Ski Travel Report

A White Paper – The Ski Traveler Snapshot -- just issued by the Mountain Travel Symposium makes it very clear to those working to lure skiers and snowboarders to their resorts and lodging properties that their prey is literally well-connected.


The report concludes that both day skiers and ski travelers “are much more digitally engaged than U.S. travelers in general.” In fact, among all travelers, nearly two-thirds who plan their own travel own a smartphone and just under a third own a tablet.


But, here’s your clue from the paper: “skiers are much more likely to own these devices than are general U.S. travelers.”


The extensive MTS White Paper, available for free download by clicking here was culled from a full study conducted by PhoCusWright, a respected travel industry research authority. The full study is available for $995 directly from PhoCusWright.


The White Paper notes that websites via computer are, by far, the leading source of information for ski trip shopping and says seven in 10 ski trips are planned using this channel. Recommendations from family and friends are the second most important information source. 


A few more sample findings: 


* General U.S. travelers are evenly split between male and female, but this is not the case with skiers. About two thirds of skiers are male, under 45, and nearly half report an annual household income of at least $100,000, compared to a quarter of general U.S. travelers. 


* Most skiers think of themselves as either skiers or snowboarders, with 58 percent indicating they either “only ski” or “usually ski.” Just one in four skiers said they either “only snowboard” or “usually snowboard,” while 16 percent indicated that they do both, a factor the White Paper calls “significant.” 


* Western skiers ski more often, averaging almost twice as many day trips as eastern skiers. They are also more likely to rate themselves as “advanced” or “expert.” 


* Eastern skiers are slightly more likely than west skiers to take overnight ski trips with paid lodging. So, the White Paper suggests, ski travelers from the East may present a greater market opportunity, especially in terms of lodging.


There’s plenty more in the White Paper. The business-to-business Mountain Travel Symposium is scheduled April 9-16 in Breckenridge, Colo. MTS follows a Wednesday-to-Wednesday format in 2014. Details are available on the newly re-developed MTS website