Dan Rang - Nov 26, 2023
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A recent study conducted by Opinion Way, which included a sample of 1,457 individuals aged 18 and over and representative of the French population, has revealed that 25% of French travelers are passionate about skiing in the coming winter season. It is seven additional percentage points compared to 2022.

Notably, the French middle class (CSP+) is highly enthusiastic about going to the mountains this winter, with 41% planning to do so. Moreover, there is a significant increase in ski holiday planning among young people, as 42% of respondents aged 18 to 24 and 44% of respondents aged 25 to 34 plan to go to the mountains this winter season. On the other hand, only 31% of 35 to 49-year-olds, 18% of 50 to 64-year-olds, and a mere 13% of those aged 65 and over are planning a ski holiday. This indicates that the popularity of ski holidays decreases with age, but there is a resurgence of interest in the practice among young people and families.

Quality Ski Experience Is in Demand

There is a strong interest in skiing this winter in France, and a record number of French travelers plan to go. Conversely, the number of respondents not planning to go has reached an all-time low, with only 61% stating they will not leave home, compared to 70% in 2022 and 77% in 2020. However, some respondents may still be undecided, with 12% saying they will make a last-minute decision and 19% of those who have planned to go stating that they have not yet booked their stay.

While the average length of stay remains steady at eight days, those planning to go to the mountains are more likely to leave after Christmas (68%, compared to 60% in 2022) and during the winter school holidays (81%). This preference is clearly linked to the calendar and the desire for optimal snow conditions.

According to recent data, French resorts that offer a human-scale experience with less than 250 km of ski slopes are still the top choice for holidaymakers (87%), although there has been a slight decline in these figures. Interest in family-oriented ski resorts has also decreased (-3 points). In contrast, ski resorts at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters have become more popular, with a 3-point increase compared to 2022, thanks to their guaranteed snow and optimal skiing experience.

The Equipment Rental Is in Line with Consumption Patterns

There is expected to be an increase in French travelers renting equipment in the upcoming winter season. Around 91% of respondents who planned to go on vacation stated that they would rent equipment, compared to 83% in October 2022 and 2021 and 80% in October 2020. Renting equipment has become popular, as it offers comfort in managing the stay and facilitates diversification of activities depending on weather and preferences, such as alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc. By renting equipment, vacationers access quality, modern equipment in line with their aspirations. Pay-per-use is taking a lasting hold in mountain consumption practices.

Although 52% of French travelers consider price as the first criterion for choosing an equipment rental store, compared to 38% in October 2020, a third of respondents (34%) still prioritize the quality of the equipment, while another third (33%) prefer the proximity to the store.

Skiing in the 2023–2024 Winter Season: Quality, Sustainability, Budget

This winter season, inflation has had a noticeable effect on the ski industry. According to the data, 85% of respondents who had planned to go skiing have decided to change their habits due to rising prices. This is an increase of 4 points compared to last year. Additionally, 31% of respondents intend to compare prices more, which is an increase of 2 points, and 30% plan to spend less on leisure, outings, and on-site restaurants, which is an increase of 5 points compared to last year.

The study also highlights the importance of eco-responsibility in ski holidays. 12% of respondents who had planned to go skiing this season will choose an ecological, responsible, and sustainable resort that is engaged in reducing its impact on the environment to provide a healthy and environmentally friendly living environment. This figure increases to 26% for 18 to 24-year-olds.

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