  • 85 per cent have skied for more than 8 weeks, 60 per cent for more than 21 weeks and 26 per cent more than 50 weeks.
  • 43 per cent have more than one ski holiday a year
  • 52 per cent of holidays are for one week, while around 24 per cent are shorter breaks
  • 60 per cent of all holidays are taken in March (not Easter), January and February (not half-term)
  • 54 per cent of holidays are booked online
  • 58 per cent of the online bookers book most or all of the elements of their holiday with a tour operator
  • Crystal Ski, Inghams and Neilson are the only ski tour operators with a high brand recognition

The survey has some interesting detail and if you’d like to know more email marketing@skiweekends.com

The Ski Club of Great Britain carries out consumer research every year.  We reported on its latest survey when it was published on 7th September:

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