Ski Club GB Releases its State of the UK Snowsports Market Survey
13th November 2023
Last modified on November 17th, 2023
The survey was conducted by the Ski Club of Great Britain and sent to Ski Club members and subscribers. It was done in partnership with Snow + Rock and the Mountain Trade Network and their customer data bases.
39% of respondents saying they intend to book two holidays for this winter, up from 33% from last year.
But cost is a significant factor in decision making with 40% saying the reason why they didn’t book a skiing holiday last season was due to cost.
Bur for around 20% of the market, cost is not an issue at all.
The booking season is becoming more polarised, with more early bookings – 55% of skiers booking more than 6 months before departure compared to 35% pre-Covid.
But there’s also an increase in late bookings of less than a month, with 13% saying they intend to do this compared to 7% last year.
This again seems to relate to affordability and to some extent, concerns about snow following a particularly bad start to the season last winter.
Although we are now seeing ‘the best start’ to winter in over 20 years in many parts of the Alps as heavy snow has already fallen and more is forecast over the next week.
We have reported on the snow here on PlanetSKI but we stress it is the first half of November and the temperature is about to rise significantly in coming days.
The survey goes on to report that more people are planning to stay in apartments versus hotels for this winter with 28% saying they will book a self-catered apartment compared to 25% last winter.
And whilst 31% are saying they intend to stay in a 4* hotel this winter, last season only 23% said they did.
Suggesting that intent to upgrade doesn’t always become fulfilled.
Whilst last winter 77% took a flight for their skiing holiday, this year 12% of respondents intend to take a train, compared to only 2% taking the train last season.
Again intent does not always lead to reality.
But a combined 92% say that more train services and lower costs would be the most likely factors in encouraging them to take the train in the future.
There are rising concerns about climate change and the rate at which climate change is becoming a factor in decision making for snowsports is climbing more steeply than any other factor.
The data is more mixed in terms of the significance of individual sustainability related polices on skier decision making.
Skiers say they care deeply about sustainability, but other factors – most notably cost – currently rank higher.
UK skiers are getting fitter compared to pre-Covid years when 15% of respondents admitted doing no exercise between ski seasons, this has dropped to only 10%.
The most popular off-snow activities to prepare for skiing are cycling and hiking.
Skiers are also dreaming about the experiences they would like to have including heli-skiing and travelling to long haul destinations with Canada and Japan top of the bucket list destinations.
But perhaps more realistically over 30% would like to try ski touring at some point, and almost 30% intend to ski tour this winter.
About the Survey:
The survey was conducted by the Ski Club of Great Britain and sent to Ski Club members and subscribers and in partnership with Snow + Rock and the Mountain Trade Network and their customer data bases.
Historical data is also supplied by the Mountain Trade Network.
It was conducted through September and October 2023.
The Ski Club of Great Britain is a membership organisation that operates on a not for profit basis.
It was founded in 1903 at the Café Royal in central London.
Ski Club current membership now exceeds 17,000.
Members can benefit from a number of offers forged through strong partnerships with leading brands such as Snow + Rock, Ski Solutions, Sunweb and SkiSet.
The Ski Club’s Freshtracks holidays offer the UK’s most comprehensive programme for skiing enthusiasts looking to take to the slopes with like-minded and similar ability skiers.
The programme includes a range of off-piste, ski touring, weekend, all mountain and bucket list style trips, to both short and long haul destinations.
There’s a robust travel insurance policy available to members that covers worldwide skiing trips, including off-piste and heliskiing, plus a growing number of resorts in Europe that have Ski Club representatives in place facilitating members meeting to ski together.
The Ski Club also has its own chalet accommodation in the French ski resort of Flaine.
The Royal Patron of the Ski Club of Great Britain is HRH The Duke of Kent KG and Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott is the Club’s Ambassador.