Findings in The new Ski Club of Great Britain consumer research show that the UK snowsports market is on the up.
The unique analysis is the largest piece of research ever conducted in the snowsports field in the UK. It was produced in association with SPIKE Marketing and is sponsored by Perkins Slade. The research focuses on who is in the market, what they do, what they think and what they intend to do next season.
Why the Ski Club is optimistic
95% of the people that skied last season intend to ski in 2013-14, and 75% of lapsed skiers intend to go again in the next 3 years. These positive trends are likely to have been triggered by an improvement in the economy, and the consistently good snowfall in the last two seasons.
17% of non-skiers are also keen to go skiing in the next three years, with 4% saying they are extremely likely to go. Of the people with a positive intent to ski, more were female than male (bucking the general trend of male bias found within the active skiing market) and more were from a younger age group. Looking at gender and age together, in this group of current non-skiers keen to try the sport, unveiled a potentially untapped niche of 21-29 year old females as the most likely to want to go skiing in the next 3 years.
Who is driving the market?
The older, experienced skier is still driving the market with a surprising 49% of people claiming to have spent more than 20 weeks on snow. However, the number of weeks experience isn't necessarily reflective of ski level. The market is older and many people have been skiing a week or so each year but would still consider themselves an intermediate.
The size of the ski market is not clearly defined but the findings in the Ski Club consumer research suggest it may be bigger than is currently accounted for. It would seem there is a significant hidden market of skiers - people who arrange their own travel and book their own accommodation, maybe even staying in property owned by friends. Certainly the maturity of the ski market implies this group is larger than previously estimated, with 54% claiming they booked independently (travel and accommodation separately).
More people are booking early... and more people are booking last minute.
Comparing the Ski Club consumer data to the data collected from the 2012/2011 SPIKE Skibase survey shows an increase in the number of people booking 6 months or more before they travelled (rising from 23% to almost 30% in the 2012/13 season). Although more people are booking 3+ months in advance and fewer are booking 1-3 months in advance there a rise was also seen in the number of people booking within 1 month of departure (from 12-16%). The ski market has better matched supply to demand, reducing the number of last-minute deals, so it is likely that these very late bookings - for last season at least - were driven more by snow than by price.
Strong evidence also suggests skiers are likely to take multiple breaks in a season with 42% of responders saying they took a shorter weekend break in addition to their main holiday.
Snow is King
Snow is the top deciding factor on why people choose where to ski, with the vast majority of responders rating 'guaranteed snow' as 'extremely important'. The size of the ski area was the second most important factor influencing the decision-making process on where to go, followed by price. It seems the core skiing experience matters most to consumers.
For more information please contact Ski Club of Great Britain PR Manager Daniel Loots - firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
The Ski Club consumer research survey generated 21,000 responses in total. Of these, 13,000 were skiers/snowboarders and approximately 8,000 were not.
The Ski Club of Great Britain
The Ski Club of Great Britain (skiclub.co.uk) is a not-for-profit snowsports club which helps members get the most out of their snowsports experience. With 29,000 members, there are hundreds of discounts on travel, kit and holidays; winter sports specific travel insurance; access to industry-leading snow reports; info & advice on all things wintersports-related and exclusive access to Ski with the Club experiences, including Freshtracks holidays, the Ski Club Leaders service and the new instructor-led guiding service in France.
Perkins Slade Ltd
Founded in 1970, Perkins Slade is one of the UK's largest independent insurance brokers and they are proud to have been awarded the prestigious title "Chartered Insurance Brokers" by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Perkins Slade provide expert, impartial insurance and risk management advice for UK and international businesses, sport and recreation organisations and high value homeowners. Perkins Slade Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.