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.