Last week I attended another excellent edition of LISTEX (London International Snowsports Trade Exchange) at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

The highlight was hosting the sustainability session. It was evident that this topic needs so much more time as there was an endless supply of questions from the audience at the end.

Credit to my panellists who helped share their knowledge – Myriam Ziezack (Switzerland Tourism), Charlie Cotton (ecollective), Sally Warren (Whoski) and Harry Rice (University of Surrey)

Another fascinating session was James Gambrill’s presentation on the latest Ski Club of Great Britain industry survey in partnership with Mountain Trade Network. Here are five key takeaways from this session:

1. France still dominates

Despite the fact that British skiers were unable to travel to France for the first month of the season, the survey suggested that more than half (55%) of us took our ski holiday there.

Switzerland increased their share by 30% (from 10% to 13%). This may be due to the lack of vaccination requirements for under-16s, which prevented many families from travelling to France, Italy and Austria.

2. Dip in demand for February Half-Term

When asked what time of year skiers might travel in 2022/23, the most significant change is the dip in numbers planning to take their trip in February school holidays.

This may be due to the cost of living crisis and families switching to Easter in search of better value.

3. Self-drive is on the rise

The data shows a big increase in skiers planning to drive to their ski holiday. This may be due to a reduced supply of flights, but also a lack of confidence in airlines after the cancellation crisis over the summer.

It was disappointing to see so few people planning to take the train, although these numbers are inevitably down compared with pre-Covid as the direct train is reduced to one departure per week, instead of two.

4. Sustainability is important to consumers

There has been a big jump in the number of respondents saying that a resort’s environmental policy is important. Over one-quarter said that this was ‘very significant’ in their choice of destination.

5. The retail market is still strong

While data in our sustainability session showed that demand for pre-loved clothing is higher than ever, the Ski Club survey showed that 24% of British skiers are still buying new snowsports clothing at least every other year.

You can listen to my interview with James Gambrill about the survey in Episode 101 of The Ski Podcast: