Club Med has unveiled the results of recent Asia-Pacific (APAC) Snow Brand Study 2019 as a follow-up from the first snow holiday report in APAC last year. This year’s study took a deeper dive into the habits of snow holiday goers, identifying key insights and influences across 11 markets with 2,200 respondents from China to Australia.
“Results from the second edition of our APAC Snow Brand Study revealed that travellers are looking for more than just skiing or snowboarding activities when visiting snow resorts, with 75% being keen to experience the local food and surroundings – anchoring our emphasis on providing guests with an all-inclusive snow holiday experience,” said Xavier Desaulles, Chief Executive Officer, APAC Markets Club Med. “The renovation of Club Med Sahoro, Hokkaido looks to provide our guests with a transformative mountain experience that will not only provide a fantastic snow getaway but will also leave them enriched with authentic Japanese culture and heritage.”
The research for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) Snow Brand Study 2019 was conducted by Insightzclub in March 2019 among 2,200 respondents in 11 markets across Asia Pacific. Including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Snow holidays are defined in the scope of the survey as a trip of at least 2 nights to a snow mountain destination of which ski or snowboard and other activities may be a part of.
The market size grew to 151 million snow holiday goers this year, a 10% increase in market size, which is faster than the average tourism market growth of 6%*. This highlights a high potential for the snow holiday industry across the globe. The growth in snow holiday goers from last year can be attributed to a few key factors – ease of travel, increase in travel options and increase in snow holiday products.
*UNWTO World Tourism Barometer and Statistical Anex, January 2019.
The survey also found that close to 68% of snow holiday goers are millennials, one of the world’s largest growing consumer demographic. The weight of male traveler is slightly higher than female; and 92% are with kids.
Winter destinations are considered to be more premium, as the experiences and activities require necessary snow equipment, facilities, attire, lessons and accessibility to the mountains. Complete with a variety of experiences and activities, snow holidays are seen as an experience for more affluent. About three-quarters of snow holiday goers prefer to travel in style, with 80% willing to pay a premium for comfort. With the target audience being millennial-dominated and 92% of them were found to be family-oriented.
APAC winter holiday destinations are consistently in the lead, with 4 out of the top 5 most preferred winter destinations in 2019 being from the region. According to the study, Japan has once again emerged as the top destination, with an average of 65% of respondents having been there for a snow holiday in the last three years, followed by South Korea (34%), Switzerland (24%), China (18%) and Australia (16%).
Snow holiday goers prefer longer stays to fully enjoy the snow holiday experience, with close to 70% agreeing that at least one week is needed to fully experience all that snow holidays have to offer.
The evergreen appeal of snow holidays also keeps travellers coming back for more, with 75% going on a snow holiday at least once every two years.
Besides skiing and snowboarding, travellers expect holistic holiday experiences, with 75% of respondents indicating that they also enjoy non-ski activities during their snow holiday. Spending time with family (48%), reconnecting with nature (46%), getting to try local delicacies (45%) are among the top value-added services preferred while on a snow holiday.
Picking up a new sport or activity is always easier at a younger age, much like learning a new language or how to ride a bicycle. 55% of the respondents believe that the best age to learn skiing and snowboarding is before the age of eight. The study also highlighted that parents in Australia start teaching their kids skiing and snoswboarding from as early as the age of two – almost as soon as they start to walk!
The European Alps are still a popular choice for snow holidays, with 77% of respondents planning their next winter holiday in Europe. Over 90% of travellers from India (96%), Indonesia (97%), Thailand (93%) and China (90%) are looking to plan a European snow holiday in the next three years, with Switzerland and France being the top destinations.
With the bevy of experiences and activities that winter holidays have to offer, opting for an all-inclusive holiday package is now becoming the norm.
Compared to purchasing everything separately, the study revealed that the top three reasons for the preference include the opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities, convenience and the value-for-money. It also revealed that they were willing to spend an average of USD$300.
Over 75% agree that going on a mountain holiday in the summer is more appealing than going for a sun and beach holiday.
Top reasons for the preference of summer mountain holidays are the clean mountain air, being close to nature and escaping the summer heat
Japan also emerged as the top most preferred summer mountain holiday destination, followed by Switzerland and New Zealand.