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Market Analysis October 24th 2023

Ski Chalet Holiday Market Analysis 2023-2024

| | Ski Chalets

This time last year we were talking about the bounce-back in holiday bookings following the 'all clear' on international travel. Certainly, last winter ski season 2022-23 was a bumper one in terms of bookings, number of clients and value of bookings. In fact, the UK holiday industry (excluding staycations) experienced a great year of trading - and this was just as well given that the preceding 18 months had seen no client bookings at all (for the ski holiday industry). 

It was a shame that the British press made such a meal about the poor snow conditions experienced over the new year and beginning of January 2023. Their doom and gloom articles destroyed the end of season March/April holiday sales, which for the large part are made after the 01st January. Ironically the ski conditions in April 2023 turned out to be truly fantastic and the best they had been for years. Regular large snowfalls interspersed with beautiful sunny weather made for perfect ski conditions both on and off-piste. 

Much has happened in the last 12 months since our last blog on the state of the ski chalet holiday marketplace. Disturbing wars, high inflation, higher interest rates, talk of a recession in the UK and a downturn in global productivity. there any good news out there?


Well, yes, there are two items of good news from the ski holiday industry:

 1) There have been huge snowfalls across the Alps over the last week and further large snowfalls expected soon. The snow has reached all the way to the valley floors and on the upper slopes well over 60cm has fallen. Temperatures are cold (and getting colder) so this is boding very well for a great start to the winter skiing. 

2) Bookings for the ski chalet market remain very buoyant, despite the effects of inflation. The graph below shows the percentage of beds sold for each week of the season. Christmas and New Year week are already heavily sold, and sales for the half term week (starting 10th/11th February 2024) are not far behind. Even the low season weeks of January and March are getting very busy with only the week starting 06th/07th April 2024 relatively undersold (although given that April is almost 6 months away this is not a surprise).

This below photo (courtesy of John Yeats-Smith of YSE Ski) was taken earlier today (08th November 2023) and shows the lower slopes of La Daille, Val d'Isere. The lifts are not open yet but the skiing conditions for those prepared to skin up the mountain have been fantastic.

Simon Hoskyns

I completed my 1st winter ski season as a ski bum after leaving school. Travelling out to Sauze d'Oulx, Italy, (not knowing one ski resort from another) and with just a basic Italian phrase book in my rucksack I found a job in a hotel as a pot washer. However, I was also trained as a barista (before anyone knew what they were) which was enormous fun. After graduating from university I headed back to the Alps for a 2nd season. I was a handyman for Bladon Lines in Meribel, looking after their chalets and also those of sister company, Ski West. This was the best ski resort job ever. The 2nd season was followed by three fun but ultimately unrewarding years in a London advertising agency before I returned to the Alps yet again. A season for the Ski Club of Great Britain in St Anton was followed by another season working for Powder Byrne in Flims and Klosters, Switzerland. Returning to London I joined the fledgling Alpine Answers in 1995, becoming partner in 1997.

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