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BBC article on the state of the ski industry.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

@johnE, the £200k a year figure is if you're sending 2 kids to "a" private school" for 5 years and then being impoverished to do it.

Ah! the problem is not skiing but sending 2 kids to private school. The obvious question is why?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@johnE, yeh write. Wots rong wif normal school?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
[quote="dp"]
tangowaggon wrote:

it might mean that some people can only do 3 weeks not 4 or 4 weeks not 5, but for the majority of young people who feel lucky to get a week in, it's just made more inaccessible rather than just inaccessible.
Amongst my friends, everyone's main goal is to get out of the rent game and buy a property.This for many people involves signing up to 20, 30 year mortgages. Every penny for the next 20 years is going to be paying that off early. Holidays are just off limits and besides, a lot of my friends are freelancers or zero hours, so they don't take time off anyway.
.

rolling eyes Can't help it ....the 28 year old who seemed to think that 3-4 weeks a year skiing was a sacrifice he would have to make if he wanted to buy a home..... rolling eyes
Just in case you think that today's 50 somethings were were swimming in cash and swanning off to the Alps back in their youth...
My first trip was in 1992 at the age of 26, for a week, in a shared chalet with a bunch of lawyer mates. One week a year was just about it for the next 13 years, and there were times when the mortgage meant I couldn't afford it...
When I was at my nice girls private day school in the early 80s, the annual ski trip to LDA was for the really posh kids, not scruffy middle class kids like me-wasn't even on the agenda.
I don't think young people quite understand how much foreign travel has grown over the last 25 years....
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School trips has led many into snowsports as a holiday but perhaps the ability to do so again will only be when they can afford a second holiday after the traditional sun sea and sangria has been taken. However, this point now may only be reached when offspring have flown the nest and thus the Baby Boomer generation is able to go skiing BUT how many will...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
School trips has led many into snowsports as a holiday but perhaps the ability to do so again will only be when they can afford a second holiday after the traditional sun sea and sangria has been taken. However, this point now may only be reached when offspring have flown the nest and thus the Baby Boomer generation is able to go skiing BUT how many will...
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Just a few thoughts after a few beers from a middle aged bloke:

Bought first house at 24, lost money when sold having been exposed to 15% interest rates. Mortgage payments went from £450 to £850 when take home was £1300. Holidays for 3 years were taken at home or with parents.
First house that I made money on was bought when I was 34.

But I didn't drink Starbucks and didn't have a mobile.

10's of thousands of students will be on expensive drink-athons over the next fortnight in the high alpine resorts, something I didn't have access to as I couldn't get a guaranteed cheap loan to try skiing.

Everything that's knocked down and rebuilt in most ski resorts goes up at least one star.

Hang on - the empathy jar has just run dry.

Perhaps this argument is based too much on London metropolitan whining generated by Corbyn supporting doom mongers and selling tomorrows chip wrappers.
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I can recall skiing in 2008, when the financial crash was setting in and the pound was worth as little as 1.04 Euros (end of Dec).

Now UK unemployment is about as low as it has ever been (and much lower than the EU average) and the pound is currently trading at 1.14 Euros, or 1.3 Swiss francs, despite honourable and well respected fellow snowHead scaremongering.

And the cheap eastern European ski resorts have really come on in recent years, also.

However, people do seem to have less time for leisure than ever before. Hence more wanting short(er) breaks and greater flexibility for their ski holidays.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Fascinating to see the words "honourable and well respected fellow snowhead" being inserted in front of "scaremongering" without my knowledge.

Fair enough; I am all for courtesy - Even at the instigation of Bid Brother!
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@mitcva, are you kidding? Someone edited your post??!!
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countryman wrote:
- ever been into an unflashy in decent resort ski shop - no, as glitzy as car showrooms or occasionally glitzier. Interesting how much cheaper hire was in the Pyrennees. and of course the airlines have cottoned on and now charge a fortune for carriage and they know that you need a bag for a skiing holiday......then there are the ridiculous prices for beer and food in a few resorts - as long as there are people who pay they will stay ridiculous. Add in huge transfer prices - at least in Austria and Switzerland you can often do these by public transport but even in Switzerland the transfer ticket is now very dear. .


Have you ever been to Italy? We go to a lovely little resort and use a very run down looking hire place. No glitz at all but nice people and reasonable gear not to mention next door to the Ski-in/out hotel. All very reasonable priced. Yes it went up £40 this year compared to last but that is not exactly a huge amount. When Euro moves down more no doubt it will be cheaper. Mind I am still smarting at the Euros I bought in the summer, stuck in the cupboard, that have devalued 10% since.

Currently still happy to have a good week skiing rather than pay golf club subs. Mind Knees will soon be making that not true, so carry on until then.
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Quote:

@mitcva, are you kidding? Someone edited your post??

