11th International Report on Mountain & Snow Tourism Published

24th April 2019

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The 11th edition of the worldwide ski industry’s most respected report on the state of the ski business around the planet has been published.

The 11th International Report on Mountain & Snow Tourism, which is compiled  each year by the Geneva-based consultant and ski business expert Laurent Vanat, gives an upbeat picture of the state of the global ski industry for the second successive year.

“For the second year in a row, the winter season 2017/18 shows again a global trend upwards. Even if, as usual, some countries or regions performed better than others, this gives a positive sign after three years of decline,” said Mr Vanat, who continued, “Although the worldwide ski industry faces challenges and the numbers of skiers in western countries tend to be more or less stagnant when not decreasing, the global performance remains at a high level. The 2017/18 winter globally ranks as the 4th best ski season of the new millennium.”

Among the report’s findings are:

•  Worldwide 2017/18 global skier visits count is 5% up on 2016/17 season, which was itself 4% up on 2015/16.

•  Skier visits have been substantially rising in most of the Scandinavian countries, for several years in a row. It is the only region in Western markets where current attendance is much better that is was 10 years ago.

•  The southern hemisphere also performed very well in spite of relative small volumes and had its best season ever. It is not only about 10% over former season but also 25% over situation 10 years ago.

•  2018 Winter Olympics did not bring any positive impulse in the ski industry in South Korea and the attendance at ski resorts is continuing to decline there.

•  China is now number 3 worldwide in terms of number of national skiers, after United States and Germany with rapid growth ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Among trends identified were limited growth in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Here, despite lifts upgrades in existing ski areas and newly built state of the art resorts, attendance did not show a substantial growth as yet. In some places, ski infrastructure developed quicker than ski culture of the local population and foreign visitors’ numbers may have been overestimated. Coupled with economic slowdown in some places, this also involves that several promising projects are now in hold or developing at a slower pace than expected.

Russian clients have limited their travel to Europe for several seasons now. This provided for some domestic growth in skier visits and also benefited some neighbouring countries like Georgia. Even if the growth in attendance in Russian ski resort slowed down after the stimulation of Sochi Winter Olympics was off, development potential is not yet exhausted.

Consolidation of the industry goes on in the United States, with several additional resorts entering the circle of Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Company. Multi-resorts seasonal passes also enlarge their number of participants and popularity. Besides, US lift ticket window price is going on increasing, with average daily price having doubled within 12 years, reaching USD 122.

The full report can be downloaded from https://www.vanat.ch/international-report-on-snow-mountain-tourism