Étude Skift: The Evolution of Winter Travelers and the Future of Ski Vacations
It’s an interesting time to be a skier: On the one hand, today’s traveler has an overwhelming amount of helpful information at his or her fingertips about the latest snow conditions, accommodation options, destinations, and pricing. Resorts have technologically advanced snow- making systems, new accommodations, and top-flight food and activities. Equipment is better than it’s ever been, and there are top-notch educational programs in many ski- centric destinations that make the sport more accessible and fun to learn.
At the same time, there are headwinds for the industry: Travelers are concerned about the cost of a ski vacation, and climate change has made predicting weather — and snowfall totals — a troubling proposition. Then there’s the logistical headache of planning a complex ski itinerary, something one insider recently described as “the schlep factor.” While all vacations require a bit of compromise and pre-planning, said Dan Sherman, the chief marketing officer of Ski.com, the fact that ski trips often include bringing the kids, a lot of gear, and drives into snow-blanketed regions often leads to an extra degree of difficulty.