Downhill skiing and ski resort research 2010
An increase in the number of core downhill skiers
The number of active downhill skiers increased in 2010. The number increased by 30 000 from the previous year and now stands at 990 000. Active skiers comprise 86 percent of all the skiers. The corresponding figure in the 2009 season was 80 percent. With the term “Active skiers”, we mean skiing enthusiasts, who practiced the activity during the season 2009/10
According to the research, the total number of Finnish skiers decreased from 1.2 million to 1.1 million from 2009. The decrease in the number of individuals who would call themselves skiing enthusiasts was probably due to the fact that the passive skiers who have not skied for a number of years, no longer report that they would actually take part in the activity.
The season was good for active skiers
Evidently, the good snowfall throughout the winter contributed to the fact that active skiers spent an average of 9 days on the slopes during the 2010 season, whilst the number in 2009 was 6.
Traditional skiing is still of interest
The vast majority of the enthusiasts still take part in the traditional view of downhill skiing; more than 80 percent of the participants use downhill skis. About a third of the skiers use snowboards. The number of Off-piste, Freestyle and Telemark participants remains relatively small, between 2-5 per cent.
The recession was reflected in the purchases of equipment and peripheral services
The amount of money which was used on equipment purchases decreased by one quarter from the previous winter. Money was saved in particular on peripheral services at ski resorts. Such services are slope and other restaurant services, in addition to equipment rental.
The conditions for skiing and the core services were well taken care of – peripheral services require improvements
The skiers gave the Finnish ski resorts good grades, in particular to the snowmaking operations which ensured the skiing possibilities and the note taken to safety aspects.
In evaluating the present standards of the ski resort services, the respondents consider the ski lifts, ski schools and accommodation services to be fairly good. The skiers however considered that the clarity of the lift ticket pricing and the restaurant facilities could be improved upon.
The ease of purchases on the Internet
90 percent of the skiers would be ready to book, or even to pay for skiing-related accommodation through the Internet. More than half of the respondents would also pay or at least reserve, lift tickets, equipment rental and ski school services in advance via the Internet.
The implementation of the research
The research clarified the Finnish skiing-related behaviour and opinions, concerning the activity itself and the related services. The respondents to the research were individuals who decided upon the acquisitions of their Finnish household. The research was implemented during April-May 2010, on a TNS Gallup, Internet-based panel, through which the opinions of 7879 individuals were received.
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