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Spotlight: Savills Ski Report

The ski industry faces a challenging future, but is stimulating demand by embracing new technology and being environment-aware

Climate change is affecting the winter sports industry, making conditions ‘outside the norm’ increasingly the ‘norm’. From poor season starts to extreme weather conditions, skiers and snowboarders are finding it harder to predict the best time to hit the slopes.

Add to that an ageing population in the major source markets, and changes in the way leisure time is being spent, and the outlook for ski resorts is challenging.

But the industry is fighting back. Unreliable ski seasons are being countered by an increase in snowmaking, a technology that is advancing rapidly. Investments are being made to attract visitors year-round. A number of resorts are at the forefront of environmental campaigning.

On the demand side, interest in skiing from key emerging markets, such as China, is rising fast. In the west, meanwhile, new generations are discovering a ski experience tailored to them.

With some 400 million annual ski visits worldwide, winter sport remains a major global industry. The ski resorts that serve it are home to some of the world’s most desirable residential property and established second home markets.

In this report, we assess the challenges facing the industry, and identify the resorts that are best placed to meet them in the years to come.


Summary

Resilient resorts

High-altitude resorts such as Zermatt, Vail and Saas-Fee, o’er the greatest resilience against climate change.

Demand shift

France attracts more ski visits than any other country. China has ambitions for 300 million skiers by 2030.

Infrastructure investment 

Resorts are investing heavily in infrastructure, broadening their o’er and adapting for the future.

Market performance

A wide range of buyers is active. Prices across the Alps have remained broadly flat, while North American resorts had a strong year.


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