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Wednesday October 3, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

A major study into the behaviour and views of skiers and snowboarders has concluded that there's much to be positive about despite economic and political uncertainty.

The 2018 Ski Club of Great Britain's Consumer Research is the largest study of its kind.

It looks at the habits, intentions and attitudes of people in the UK who go on snowsports holidays.

The details have just been presented at an event in central London, hosted by Mark Dolan, the comedian, TV presenter, keen skier and contestant in Channel 4's snowsports reality show, The Jump.

Mark Dolan at SCGB Consumer Research 2018Mark Dolan presents the findings

The report says the potential demand for skiing holidays is growing stronger and, crucially, the market is getting younger.

But the people who go on winter holidays are still largely people who have already been.

The key for the industry is how to bring in new skiers and snowboarders.

"There is much to be positive about in this report," it says.

"Several of our key indicators are showing that the potential demand for skiing holidays is growing stronger despite the headwinds of economic and political uncertainty."

Skiers in MontgenevreSkiers still want to ski

The findings are drawn from the responses of 23,000 people to an online survey this spring.

They were among more than 1 million contacted by through the databases or social media of 66 organisations, including tour operators, travel providers, equipment and clothing retailers and tourist offices.

Only 1,201 of the respondents were not either skiers or snowboarders.

The research suggests that older, more affluent people - those aged 50 to 54 - still make up the largest group who go on ski holidays.

But there appears to have been a rise in the 25 to 34 age group.

Age of respondents SCGB 2018Age of respondents

"This younger age group are becoming more affluent as they progress in their jobs and crucially they are characterised as being more driven by experiences than by things - if that is the case skiing is a great experience for them to enjoy," the report says.

"However, as always, there are many other experiences that may be easier to access and less expensive. Making skiing relevant to that younger audience is key."

The rise in the number of respondents under the age of 40 may be partly due to the fact that more organisations participated in the survey this year than at any time in the five years the Ski Club has been producing its research.

Snowboarding in LaaxHaving fun
















The focus of this report is on existing skiers and snowboarders - how much they ski, how they book their holidays, how they rate countries and resorts. and what their plans are for the future.

Some key findings
  • 81% skied last season, while 90% skied last season or the season before
  • 97% plan to ski this coming season
  • 63% have skied more than 15 weeks and 41% more than 30 weeks
  • 42% ski off piste
  • 21% are snowboarders - an increase on last year (possibly because of a larger survey response from younger people)
  • Freestyle is becoming more popular
  • Snowboarders and freestyle skiers are the most positive about wanting to doing more
  • The sport is male dominated - 66% of respondents were men
  • 47% of those who haven't skied in the last 3 seasons are highly likely to return within 3 years.
  • 90% watched the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and 30% said the Games made them more likely to take a ski holiday
  •  93% own their own helmets and boots
  • 60% own their own skis
  • 19% own their own snowboards
  • The most important factor in choosing a resort is snow followed by the size of the ski area & then how busy it is
  • France has the highest retention rate with 81% who skied there last season planning to return this season
Peisey Vallandry, FranceFrance is a big draw
















The most common reason given by those who said they didn't want to go on a ski trip was the cost.

Other reasons were that they were too old, not fit enough or had no one to ski with.

Unlike some previous studies, this one does not give a view on the number of snowsports partcipants in the UK.

The report says the scale and scope of the research needed to provide an accurate picture is not feasible.

"As an industry, winter sports lacks reliable figures to estimate the true size of the market. This is largely due to the various ways people can put together their ski breaks," it says.

"People can book a complete package or buy each element independently. They can also partially package (buying their accommodation from a travel company but arranging their own travel, for example). Skiers may also switch from one mode to another - even within the same season.

"To accurately estimate the size of the market we would have to draw a large sample from the UK population as a whole - accurately designed to reflect the structure of the UK."

Launch of the SCGB 2018 Consumer ResearchLaunch of the SCGB 2018 Consumer Research
















Read our report from earlier this week on research into the ski chalet market:

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news


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