Ski sector takes a tumble

Ski sector takes a tumble

The ski market shrunk 11 percent last year, taking the number of Britons who take ski holidays to below one million per annum.

Crystal Ski’s influential annual report confirmed that the industry has been hit badly by the economic downturn, with 956,300 ski holiday sold. This follows a 13.3 percent fall in the 2008/09 season to 1.06 million.

However the report predicts that the market is poised for recovery as confidence returns to the macroeconomy.

Speaking at the launch of its annual Industry Report today, Crystal managing director Mathew Prior said: “The ski industry has coped well with the challenges posed by the reduction in numbers during winter 2009/10, with most organisations correctly anticipating the fall and scaling down capacity.”

“We predict that 2010/11 will be a turning pointing and firmly believe that growth will return to the market.”

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“However, conditions will remain tough and only those able to keep inspiring customers with new offers, create good value and compelling holidays, will see the benefit.”

Tour operators saw a 10 percent reduction in sales, with 534,600 skiers booking a getaway last season, while the independent travel market fell by 13 percent to 285,000 skiers as some low-cost airlines cut capacities to winter destinations.

Prior believed that the independent ski market suffered worse than the package sector as operators used their buying power to secure better pricing.

The schools market also suffered a fall in bookings for the first time since 1999/2000, with a 9 percent drop.

France remained the most popular ski destination, despite a 4 percent fall in visiting Brits.