Anyone with any interest in the ski industry (and anyone with a love of infographics!) will find the results of this year’s Consensio Chalets ski trends report interesting. Morzine continues to be the 5th most popular resort in France amongst skiers, and actually increased in popularity over the previous 12 months. Now that’s not news to those of us who run businesses here, but it’s nice to see the resort’s popularity recognised in the report. At the same time chalets continued to trounce hotels as the accommodation option of choice across the whole industry, while catered versus non-catered options also won hands down.
While lift passes and ski hire are usually the largest items of expenditure during a winter holiday, the report also looked at other spendy items. At the top of the list are private ski guides followed by group ski schools, both of which increased in terms of share of expenditure on the previous season. Childcare was the third largest in-resort expense, while spending on massages fell by quite a large amount on the previous winter season, perhaps being replaced by the activities category, spending on which grew by the same amount during Winter 15/16.
72% of winter holiday makers travelled to their destination on a scheduled airline, of which Easyjet continued to be the most popular, followed by British Airways, Swiss and Jet2.
The report also studied booking trends patterns, demonstrating that September to December continues to be the most popular booking period for winter holiday makers. Bookings taken between January and May were down slightly on the previous winter. Holiday prices were listed as the number one factory influencing a client’s booking during the Winter 15/16 season, with choice of resort in second place, location in third and service in forth place.
67% of operators reported a better level of bookings for this coming winter season when compared to Winter 14/15, while 39% of operators reported an increase in overall spend.
On the whole, the report suggests that the winter holiday industry is very much alive and kicking as we head towards this coming winter season, but there was some caution too. Although 46% of operators claimed the snowfall of Winter 15/16 had no impact on this year’s bookings so far, 42% believe it’s having a negative impact. And as every good survey needs a Brexit question nowadays, 77% of operators expect a negative impact on their business if the UK leaves the EU.