From 22th of September to the 5th of October2023, the winter sports website Snowplaza.de conducted research into winter sports trends among German speaking people. We asked questions about booking behaviour, effects of inflation on the winter sports budget, but also asked about activities people like to do or would like to do again during their winter sports holidays.
In total, more than 1,000 winter sports enthusiasts took part in the survey, 92,2% of whom were from Germany, 4,2% from Austria, 1,5% from Switzerland and 2,1% from other countries. The proportion of men and women is 61% and 3 % respectively. More than 20% of the respondents live in North Rhine- Westphalia, 14% in Bavaria, 14% in Baden- Württemberg and 11% in Hesse. The answers were gathered via an online survey, which was distributed via the websites and the corresponding social media channels of both websites.
Winter sports frequency
More than a third of all respondents go on a winter sports holiday at least once a year. 31% spend even twice and 28% even more often a winter sports holiday in the mountains. Only a small proportion of 5% do not go on a skiing holiday at all each year. 64% of respondents have gone on winter holidays about as often in the past five years (excluding the “Corona winter”), while 18% have gone more often than before. About 17% say they have gone on ski holidays less often. On the following pages we asked about the frequency of a winter sports holiday.
One thord go on skiing
For almost half of the respondents, the “financial situation” is the main reason why they go on ski holidays less often. If we take a closer look at the category “other, namely”, illness, pregnancy and small children are mentioned in addition to increased prices. It is striking that of those who say they go on winter holidays more often, 30% go on skiing holidays more often but for a shorter period. For 30% of the respondents who go on winter holidays more often, their own financial situation plays an important role. Under “Other, namely”, those who go on skiing holidays more often state, among other things, “a lot of overtime from the summer” and “more keen on winter sports”.
Length of winter holiday
42% of the respondents take 4 to 6 days for their skiing holiday, for almost a third it is 7 to 9 days. After all, 15% of the respondents stay more than 9 days on their skiing holiday, while 11% stay 1 to 3 days. The vast majority of respondents (75%) say that the length of their skiing stay has remained constant over the past five years. 16% of respondents now go on shorter ski holidays, 7% longer than before.
Shorter skiing holiday
More than a third of respondents say they are shortening their holiday for financial reasons, while 21% are cutting back due to a change in family circumstances. 16% say they enjoy a shorter ski holiday just as much as a longer one, and 13% say they simply have less time available. Of those surveyed who are planning a longer winter holiday, about half say they want to be in the snow as often as possible. Almost a quarter currently have more financial leeway and therefore go on longer ski holidays.
Wait for price development
Among the 3% who do not want to go on a skiing holiday this year, 38% said that their current financial situation was the reason. Another 10% prefer another type of holiday and another 10% cannot because of an injury. Reasons given for “Other, namely …” are: “Ski pass prices have become too expensive for me”, “My partner can no longer (ski)” and “I am not prepared to pay the prices demanded in the ski resorts.” Of the respondents who are not yet sure whether they will go on a ski holiday, 29% say they are still waiting to see how prices develop. 20% have not yet thought about a skiing holiday at all. Other reasons given were: “snow???”, “too expensive” and “family situation”.
Same or more budget
More than half of the respondents (56%) expect to have the same budget available for skiing holidays as before. Interestingly, 22% say they will have a higher budget this year, while 12% will be able to spend less on their ski holiday. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) say they will travel as usual despite the price increases. About 14% are not yet able to estimate this. Savings will mainly be made on accommodation, eating out in the restaurant in the evening or in the ski hut during the day. In addition, less will be spent on ski clothing, ski equipment and après-ski.
We are early bookers,
Interestingly, 35% of respondents who booked their holiday did so between 2 and 7 months ago, i.e. still in the previous winter season or at least before the summer holiday. Just under one third of the survey participants booked their skiing holiday in the past 2 months, i.e. in summer. Of all respondents, whether already booked or not, 36% said that they usually book their holiday one or two months before the planned holiday date. 34% do so 3 to 6 months before departure and 21% book within 1 month before departure.
Later booking due to
For 55%, booking behaviour has not changed in the last 5 years: They always book their holidays around the same time. 27% say they are currently booking their holiday later, while 3% are now doing so earlier. Of those who say they are now booking their ski holidays later, 54% say it is due to the weather and snow conditions. 14% are booking later this year due to a change in their family situation, while 12% think that developments in the world are a reason to wait. Holiday planning at work and taking advantage of attractive offers are also cited as reasons for booking later.
For 29% of the respondents, the main reason for booking a ski holiday earlier is the better availability of accommodation in the ski resorts. Other reasons given were “getting older” and a “larger winter sports group”.