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Snowsports - UK - June 2010

This report provides a detailed analysis of the snowsports sector, using primary data from exclusive consumer research. It considers the current strengths and weaknesses within the sector, provides profiles of the key tour operators in the sector, and through analysis generates insight into consumer attitudes, trip characteristics and the key people to target in future.

  • Snowsports trips account for around 3% of the total overseas holiday market each year. During 2009’s travel recession, this proportion grew marginally.
  • One in four people have taken a snowsports trip in the past, and one in two say they may take one in the future. Notably, the potential ‘new’ consumers (those people who have never taken a snowsports holiday before, but would consider going on one) make up the equivalent of 7.5 million.
  • The average price of a ski holiday in 2009 was £686, 3.2% higher than in 2008. In 2010 a record high of £707 is estimated to have been reached as capacity cuts mitigate the effect of any last-minute discounting.
  • Tour operators have dominated the snowsports market for the past decade, selling between 70% and 80% of all such holidays. Independently organised trips had seen a steady increase in popularity over the past five years but this growth reversed in 2008/09, with operators offering strong promotions to ensure sales.
  • There are two key snowsport holidaymaking groups – professionals in households earning £50,000-plus per year and students in full-time education. Skiers are slightly more likely to be in the professional group, whilst snowboarders are slightly more likely to be in the student group. In addition these are not entirely distinct markets, sometimes mixing by travelling together as a single family unit.
  • The main barrier for people who have never taken a snowsports holiday before, but would consider going on one is price, particularly as over one in three also want to take a main summer holiday. Being able to take multi-destination and multi-activity trips particularly appeals to these consumers. They also are above average in wanting to practice on a dry ski slope before going away, so that they can make the most of their holiday.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Dry slopes to snow slopes
              • Grey snowsports
              • Market in Brief

                • Mainstream potential
                  • Tough trading conditions
                    • Young and old hold greatest potential
                      • Go ‘ski-ready’
                        • Tour operators, destinations and travel
                          • Snow and something else
                          • Internal Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • Domestic exceeds overseas holidays
                                • Figure 1: Domestic vs overseas holidays, by volume, 2005-10
                              • Overseas spending dips
                                • Figure 2: Domestic vs overseas holidays, by value, 2005-10
                                • Figure 3: Average spend per trip, 2005-10
                              • Multiplicity
                                • Figure 4: Percentage of adults booking UK and overseas holidays, 2009
                              • Participation grows
                                • Figure 5: Participation in selected sports/activities, 2005-09
                              • Air travel and alternatives
                                • Figure 6: Mode of travel for snowsport holiday, 2005-09
                                • Figure 7: Number of passengers carried by Eurostar during winter seasons, 2004/05-2008/09
                              • No growth for Scotland
                                • Figure 8: Number of skier days at Scotland’s ski resorts, 2004/05-2008/09
                                • Figure 9: Market share of Scotland’s ski resorts, 2008/09
                              • Developing grassroots growth
                                • Olympic hopes recede
                                  • Climate change awareness but little action
                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Austerity and uncertainty
                                        • Figure 10: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at current prices, 2005-15
                                        • Figure 11: Personal concerns, June 2009-April 2010
                                      • Weak Pound increases overseas holiday costs
                                        • Figure 12: Sterling exchange rates against selected currencies at 25 May each year, 2005-10
                                      • Growth amongst young families, pre-/no family adults and the retired
                                        • Figure 13: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2005-15
                                        • Figure 14: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2005-15
                                      • ABC1 surge
                                        • Figure 15: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2005-15
                                      • One-person households on the up
                                        • Figure 16: UK households, by size, 2005-15
                                      • Silver surfers growing fastest
                                        • Figure 17: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, socio-economic group, age, region and working status, 2005-09
                                      • Managing the recession
                                        • Figure 18: Trends in the impact of the economic downturn on consumers, January 2009-April 2010
                                        • Figure 19: What extra money is spent on, November 2009-April 2010
                                    • Competitive Context

                                      • Key points
                                        • Snow segment
                                          • Figure 20: Snowsports holidays as a percentage of overseas holidays, 2005-10
                                          • Figure 21: Type of holiday taken for last holiday abroad, 2005-09
                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                          • Strengths
                                            • Versatile and responsive
                                              • Target audiences set to grow
                                                • Latent market demand
                                                  • Geographic accessibility of key destinations
                                                    • Weaknesses
                                                      • Economic climate
                                                        • Dependence on good snow conditions
                                                          • Considered as a luxury or a second holiday
                                                            • Perceived as being a non-relaxing holiday
                                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Harnessing technology
                                                                  • Price by Ski Plus
                                                                    • Tapping China’s top end
                                                                      • Packaging for niche markets
                                                                        • Profit share for chalet owners
                                                                          • Building brand loyalty online
                                                                            • New players
                                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Figure 22: Volume and value of snowsports at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                              • Higher prices, but fewer skiers
                                                                                • ABs support market
                                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Independents vs tour operators
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Snowsports holiday market, by independent and tour operator volume (visits), 2004/05-2008/09
                                                                                    • All-inclusive packages vs price uncertainty
                                                                                      • Austria increases in popularity
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Destinations visited by the tour operator market, 2004/05-2008/09
                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • The Big Three
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Tour operator sales, 2004/05-2008/09
                                                                                        • Tour operator share
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Tour operator market share, 2008/09
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Share of market leaders and other operators, 2004/05-2008/09
                                                                                      • Companies and Products

