South Africans embrace the ski holiday trend

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From November to April each year, more travellers from South Africa are venturing into the world of skiing.

With this in mind, pioneers in all-inclusive holidays and leaders in worldwide snow holidays, Club Med Southern Africa have just released their South African Ski Report for the 2023/2024 season.

The report was compiled following a comprehensive survey capturing insights to discern key trends in South Africa’s snow holiday preferences, expectations, and booking profiles.

The geographical distribution of respondents revealed that 45% were from Gauteng, 30.7% from the Western Cape, 14.3% from KwaZulu Natal, and 10% from other regions.

The skier profile highlighted the top five considerations for a snow holiday, with wide and varied ski domains, authenticity, choice of non-ski activities, proximity to nature/sports, and après-ski/festive spirit ranking highest. The survey also disclosed skiing preferences, such as the favorite snow holiday activities, the preferred ski period, and the number of days skiing in one week.

Preferred destinations

In terms of preferred snow destinations, the survey found that France led the preferences with *71.9%, followed by Switzerland at 62.1%, Italy at 60.7%, Austria at 56.8%, and other destinations (USA, Canada, Japan, Eastern Europe) at 7.2%.

Best times to book

Regarding the time of booking, respondents indicated various preferences, with 11.3% booking more than a year in advance, 39.5% booking 6-11 months before, 35% booking 3-6 months before, 12.6% booking 1-3 months before, and 1.3% booking less than a month before their snow holiday.

Accommodation options

Accommodation is a key consideration for holidaymakers and 78.4% expressed a preference for a resort with an all-inclusive package for the convenience they offer in terms of budgeting and planning, followed by hotels at 45.4%, rental chalets at 37.1%, rental apartments at 21.7%, and personal housing at 4.6%.

Favourite activites

As for the favourite snow holiday activities, skiing was the most popular at 79.9%, followed by gastronomy at 77.8%, hiking at 58.8%, ski touring at 57.7%, swimming at 48.9%, yoga fitness at 19.7%, and after-ski activities at 9.5%.

Despite economic constraints, the South African ski market is displaying solid growth, showcasing a resilient spirit among individuals prioritising holidays as a means of exploring life and seeking new adventures.

The report also sees Olivier Perillat-Piratoine, Managing Director of Club Med, shedding light on the remarkable post-lockdown demand for winter holidays in South Africa, highlighting the exceptional rebound in revenue and customer volume, particularly in France.

Addressing the appeal of Club Med’s all-inclusive model, Perillat-Piratoine emphasises the value of the comprehensive package, encompassing accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment, ski lessons, and more.

Contrary to the perception of DIY ski holidays being more economical, Club Med’s all-inclusive snow holiday offerings provide a compelling price-quality ratio and a seamless, hassle-free booking experience. Notably, the introduction of the Snow Guarantee ensures a worry-free experience, offering alternative resorts at no extra cost in the event of low snowfall.

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