Our annual ski stats event held in collaboration with Welove2ski.com took place in London on the 20th September 2018. An evening of drinks and canapés, it was as always an ideal opportunity for professionals within the UK ski industry to catch up before the onset of the new winter ski season. Capitalising on the large crowd of tour operators, agents, suppliers and press gathered under the same roof, guests were able to chat with many different people in the industry, including a variety of journalists (42 members of press were in attendance).

The event marked the official release of a market trend report produced by Consensio for the ski industry. The evening proved a resounding success with our biggest yet turnout of familiar and well-known industry faces. All keen to discover what behaviour and booking patterns characterised the 2017/18 ski season, to better anticipate the season ahead. 

A special mention must be given to all the generous goody bag donations from the suppliers and operators who hosted the evening. Everything from a handy snood, chocolates, stamped postcards, sticky gel pads, to limoncello and a delicious flapjack bar was donated.

The Chalet Ski Stats 2018

SKI INDUSTRY TRENDS 2018

So what can market trends for last season forecast for Winter 2018? The incredible snowfall the past year had a largely positive impact on bookings. It was reported in 2016/2017 season that the snowfall had a negative impact on 60% of the bookings. However this season it had a positive impact on 77% of bookings.

Since the leave result of the EU referendum, 34% of Operators and Agents have experienced a negative impact on their business; this is a decrease from last year which reported a 50% negative impact.

what effects sales of ski holidays in the alps

Showing a change from the prior two seasons, resort was the most influential factor for clients, over price. Another notable change was the size of chalet moving from eighth to fourth position.

Overall spend continues on the up this year with 60% of operators and agents reporting an increase compared to last year, with just 12% reporting a drop in, and 28% remaining static. Booking volume continues to increase with 62% of Operators and Agents reporting bookings up compared to last year, and with just 7% reporting a drop.

Influencing factors to booking ski holidays and amount spent on ski holidays

An overwhelming majority of clients used a scheduled airline to travel to their destination; the proportion of which remains consistent compared to prior season with Easyjet and British Airways maintaining to lead the way as the airline of choice. The proportion travelling by Private Jet has increased from 7% to 8%, but the percentage of self-drivers has decreased from 11% to 9%.

Preferred Travel methods of holidaymakers in the alps

Agents reported that chalets were more popular than hotels by an overwhelming majority of 76%. This percentage has increased from 72% from last season, and catered chalets were more popular than non-catered by a majority of 77.5%, a minor decrease from the previous year.

Private ski guides remained the main source of expenditure in resorts. A large increase in childcare saw this figure move into second position pushing group ski school into third place.

Accommodation Preferences of holiday makers in the alps

Last, but not least, resorts. In France, Val d’Isère remained the resort of choice with Méribel still in second place although it has decreased in popularity from last year. Courchevel has remained the third favourite with an increase in popularity. Whereas in Switzerland, Zermatt was the most popular resort with Verbier a very close second, seeing a switch between the two resorts. Both have increased in popularity. St Moritz has enjoyed an increase and has moved into third place.

Most popular resorts in France and Switzerland

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A huge thanks to Sean Newsom from Welove2ski for speaking at and co-hosting the Chalet Ski Stats event, and highlighting a few of Le Ski’s highly interesting trends from the last 10 years. For example, data from over 50,000 guests of Le Ski’s who have travelled to their 33 chalets in Courchevel, Val d’Isère and La Tania showed that Val d’Isère is most likely chosen for a ski holiday by guests going by the name of David or Andrew. On the other hand, John or Elizabeth are more likely to choose Courchevel 1650, and family-friendly resort La Tania is most popular with James and Sarah (and their children). As Le Ski say, ‘What does this prove? Absolutely nothing, interesting though isn’t it?’. We can’t help but agree.

A big thank you must also be extended to Alepine craft beer for arriving with a large supply of our favourite beer, and leaving a spare crate by the door for a select few lucky operators to take with them (perhaps to enjoy on the train home!).

With all thank you’s said and done, good luck for the season ahead and don’t forget to do a little snow dance as we are all hoping that plenty will fall steadily across the Alps this season too.

Free to download: ‘The Chalet Ski Stats 2018’ from Consensio

Free to download: ‘The Chalet Ski Stats 2018’ from Consensio – Infographic

 

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