Resort altitude and previous snow records are the prime drivers for booking ski and snowboard holidays from the UK.
More than a quarter (28%) of those polled by Club Med visited the French Alps last winter followed by Austria and Switzerland.
This is reinforced by data from the all-inclusive operator for the current ski season, with sales in French ski resorts up 12% over winter 2017-18.
Other European destinations have also experienced significant growth this season, with sales for Club Med’s 4 Trident ski resorts on the continent up by 22% compared to the previous ski season.
Club Med’s ski resorts in Italy have seen an overall sales increase of 10%.
The operator has achieved double-digit growth for the past three years driven by European ski destinations, with resorts in France and Italy particularly bolstering this development.
The importance of a ski resort’s altitude and the level of snowfall are increasingly important factors in influencing booking behaviour, according to the study.
More than a third of people look back at snowfall from previous seasons, with three quarters (75%) deeming it ‘very important’ or ‘essential’.
Altitude is also important for British skiers when choosing a resort. More than a quarter (27%) said they will be choosing a resort at higher altitude this year to guarantee the best possible snow conditions.
Club Med’s high altitude resorts, including Val Thorens, Tignes and Cervinia, are among the strongest growing year-on-year with sales up by more than 10%.
Last year’s new resort, Grand Massif Samoens Morillon, has seen 24% sales growth in sales for this winter, while the new Les Arcs Panorama (pictured), which opened less than a month ago, is a best seller boosting sales across the existing portfolio of properties in France.
Open to guests during both winter and summer, the 433-room Les Arcs Panorama is Club Med’s newest 4 Trident resort and is situated in France’s second largest ski domain, giving access to the 425km of slopes.
Club Med UK and northern Europe managing director Estelle Giraudeau said: “Club Med continues to see strong year-on-year growth. We attracted 1.34 million clients last year, up 6.6% year-on-year and the strongest rise since 2000.
“Amazing snowfall in the winter 2017-18 season contributed to this, particularly in the UK market, where winter bookings increased upwards of 30%.
“The ski market is an important part of our business and we have ambitious expansion here.
“In December we opened a new mountain resort located in the French Alps, Les Arcs Panorama. Bookings started on January 24, 2018 and so far, this new ski resort is among the season’s best-sellers.”
“Over the course of the next three years, as well as new European openings such as La Rosière, we are also set to refurbish a selection of our existing European resorts, including our iconic Alpe d’Huez for next winter.
“We are also moving into the ever expanding and popular Canadian ski market, with Le Massif de Charlevoix in Quebec.
“We will also continue Club Med’s expansion in Asia, with a planned new ski resort in China.”
Almost one in three people (29%) said that if someone else in their group had not organised, they would not have gone on a ski holiday last year, highlighting the importance of the lead booker in any group trip.
Club Med group bookings in ski resorts are up 10% compared to the previous winter with resorts such as Val Thorens and Val d’Isere the most popular.
Groups of more than eight people over the age of 12 years old all receive a discount of £150 per person as well as the 15th person travelling free as part of a new bespoke booking service.
The new tool is available for both customers and travel agents and allows Club Med to provide the best tailored deals that suit the whole group based on preferences and interests.
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