Indeed. I thought there was a slight delay... Oh well.

Back on topic, as the father of two fairly recent graduates, it seems to me that they have had to work at internships etc in their holidays. When I was their age and at university, I seemed to have a lot more time available to go skiing. I hate to say it, but perhaps today's younger generation are relatively time poor.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Perty wrote:

rolling eyes Can't help it ....the 28 year old who seemed to think that 3-4 weeks a year skiing was a sacrifice he would have to make if he wanted to buy a home..... rolling eyes


It depends which way you look at it. If skiing is a luxury to you then 3-4 weeks a year is maybe a lot. To me it's my hobby. 3-4 weeks a year doing your hobby is not outrageous.

To be honest when my parents were 28, I was 2 years old, they'd owned their home for 4 years. Most of my friends can't even look in the Sales window of the estate agent.

The point I was making is that I was only able to afford skiing by living relatively irresponsibly and not investing in my future. Choosing to do so has meant I have to wind my hobby in.

I appreciate that 25 years ago, foreign travel was not as simple or affordable as now. But that should bolster the point, not weaken it. Young people have the most opportunity ever to travel abroad and STILL can't afford to go skiing.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I appreciate that 25 years ago, foreign travel was not as simple or affordable as now.

In 1987 I got a 2 for one deal to Tignes £105 for two of us s/c by coach from London even at full price, it was hardly bank breaking.

In1988 at 23 I was skiing 3 weeks a year and owned my own house on £8k pa. Whilst discout airfares were not available directly, as part of a package deal, flights and transfers were actually very cheap and skis were carried free or £10 both ways.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'm agreeing and I think that's the thing. Essentials like home ownership used to be much more of a given. Now for most young people it's either a pipe dream, or a long long road to finishing the mortgage. Whichever of the two it is, neither lends itself well to expensive holidays in the snow.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I think too much focus is on the economics. For most people I know their choices are more about motivation than economics. The people I know doing 100+ days a year on snow are earning far less than average but are willing to make sacrifices in order to ski. The majority of my friends (late 20s/early 30s) have a decent amount of disposable income but choose to spend it on other luxuries. For most of them a ski holiday would be low on their choice of preferred holidays - which don't tend to be any cheaper.

Also worth considering that younger people today are more likely to be obese and far less active than in previous times. Its unlikely an active holiday is going to appeal as much to this population.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boarder2020 wrote:

Also worth considering that younger people today are more likely to be obese and far less active than in previous times. Its unlikely an active holiday is going to appeal as much to this population.


Wow. Anyone for a sweeping generalisation? That's one hell of a conclusion to draw from a very vague 'statistic'.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Less snow.

More rain.

Higher costs.

Fatter people.

More vacation and leisure choices elsewhere.

Only 1-2% of the world goes skiing.

It will never rise above that level.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hurtle wrote:
@mitcva, are you kidding? Someone edited your post??!!


Its teh swear filter. Something to do with bremoaner or bremainer...something like that anyway
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@Thornyhill, Good grief!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
remoaner changes to honourable and well respected fellow snowHead


I thought it was quite funny.
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ok, so i'm 32, which it seems is smack bang in the territory of people who don't want to ski for whatever reason. Its a case of what you expect really, I go skiing to ski. Im not interested in fancy accommodation, hotels etc, i don't need a spa, I'm happy to cut corners in terms of luxury if it saves a bit of cash, and all the trips are DIY, we've managed to do several trips to the alps, pyrenees and eastern europe , none of which have been excessive in terms of cost. it does help that I have a group of friends who are of the same mentality, theres no children, and generally its just blokes involved so we are free to go when prices are at their most competitive. I love skiing, though for me, a large part of it is planning the trip (thats why i hang around this forum!), and making sure that we get the best value (value doesn't always mean cheapest). a lot of people simply don't have the inclination to arrange every aspect of the trip, and as such pay a premium for someone else to do so, which in turn may inadvertently price them out of the trips altogether.
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It is ludicrous to suggest you need a £200k pa income to be able to afford to ski. Starting out, Dave Ryding, Alain Baxter et al would have chewed their own arms off for £200k pa.
With that sort of income, you have the luxury of being able to prioritise so many more outgoings than most. If you want to ski and think you can't afford it, re-order your priorities.

The further you are from the slopes the more it costs. I can imagine there are some areas of the U.K. where skiing is perceived as elitist. If I didn't live an hour's drive from a choice of Scottish ski resorts, I may well never have had the opportunity to ski. As it is, a huge cross section of the local public enjoy skiing. Even without buying a season ticket a day on the slopes (incl. fuel) is sub £50. Lots of young, working kids head to the hills for a day out. Every weekend new virgins get bitten by the bug.

