The 12th edition of the worldwide mountain sports business report has been published. The annual report compiled for more than a decade by industry expert Laurent Vanat, focuses on the results of winter 2018-19, which Mr Vanat says was, “…the best ski season of the millennium so far!”
“It is a pleasure to see that despite adverse conditions the ski industry is facing, with climate change, increasing competition and the demographics, it still has the potential to see growth for three seasons in a row,” said Mr Vanat.
The report’s findings include that during winter 2018/19 the United States ski areas’ recovered from a previous poor winter with excellent snow conditions, performing well above average. The country returned to the top of the podium for the 2018/19 season in terms of visitor numbers which were the fourth best in the past 41 years and better than any other country.
China has built a powerful ski infrastructure, even if it is not yet reached its full potential, with the development of ski training centres including ski simulators, dry slopes and a growing number of indoor ski halls. However, there remains an issue of converting beginner skiers into lifetime repeat visitors. But in spite of this challenge, Chinese ski industry managed to sustain its growth and reached over the 20 million skier visits mark in 2018/19 season.
In Asia, Japan and South Korea still feature a worrying situation. When South Korea ended up showing continuously deteriorating visitation numbers, with a stabilisation in 2018/19, after six years of decline, Japan saw again lower attendance. After having stabilised over the previous two seasons at a level that was about half than 20 years ago, Japanese skier visits figures dropping again in 2018/19.
The 2020 International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism covers results from 68 countries in the world which have outdoor snow ski areas, around 2,000 of which can be considered ‘resorts’ from the 2018/2019 season.
The full 2020 report is available to download at: www.vanat.ch/RM-world-report-2020.pdf