Author: Steve Rowbotham

When you think “skiing”, you may well conjure up the image of a Swiss ski lodge, filled with people whose families have been coming to the same resort for generations. But is that a true picture of the 400m+ people who choose a winter sports getaway each year?

So-called “skier visits” actually occur in more than 2,000 locations across 67 countries, including Cyprus, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Lesotho, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey. So that clichéd European image may need an update.

First, let’s break this huge market down, so we can identify the real demand across the globe among these affluent and active travellers. 

Where they're going

Austrian Alps

The Alps are indeed the world’s top ski destination, capturing 44% of visits. The second biggest is America (mostly North America), accounting for 21%, with Asia & Pacific chalking up 15%. Other non-alpine European locations attract 10% of the market.

The established markets are mopping up, but you have to bear in mind that there are some countries with no ski facilities at all, who still account for millions of outbound skiers. Think of the Netherlands: They have nearly 1 million snow lovers who, each year, have to travel far and wide to get their mountain fix.

But how does an advertiser reach this HUGE and affluent audience before, during and after their planned trips? And what should you be selling them?

Flying to the slopes

Ski jump

Norwegian, easyJet, Eurowings, Air Italy and Brussels all fly to Europe’s key winter destinations, with American Airlines and United Airlines mopping up the US domestic market to Aspen, Steamboat, Whistler and Beaver Creek. So, at Ink, we’ve got you covered if you want to make noise in front of 65-75% of the worldwide market of winter sports enthusiasts.

In the US, the statistics speak for themselves.

On American and United flights alone, 4.1m+ adults aged 18 or over went skiing (downhill and cross country) while on domestic vacations last year. And 26% of US adults who skied during their domestic vacation took a round trip flight on American Airlines last year. So, in short, if you have a winter sport product or service to promote, we can get you in front of real consumers. 

But there is an interesting twist here. 

Summer spending

boating

According to GfK MRI figures, these same skiers and snowboarders are 64% more likely to be “ultra-active” in the summer, too, with warm weather activities like horseback riding and power boating inspiring them to pack their bags.

Skiers have taken an average of six-plus foreign trips in the past three years, and one in every five of those travellers owns a Rolex, Tiffany, Gucci, Cartier or TAG Heuer watch, and currently own or lease an Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus or Mercedes vehicle. They are spenders! So now is the time for your brand to get ready for summer 2020, ahead of the competition.

New sun block to promote? Protective mobile phone covers to sell? Wonderful eyewear to tell the world about? Maybe a new resort or summer destination? Our targeted inflight and journey media get directly in front of real people.

So come and talk to us about how we can get your brand into the (warm) hands of winter sport enthusiasts, who also travel a lot the rest of the year. 

Get in touch with me to discuss advertising in our UK, Europe, Africa and Middle East titles: steve.rowbotham@ink-global.com, or for advertising in our US titles, you can contact Mark Duke. For advertising in our Singapore titles, Denise Jaschke.

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Stats taken from:

Laurent Vanat: international expert in ski business and ski resort management.

2019 International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism and 2017 and 2019 GfK MRI reports