Most snowsports holidays are still booked over the phone, with online bookings continuing to grow their share, the Ski Club of Great Britain’s annual report has found.
For 2008/9, 47% of snowsports holidays were booked over the phone, the same level as last year. Online grew to 16% from 14%, “helped by the fact that more holiday companies now offer an online booking facility”.
High street agents saw their share of the market drop for the fifth consecutive year – now 8%. In the 2003/4 survey one in four snowsport holidays were booked on the high street.
The study also found a small shift in favour of tour operator packages against independent travel. Lack of consumer protection, the limited availability of low-cost seats for key resorts at peak times and the prohibitive cost of checking in ski equipment is working against the DIY market.
Within the tour operator sector, all-inclusive ski breaks are more popular with self-catering seeing a decline.
Eurostar’s ski services are also taking an increasing share, transporting more than 36,000 on their 2008/9 ski services compared with 31,000 in 2007/8.
France remains the most popular destination, Austria has increased its share increase for the second season in a row, while Bulgaria and Andorra fell away. North America also saw a decline in share, due to Zoom’s demise and the strengthening of the dollar, pushing up costs.
Overall, the UK snowsport market dropped by 6% to 1.27 million passengers in 2008/9.