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Overview
                                                                                            • Market leaders
                                                                                              • Crystal Ski
                                                                                                • First Choice
                                                                                                  • Inghams
                                                                                                    • Neilson
                                                                                                      • Thomson
                                                                                                        • MyTravel plc
                                                                                                          • Specialist operators
                                                                                                            • Directski
                                                                                                              • Erna Low
                                                                                                                • Fast Track Ski
                                                                                                                  • Frontier Ski
                                                                                                                    • If You Ski
                                                                                                                      • Igluski
                                                                                                                        • Momentum Ski
                                                                                                                          • Ski Club of Great Britain
                                                                                                                            • Ski Safari
                                                                                                                              • Venture Ski
                                                                                                                                • Virgin Ski
                                                                                                                                  • YSE Ski
                                                                                                                                  • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Online snowboarders
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by type of holiday taken, April 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Online bookers show confidence
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by possibility of taking a snowsports holiday in future, April 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by experience and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Destination-specific channels
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Snowsports Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Experience and plans
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Students and professionals
                                                                                                                                          • Reaching the market
                                                                                                                                            • Female skier potential
                                                                                                                                              • Attracting the older skier
                                                                                                                                              • Snowsports Destinations

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Europe’s ascendancy
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Return to the slopes
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, by likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Snowsports Habits

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Who goes for how long?
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Proximity and range
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, by European destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Four- to seven-night dominance to continue
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, by most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • What People Think of Snowsports Holidays

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Relaxation, expense and the cold
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Attracting new consumers
                                                                                                                                                        • Cost the main barrier
                                                                                                                                                          • Multi-centre, multi-activity
                                                                                                                                                            • Try dry
                                                                                                                                                              • The happy and unhappy consumer
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by next most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Target groups
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Snowsports holidays target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Snow Keen
                                                                                                                                                                  • Snow Mean
                                                                                                                                                                    • Snow Bored
                                                                                                                                                                      • Snow No Goes
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by next most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by other snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Snowsports Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Next most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Next most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Other snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Least popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Snowsports Destinations

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, by most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, by next most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, by other snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Snowsports Habits

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, by most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, by next most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, by other snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – What People Think of Snowsports Holidays

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by next most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by other most popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by further snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by least popular snowsports holidays taken and likelihood of repeating, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Most popular attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Next most popular attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Other attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Least popular attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Attitudes towards snowsports holidays, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Destinations visited on a snowsports holiday, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Duration and activities undertaken on a snowsports holiday, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Choice of booking and mode of travel of last snowsports holiday, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Target groups, by demographics, April 2010

                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                      • Air France
                                                                                                                                                                      • Airtours Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • British Airways Plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Butlins Skyline Limited
                                                                                                                                                                      • Center Parcs
                                                                                                                                                                      • Club Méditerranée S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                      • Crystal Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                      • Erna Low
                                                                                                                                                                      • Eurostar UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                      • First Choice Holidays & Flights Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Flexiski
                                                                                                                                                                      • Freeview
                                                                                                                                                                      • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                      • HM Revenue & Customs
                                                                                                                                                                      • Hotelplan Limited
                                                                                                                                                                      • Iglu.com
                                                                                                                                                                      • Inghams Travel
                                                                                                                                                                      • Inntravel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                      • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                      • mmO2 plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • MyTravel Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • Neilson Active Holidays Limited
                                                                                                                                                                      • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Opodo Limited
                                                                                                                                                                      • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Post Office Limited
                                                                                                                                                                      • Rail Europe Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Ryanair Holdings plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • Shearings Holidays Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Ski Club of Great Britain
                                                                                                                                                                      • Ski Solutions
                                                                                                                                                                      • Skyscanner Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Snowjet
                                                                                                                                                                      • Swiss International Airlines
                                                                                                                                                                      • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Teletext Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • Thomas Cook Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                      • Thomson Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                      • Thomsonfly
                                                                                                                                                                      • Travel Foundation (The)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Travelzoo (Europe) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • TUI Travel PLC
                                                                                                                                                                      • TUI UK
                                                                                                                                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Virgin Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                      • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                                      • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                      • Xscape

                                                                                                                                                                      Snowsports - UK - June 2010

                                                                                                                                                                      US $2,570.96 (Excl.Tax)