WINTER 2022 : a season reaching top scores
WINTER 2022 : a season reaching top scores
Approaching to the end of this winter season, we can already confirm that the figures are breaking records in ski resorts.
After a complicated COVID period, here is finally a positive winter report for 2021/2022 for all the ski resorts, despite the sanitary crisis being still here all over the territory.
Following a very difficult 2020-2021 winter season for mountain tourism professionals, due in particular to the closure of ski lifts, it is finally a winter season that seems to be very satisfaying even if some figures differ depending on the resorts and type of customers.
An intense start overall
Despite the introduction of the health pass and the obligation to wear a mask, this did not prevent visitors from going to our French ski resorts to enjoy the snow. Obviously, we felt a strong enthusiasm for skiing and the desire to go on a trip to the mountains to take a breath of fresh air.
The weeks of Christmas and New Year both reached attendance records, considered exceptional by professionals from the sector. Moreover, the first week of January on the Belgian and Dutch holidays calendar comes in addition, allowing resorts to take advantage of an extra week with a high occupancy rate.
On the other hand, the absence of British customers due to the closing of the borders at the start of the year had a major impact on the attendance results for some resorts where they are usually very present.
February holidays meet expectations for the alpine sector
All the mountain resorts took advantage of the four weeks of school holidays to reload, despite the sanitary conditions.
Attendance by zone was quite balanced despite a small snow cover depending on the location : thus, the Northern Alps recorded an occupancy rate of accommodation of 87%, the Southern Alps of 84% and the Pyrenees of 83%.
Same observation depending on the altitude of the resorts : those located above 1300 meters were occupied at 87%. And if those located between 630 and 1250 meters are slightly lower (83% occupancy), they are the ones that have recorded the strongest increase (+6%) compared to the 2019-2020 season.
The month of February and the school holidays represent a high point in the winter season. For some resorts, this holiday period can represent almost 50% of their income. A period that is all the more strategic for the resorts because the four weeks of vacation were particularly well balanced this winter between the French zones the ones of foreign customers.
A favorable zoning has made it possible to maximise tourist numbers from all countries, allowing occupancy to be smoothed over the whole of winter season and thus avoiding the concentration over one or two weeks usually observed in these holiday times.
For Jean-Luc BOCH, President of the ’ANMSM: “The French, but also foreign customers, once again favored the mountains for their winter holidays, despite a health situation that was not stabilized“.
It’s a huge breath of fresh air for the entire mountain ecosystem. The rest of the season, and in particular the Spring holidays, remains for the moment still uncertain in view of the news, with for the moment a delay in reservations, in particular concerning international customers.
“We found that visitors were there, but the conversion rate from overnight stays to ski days is lower. People came and enrolled their children in ski schools, but they didn’t necessarily ski. We have also broken attendance records for sled. Is it a new clientele discovering the mountains? Are we at the beginning of new trends? »
An auspicious end to the season
Without prejudging the evolution of the international context, the next periods until the end of the season are emerging in a very encouraging way.
Even if overall tourist consumption in the mountains was supported by alpine skiing, which remains the No. 1 activity during the winter holidays, which concentrates 36% of skier days. In general, according to data from the Syndicat national des moniteurs de ski français, online sales of ski lessons for the whole season increased by 11% compared to the 2019-2020 season, says the ANMSM..
Discovering the mountain without ski lifts last year allowed customers to discover many other activities.
Thus, these “non-skiing” activities, such as snowshoeing, walking and dog sledding have thus mainly announced an increase compared to the 2019-2020 season.
Finally, for the skiers’ pleasure, this winter season was launched, with a batch of twists and turns, but the clientele was loyal and still present on the slopes to gear up despite small snowfalls, the closures of borders, the COVID pass, the rising energy costs, and now very recent Ukraine and Russia crisis.
As for French tourism professionals, they were able, despite the economic situation, to recover as best as they could from the dark season experienced last year.
Today, the entire tourism sector already has its eyes looking at next season, obviously hoping to continue this year’s good optimism.