If snowheads is to be believed, school ski hols seem fully booked across the uk. So plenty youngsters get the opportunity to try it. I reckon most enjoy it, a minority hate it and will never return, a minority love it and ski every year from then on in. For the majority, most will have it lowish down on their list of priorities. They will be paying off the mortgage at the 40-60yo bracket, where most skiers come from as claimed in the piece, and have enough spare cash to splurge on a (for them) lower-level priority.

Relatively speaking, I don't think skiing has become any more/less expensive than in previous times.

Ohhh, and on the speed of learning nonsense.... Utter tosh! Perfection is a lifetime endeavour that is always at the bottom of the next slope.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
dode wrote:
Every weekend new virgins get bitten by the bug.


Indeed, my sixth form ski trip was like that too.
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@boarder2020, Iím theoretically obese and not very active, Iíve got 4 weeks booked this year. Appearances can be deceptive.
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dp wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:

Also worth considering that younger people today are more likely to be obese and far less active than in previous times. Its unlikely an active holiday is going to appeal as much to this population.


Wow. Anyone for a sweeping generalisation? That's one hell of a conclusion to draw from a very vague 'statistic'.


Well obesity rates are higher than ever before. There is a lot of research showing that people overweight have more (or at least perceive more) barriers to physical activity. So it doesn't seem like too much of a leap.

As for people being less active - most of the people I know do little to no exercise. Even taking the car short distances rather than walking. A couple of hours skiing would kill them. The thought of doing a day of something active - let alone a week is not their idea of fun so they obviously choose other types of holidays.
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@boarder2020, recreational skiing isn't that physical. Once you get past fighting gravity in a snowplough and get past regularly lifting your own weight after a fall, skiing down the hill involves far less exertion than walking down the hill.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@boarder2020, you must know some seriously unhealthy people then.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Have a look at some of the surveys carried out regarding exercise of people in the UK. Its quite alarming how little people do. figures like 25% of people doing less than 30mins activity per week are fairly common.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Nobody's denying that the world has more fatties in it than there used to be. What people are arguing is that it's a barrier to skiing. I'm a bit of a fatty and I enjoy skiing. Can I do a full day of ski touring or climbing out of bowls full of deep snow? No... so I don't generally try to. Maybe one day a week. But lift served off piste is well within my fitness range.

If your statement was true, then the entire sports industry would be suffering. Which it's not.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Re@boarder2020, Has Stanton changed his name? Actually, sorry @boarder2020, whilst your post was a bit controversial, that was an insult too far Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@boarder2020,

You do not have to be fit to Ski Pistes or Off Piste.

Technique is the over riding factor.


Fitness comes in if you Hike,Skin up the Hill Very Happy Very Happy
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Orange200 wrote:
dode wrote:
Every weekend new virgins get bitten by the bug.


Indeed, my sixth form ski trip was like that too.
😀😀😀 I hope that was intended to be as funny as I found it!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@dp,
Quote:

It depends which way you look at it. If skiing is a luxury to you then 3-4 weeks a year is maybe a lot. To me it's my hobby. 3-4 weeks a year doing your hobby is not outrageous.

Youíre missing the point. It doesnít matter whether you consider skiing a luxury, a hobby or a chore. To be able to afford to go skiing that much is pretty astonishing and exceptional. It always has been. It certainly couldnít be considered normal to be able to afford such things.

With regard to the time aspect, Iím not even sure there are many people who would be able to devote anything like that much holiday time to a hobby. Most hobbies, and Iím not sure how many people have hobbies these days, consist more of a few minutes here and there, an afternoon train spotting, or even an occasional day at a stamp collecting fair.
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@dode, I donít think the poster was saying that you canít ski on less that 200k per annum. That wasnít the point. The point was more that if you live a nice, middle-class lifestyle and are sending your children to a private school then skiing starts to become an unaffordable luxury. Yes, you could live in a cheaper house, send the children to the local comp etc. but the demographic the poster was discussing would previously have included a weekís skiing and now that is becoming a luxury too far. He/she wasnít looking for sympathy, just making an observation.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@dp, Obesity may not be an insuperable barrier, but itís certainly a disincentive. Look around your local town and note how many of the 18-30 year olds are fat. Then look around your local ski resort and make the same observation. Now, the main difference is that only a few of those people in the resort are Brits, and the second difference is that skiing Brits come disproportionately from the middle class (also less likely to be fat), but even so the difference is striking. Learning to ski and then getting fat as you get older is one thing, but trying to learn when you are >10kg overweight must be pretty daunting.

