What does our industry look like in a post pandemic world?

A panel of industry experts gathered (virtually of course) at the LISTEX Online event on June 22 2020 to address questions submitted by the MTN community on the theme of ‘what does our industry look like in a post pandemic world’? Below are their key thoughts and takeaways…

Panel: Luke Gallichan – Skibro, Gavin Fernie Jones  – One Tree at a Time, Sean Newsom – WeLove2Ski, Clare Truphet – Fish and Pips, Tania Casey – Huski

Does the seemingly ever increasing age of skiers represent an ever increasing problem for the industry?

Sean: Yes, we need to increase the affordability of ski holidays. The luxury sector has done a great job of stimulating growth, but the lack of budget accommodation and the ever increasing cost of lift tickets is pricing many out of the market.

Gavin: I think we need to do more as an industry to address the concerns of younger skiers when it comes to sustainability. Many simply don’t identify our industry as sharing their values, which means they won’t even engage with the idea of visiting the mountains.

What will be the changes in mountain accommodation post pandemic?

Clare: We have increased the number of self-catering options for the forthcoming season and actually for the first time will have more self-catering than catered chalet beds.

Luke: We see both the pandemic and Brexit increasing the number of skiers choosing self-catering options

Is apres-ski destined to never be the same again?

Sean: The pandemic is a great excuse for all those 40 somethings who don’t really want to ‘do’ apres ski to avoid it in the future! But I think the younger generation will very much carry on as if nothing has happened..

Clare: We may see an increase in different types of apres-ski which will appeal to different age groups

Is a contactless ski holiday a realistic goal?

Tania: We have already adapted to a more ‘contactless’ service for those who want it, we’re adapting to customer needs but still providing a high level of service.

Clare: Yes but it very much comes to customer choice, which has it’s operational challenges but is absolutely the way we need to operate in the future for customers to feel safe and secure

Will domestic tourism become much more popular/important?

Sean: For alpine countries undoubtedly so in the short term, but many resorts still depend on international visitors. Scotland is still too variable in terms of weather to support bookings a long way out, but we may see increases in late booking this year from within the UK, if the snow is good!

Which markets do you think will emerge strongest from the pandemic?

Luke: We are already seeing growth in the Dutch and German markets which have a lot of skiers who can more easily travel to the mountains than those in the UK.

Will our industry benefit from the increased consumer interest in health and well-being or will consumers quickly revert to pre-pandemic behaviour?

Gavin: I think it will, my feeling is consumers are looking for more from their holidays than just relaxation, and that can only help mountain destinaitions.

Will consumers be prepared to pay more for snowsports related products and services in the future if they see the benefit to their health and safety?

Sean: We’ve seen a steady increase in prices and it doesn’t seem to be impacting on regular skiers so I think yes, up to a point.

Clare: Our costs will go up and inevitably our prices will go up too, our clients have always appreciated that and have been happy to pay for quality and service.

To view the full recording of this webinar and the ‘State of the Snowsports Market’ webinar register for LISTEX Online, you’ll also then be able to schedule online meetings with other attendees of the event until July 21.