(PRWEB UK) 18 July 2013
The report lists tour operators, the independent travel sector as well as the student and school ski market. The increase is probably due to well-priced packages that include great savings by combining lift passes, equipment, and catering as customers are seeking good value ski holidays.
Due to strong and reliable snow levels across European resorts through the 2013/13 ski season, having a ‘good calendar’ for Christmas and New Year departures, and an early Easter in March caused the ski industry to turn a positive corner. Year on year, the numbers of skiers increased by 5,000 (1%) increasing the number traveling overseas to 899,700; which was the first increase in numbers since the peak seen in 2007/08. These positive results cannot be seen within the schools market as it has encountered a further decline of 2% year on year.
Remaining stable with 84% of the total tour operator market are the top seven ski operators. Increasing its leadership last season with a 1% rise in market share to 34% was Crystal Ski which was helped by its value-for-money Ski Plus packages as well as early booking offers. Thomson Ski saw an increase of around 3,000 skiers. Other ski tour operators have seen an increase of 1% due to rebuilding of their portfolio following strong reductions in preceding years.
In light of the 2% decline in schools market, the student market has seen an increase due to good value packages; however, pressure is still being applied to families with disposable income through competition between a variety of different school trips and the traditional ski trip.
The independent travel sector experienced a marginal increase in volume of 1%, through more flight options being provided to the Alps. With this, France continues to be the most popular country with British skiers reporting an increase from 34.6% to 34.8% during the 2012/13 season; this is due to improved self-catering accommodation and ‘added value’ offers.
Seeing an increase of market share from 27.9% to 28.2% was Austria, this growth was due to newly linked ski areas and well-priced packages, especially in smaller resorts. Due to other ski tour operators reducing capacity to Turin, Italy saw a decrease from 15.4% to 15.2%. Responding to market demand for value saw the market share for Andorra rising marginally to 6.6%.
With ongoing market investments paying off, Switzerland saw an increase from 4.9% to 5.5%. Due to additional flights to Finland and skiers looking for other snow related activities, Scandinavian countries saw a growth to 1.3% of the total UK market.
USA’s market share continues to decline predominantly in Colorado compared to Canada which has seen a return due to their exceptional marketing campaigns giving them a growth in market share. In total, North America’s 4% share has dropped from 4.5%.
Simon Cross, managing director Crystal Ski, said: “As anticipated, last year the decline in the ski market has now bottomed out and we are starting to see signs of recovery and growth. However, we cannot rest on our laurels and need to continue to deliver exceptional value, innovation and great service if we are to see the market return to pre-recession levels.
With initiatives from Snowsport England, the indoor ski centres in the UK, our own first time ski or board promotions and the efforts of resorts in Europe and beyond, there is a real focus on attracting new or lapsed skiers to the market. This focus, combined with the additional exposure that the Winter Olympics in Sochi will bring to the sport, should ensure that the growth that we experienced last season is the start of the recovery.”
The Crystal Ski Industry Report 2013 includes all information available on the winter sports industry into one unified report. Sources include tour operators’ statistics, British Ski and Snowsport (BSS), airport passenger figures, published CAA statistics, tourist office data including the Observatoire National des Stations des Montagne and travel agency reporting.
To find out more about ski holidays from Crystal Ski visit their website or call 0871 231 2256.