Ski Club Of Great Britain Survey Reveals Latest Trends - Bounce Back Since Covid-19 – But Challenges Lie Ahead

A recent survey from the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Mountain Trade Network in prtnership with Snow + Rock and Racoon Events compares historical data and trends over the last few years - from before, during and after the Covid pandemic.

The results are now in and were presented at the recent LISTEX-SASTEX virtual conference by James Gambrill, the Chief Operating Officer of the Ski Club of Great Britain.

Almost 95% of skiers and snowboarders have now returned following the Covid-19 pandemic that closed the winter sports travel industry down completely for one full season.

Gambrill said: “The snowsports industry has seen a strong bounce back since the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s almost back to 2018 numbers. We also know from our research that 85% of younger people in the UK (18-24 age group) are interested in trying a snowsports holiday. This is very encouraging as we already estimate that there’s 1.8 million active skiers and snowboarders in the UK. But price is a barrier and we know that 50% of existing skiers earn over £50,000 a year, well over the national average. Despite challenging snow conditions in some places during small parts of last winter, the reality was that ski resorts managed to keep their slopes open from early December through to late April with some areas seeing huge amounts of snow into early May – this looks like it has helped to drive bookings for next winter as we know 26% of skiers have already booked".

Some of the key findings from the spring 2024 survey include:

  • More skiers intend to take more than one ski holiday next winter compared to last year - 52% saying they will take one more holiday compared to 38% last year
  • More skiers are booking earlier with 71% booking 3 months or before in advance of their holidays compared to 61% in the previous year
  • France is still the number one skiing destination for British skiers with 59% saying they travelled there this winter compared to 51% the previous year
  • Early season dates in December that include Christmas and then into New Year has seen declines in numbers since pre-Covid years with 8% of the market saying they travel at Christmas compared to 16% pre-Covid
  • The chalet market has seen a decline since pre-Covid years with 13% staying in a catered chalet this past season compared to 38% pre-Covid. 3* and 4* hotels are now the most popular choice with 61% saying they stay in these categories
  • Despite huge intent from skiers to take the train, numbers over the past few years have declined with 2% taking the train to the Alps this winter compared to 6% pre-Covid
  • The short break market has seen a recovery over the past two seasons with 21% saying they took a break of 4 nights or fewer this season compared to 14% in the 2022-23 winter, but it is still behind pre-Covid years when 30% said they took a short ski break
  • There’s been a reversal of tour operator compared to independent bookings since pre-Covid years with 43% now booking with a tour operator compared with 63% before and 57% saying they book independently compared with 37% before
  • The size of the ski area continues to be the number factor when choosing a skiing destination with resort altitude coming in second and growing – quality of accommodation, food choices and ski-in-ski-out accommodation have seen some of the largest growth in decision making factors since pre-Covid years
  • Resort websites have become the number one place that skiers search for information and advice since pre-Covid years but newspapers (online and print) - now 27% instead of 20% and snowsports websites – now 41% instead of 35% have seen solid growth
  • Rising prices in ski resorts is seen as a major factor for the future as 33% say it will ‘very significantly’ impact how much they ski, but it has softened slightly since October 2023 when 40% were saying this
  • 66% of skiers say that the resorts environmental policies ‘significantly’ or ‘very significantly’ impact their destination choices but in reality it still scores as the lowest factor when it comes down to what drives their booking choice
  • Canada and Japan are the top two ‘dream destinations’ for skiers, but Switzerland, Austria and Italy have seen growth since pre-Covid years whilst other countries have declined

Ski Club of Great Britain members were removed from the data results (Ski Club members tend to be more active that the overall UK skier market therefore removing them shows a more accurate picture)

8% of UK adults (18-65) have been on a snowsports holiday at some point, with 34% of those (3% of all UK adults) travelling for a snowsports holiday in 22/23.

Combining this with other survey data from the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Mountain Trade Network, the estimated number of active UK skiers in 22/23 was around 1.8 million. Although only 34% of those who have ever skied or snowboarded took a snowsports holiday last year, 46% said they tend to go every year, suggesting there is still potential for growth and a return to pre COVID-19 numbers.

The survey was conducted by the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Mountain Trade Network:,


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