News and Events

Mt Hutt ‘all systems go’ for 40th season opening (13-Jun-13)
Immaculately groomed slopes and a genuinely warm welcome await avid skiers and snowboarders.....

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area first to open in Australasia (10-Jun-13)
Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area today (June 8) celebrated in style as the first Australasian ski field to open for winter....

Coronet Peak first ski area in Australasia to open on Saturday (05-Jun-13)
Queenstown is officially open for winter as the 2013 season kicks off at Coronet Peak on Saturday (June 8).

Ski Areas Go Out With A Bang! (27-Sep-12)
Season extension and half price passes

UK Ski Market Drops For Third Year (18-Jul-11)

The UK winter sports travel market has fallen for the third successive season

The UK winter sports travel market has fallen for the third successive season, thwarting the hopes of the British ski industry that the decline had bottomed out a year ago.

The figures are provided by the Crystal Ski Industry Report, compiled by the UK’s largest tour operator. The ski and snowboard overview amalgamates information from tour operators’ own statistics, CAA published statistics, tourist office figures and travel agency feedback.

The latest decline, of 5%, is the smallest yet but does mean the number of Brits going skiing and boarding has now fallen by around 30% over the past three years to 910,900 in 2010/11.

But the authors believe that the latest fall is not part of an ongoing (if slowing) downward cycle, but for 2010-11, the result of exceptional circumstances.

“The combination of the extremely late Easter with some resorts unable to stay open until then, extra public holidays around the Royal Wedding encouraging a sunshine spring holiday and below average snowfall at the end of the season in the Alps created a 'Perfect Storm' for the ski industry.” said a statement from Crystal.

In a winter which also saw VAT and fuel rises at home for the British, diminishing spending power, the Crystal Ski Industry Report found strong evidence that customers have stayed away due to financial constraints rather than falling out of love with the sport.

The report predicts that skiers will continue to be price-sensitive next season, but the more
favourable calendar combined with a hopefully more stable economic environment could lead to a "bottoming out" of the market.

The independent travel sector showed the biggest fall (by 8.2% to 270,200 skiers, down from 294,300) predominantly as a result of the continuing increase in flight and ski carriage costs.

The schools market also experienced a reduction in volume for the second time since 1999/2000 with a fall of 3.7%, similarly affected by the Easter shift.

Despite the overall number of skiers declining by 16,600 year on year, the percentage of those travelling with tour operators has actually increased by just over one percent. The top seven operators' market share represents 85% of the total tour operator market.

Crystal Ski strengthened its market leadership last season to 32%, up from 28% the company said, and Thomson Ski also saw an increase of 2000 skiers. First Choice saw a fall in its market share from 22,000 to 10,000 as a result of capacity reductions. However, TUI Ski remains the clear market leader with 40% share, up from 37% last year.

Hotelplan's 5.6% reduction is mainly due to Inghams cutting back on charter seats to Canada and some European destinations. Ski Esprit/Ski Total, part of Hotelplan, saw an increase of nearly 5%. Thomas Cook with Neilson remains in third place.

France continues to be the most popular country with British skiers accounting for 32.5% in the 2010/11 season. However, this is the third consecutive year of fall in market share (down from 33.2%) predominantly due to the ongoing perception of high prices in resort.

Austria increased its market share to 26.7% from 25.6% and Italy's remains level with that of last year at 14.1%. Andorra increased its market share to 6.4% from 6% which is attributed to the Andorran government's arrangements to assist tour operators, combined with cheaper holiday prices.

Switzerland's 6% share is relatively steady and North America's 4.6% share has dropped slightly due to additional flight costs driven by fuel and Air Passenger Duty (APD). Bulgaria also saw a small increase to 4% due to the attraction of its low prices whilst the small countries sector shrunk by 0.4% reflecting erratic snow conditions.

"Over the last three seasons, tour operators have done what they do best: develop excellent relationships with airlines and overseas suppliers to deliver great value holidays for British skiers across each element of the holiday - flights, transfers, accommodation and ski packs. As the cost of independent travel increases, tour operators have regained share of the overall market. “ said Mathew Prior, Managing Director Specialist Holidays Group, home to the TUI Ski brands including Crystal.

“A recent TUI Ski survey highlights that 60% of our customers do not take package holidays for any trip other than skiing. These customers recognise that a winter sports holiday with a tour operator is the smarter option."
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