Ski lift operators notice fewer Brits

According to the French Ski Lift operators organisation (SNTF) France saw 58.6 million skier/days in 2008/9 up 6.6% up on 2007/8 but the share of British skiers dropped 3% to 21%. Overall 75% of skiers are French but in the big resorts nearly half of all guests are foreign.


The figures make France the world’s premier ski destination just ahead of the USA (57.4 million ) and Austria (56.9 million). Ticket sales were 1.18 billion euros, up 8.9% on 2007/8, meaning that resorts were getting more euros per lift pass.

The SNTF say that although the snow was good it didn’t break records. What was important was good weather and a long period of cold between the start of December and the end of February. On average ski resorts were open 117 days in 2008/9 compared to just 111 days in 2007/8. Broken down by mountain range : 129 days for the Savoie, 125 days in the Southern Alpes, 121 in the Haute-Savoie, 115 in the Pyrenees, 111 in the Massif Central, 108 in the Isere, 96 in the Jura and 80 in the Vosges.

The increase in skier/days in small ski resorts compared to the average for the four previous seasons was a staggering 36%, 18% for second tier resorts, 10% for big areas and just 1% for top resorts. The market share of the Northern Alps was 68%, compared to 72% for the last 4 winters. However it should be noted that the 18 biggest ski resort operators (of the 230 members of the SNTF) constitute 50% of the market whereas the 75 smallest have just 2% market share. 2007/8 was also a very good season for the biggest operators.

More information

Posted by on Thursday, 15 October, 2009 at 01:28 PM

Just crunching the numbers a bit. We have 58 million skier days but 3% less Brits so that mans around 1.75 million less skier days. If we take the SNTF mean price for a ski pass of 20 euros (remember that Brits are more common in the more expensive resorts and tend to spend more in resort than French skiers) then we are looking at a revenue shortfall of 35 million euros. If you include restaurants, hotels and shops we are probably looking at more like 200 million euros less revenue for French ski areas last season.

Maybe the title of the article should be: Brits blow multimillion euro hole in ski area revenues.

Posted by davidof on  Thursday, 15 October, 2009  at 04:15 PM

Last year finding self catering appartments was proving much harder as many brits rather than not ski at all, chose to stay in of an evening and save money that way. Many also took lunches onto the piste, in fact with the good weather, I’ve never seen so many lunching on the piste. I noticed a place with a plat du jour at 17 euros reduce this within a week to 12 euros, presumably feeling the lack of people luunching there.
With the Euro looking to be low again this season, better book your accommodation sooner rather than later.

Posted by  on  Thursday, 15 October, 2009  at 11:34 PM

I also read that accomodation is being booked fast for the peak dates by european skiers who are anticipating another good season so it could be a double squeeze for cash strapped Brits.

The Figaro suggests that restaurants are taking advantage of the change in season to put their prices up again following the VAT decrease. It is estimated that in around 50% of establishments prices are back to where they were before the VAT cut with the restauranteurs pocketing the difference. The number of job’s created has been much less than expected too.  Who would have thought?

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 16 October, 2009  at 11:04 AM

I am afraid less Brits would also impact badly beer consumption… Could it possibly raise the skiing level?…
Just kidding wink

Posted by ericlodi on  Friday, 16 October, 2009  at 10:00 PM
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