Earlier this week we blogged about the recovery, albeit modest, in the number of Britons taking skiing holidays.
This first increase in passengers in five years was welcome news, but was offset by research from from Snowsports Industries of Great Britain (SIGB) showing continued falls in equipment sales.
Dramatic collapse in sales of skis and boots
The SIGB figures show sales of skis were down by 16% year on year, ski boots fared better down only 4%, while snowboard boots were down a massive 32%.
It may be there that there are some anomalies with these figures as it seems strange to us that 6000 more snowboards (which bucked the trend with an increase of 2%) should be sold than snowboard boots.
Long term trend looks worrying
The comparisons over a four year period are even more of a concern. You only need to look at the graph above to see this, but the numbers show ski sales down 35%, ski boot sales down 15%, snowboard sales down 6% and snowboard boot sales down a mighty 59%.
While the holiday market appears to have had a significant fall, decreasing in size by 20%, the fall flattened out last year and has now moved into growth again. We expect this to lead to a turnaround in equipment sales, but the heights of 2010 may take some time to reach again.
By Iain Martin