Having said that, I think the obesity factor is pretty insignificant in this debate. Nor am I convinced that lack of disposable income is the root cause. As I said earlier, I think it is mostly due to more ways to spend your money than existed 25 years ago (mobiles, coffees, clubbing, etc.) and most significantly many more travel destinations available. Looking at Facebook it seems as though my younger friends are always dashing off abroad in a way we never did. Skiing is just one of many winter break options. It used to be about the only one.
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@boarder2020, as I said before, Iím technically obese and pretty inactive (I might do a few hours mountain biking every other week on average). I have 4 ski holidays lined up this season and generally ski first lift to last lift. Iím not saying people arenít fat and lazy, Iím saying that plenty of fat, lazy people ski.
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@foxtrotzulu, Plenty of Middle Age Overweight Far Brits in St Anton who think they can Ski but have the same old bad habits which prevent them from ever mastering Off Piste.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Generation Meh aside, I dug through the links and found the PDF of the report if anyones interested (Caution - 200+ page PDF) - bit of a Stattos dream but there you go...

The conclusions in full are here, a few interesting conclusions which weren't mentioned in the original article - Spoilered to prevent thread sprawl.
Nearly everywhere, the industry is facing the challenge of generating long term growth. In many places, the market is more than mature and the baby-boomers represent the majority of participants. This generation will progressively exit some of the mature markets without being adequately replaced by future generations with the same enthusiasm for skiing. The need to stimulate the market is extremely important and not always sufficiently addressed. In developing markets this is also an issue. Everywhere, the challenge is to attract a younger generation that has different consumption patterns, that zaps quickly from one interest to the next, and that is in great demand for all kinds of competing activities.

As already experienced by ski areas that have been actively looking for solutions, gaining new customers by attracting non-skiers and converting them into loyal participants is far from a done deal. It requires a significant effort and the situation only improves very slowly. Innovation and customer relationship management is the key. The first not only concerns lifts (much has already been done in this area), but everything that is related to improving the mountain experience, and in some countries this starts with lodging. It is difficult to attract clients for one week of wonderful skiing, using state-of-the-art lifts, grooming and snowmaking, if guests have to spend the time they are not skiing in substandard hotel rooms and restaurants. Newcomers to the industry are often well integrated and capable of offering modern facilities for every aspect of the product, and are also fun places to vacation. Thus, if traditional destinations still want to compete, they need to better manage the quality of their infrastructure, equipment and services throughout the entire resort. Technology will help service-oriented operators to closely monitor the needs and desires of their customers and to put together customised offers. In this globalised world, everyone appreciates personalised service. The Internet made it possible for now more than 10 years to offer one-stop shopping where clients are able to take care of all their needs. Unfortunately, this is not yet widely spread in the ski resort industry, and especially in the traditional markets that suffer from stagnating demand.

Even though the Internet and mobile apps are powerful sales and promotional tools for the existing customer base, and even though most ski areas recognise the need to be present on social media, it has failed up to this point as a tool to help grow the global ski market. There has simply been a swap in the promotional channels. Marketing operations have changed somewhat, but this has not enabled new market development. The Internet and mobile technology certainly have their strengths, but these strengths are currently limited and mitigated by their drawbacks. In fact, the web and mobile apps enhance communication, facilitate bookings, travel arrangements, daily package sales and make snow conditions more transparent for skiers. The latter already presents some adverse effects. Both direct and indirect competition has increased, and has been enhanced by technology, as has communications. The web is itself a competitor, such as when young people choose to spend time in front of their screens instead of heading to the slopes! The benefits of the Internet are also available to all competing industries. Finally, the web and mobile apps have failed to provide the ability to reach non-skiers on a massive scale and transform them into enthusiastic participants; they do not teach one to ski nor help one to practice! Independent from the potential benefits that the industry can gain from the technology, the customer experience will only be complete when the virtual purchase turns into a reality. At this stage, careful attention should be paid to maximise guest satisfaction. Service quality and friendly human interactions are required to truly produce an exceptional customer experience. This has become the reality in tourism and for ski resorts as well. The potential for improvement still leaves the future wide open for those players in the industry that clearly understand these issues. The market demands convenience and those that figure out how to supply it will win.

Given the new generation that is targeted everywhere, this report will conclude with a special note about ski learning and instruction. This is where convenience and experience may be the most challenging! This is also one of the first pieces of the ski experience puzzle. If the industry does not figure out how to turn the tedious learning process into a great time, it will fail in capturing the interest of the new generation of potential skiers that is desperately needed to fill the newly built resorts in Asia and Eastern Europe and to renew the baby-boomers customer base in the traditional markets.
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For a family, then the biggest problem is having 2x parents who love to Ski.
I guess a ski holiday is 2nd on the list for a lot of families.
A weeks skiing or 2 weeks in Florida is probably a discussion lots of families have.
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I'm not sure there is a problem here is there...I'd quite like shorter lift queues wink
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