Regular visitors to Skipedia will know that we have previously done some number-crunching on the Crystal Ski and Ski Club of Great Britain Industry Reports to see what else these valuable surveys can tell us.
We looked at how Austria has taken market share from France, as well as whether Crystal Holidays is simply too dominant in the ski sector. We also asked whether travel agents still have a relevance to our industry.
Ski weekends have suffered more than one week holidays
This time we consider ski weekends. According to the Ski Club of Great Britain report, which segments trips into weekends, 7 days, 14 days and other, it is this segment of the market that has seen the greatest collapse in recent years.
Extrapolating their figures for the total size of the market shows that the weekend market has fallen by almost 60% since 2006/07. That compares to a 9% decline in 7 day holidays over the same period.
In some respects this backs up the argument so often made within the industry that skiers will always be reluctant to give up their annual skiing holiday. While numbers taking any length of holiday have fallen over the last few years, it is the discretionary weekend trip that has suffered disproportionately.
The Ski Club of Great Britain’s figures suggest that since 2007/08 almost the same number of skiers (120,000) have been lost from ski weekends as for 7 day holidays (a loss of 127,800 skiers).
In times of economic uncertainty, it’s clear that extra trip to the snow has been the first to be cut from the domestic budget.
On the positive side, these figures suggest that when the recovery happens (and we all hope that one day it must!), we can expect to see significant growth again in weekend trips.
There is a great opportunity for operators able to create a product and launch it at the right time to gain significant share in this latent market.
This data for this blog post was drawn from the publicly available Ski Club of Great Britain Industry reports from 2002/03 to 2010/11. We note the limitations of this data, which relies on a degree of guesswork, but still holds significant value for assessing the state of our industry.