The ski industry is facing many challenges and sees its numbers declining. The first issue may be weather conditions. Due to climate changes, snowfalls are not as predictable as they used to be. Unfortunately, resorts can’t do much about it since the weather forecast is outside of their direct control. Luckily, the ski industry can make decisions to overcome other challenges.
Skiing can be very expensive: gear for the whole family, travel and accommodations, lift tickets and so on. But skiing is more than just skiing. It’s a vacation experience, a way to spend quality time with your friends and family, it’s a change of scenery. Ski resorts should focus on their recreational opportunities to fit skiers’ expectations. People are not skiing all day long. Think about those kids that parents need to entertain, college students who want to enjoy a night with their friends and couples looking for a relaxing time. People shouldn’t have to worry about anything except having a good time. Ski vacations should be promoted as an exciting and fulfilling experience for everyone from beginners to snow experts.
Extreme videos performed by professionals are impressive. But it’s not relevant to the target audience. Only a few athletes can make skiing look unreachable for non-professional skiers. We need to keep snow sports more casual and approachable, so the target can identify with it. In real life, there are more falls than great jumps so that is what we need to feature. Skiing is not about becoming the next Olympic winner, but connecting with nature. Redefining the target audience by including not only all levels, but also minority groups, is a good step.
The first time I skied was with school. The first time I snowboarded, a friend invited me. These two scenarios are very common and should grab our attention. Beginners might not look like promising customers at first, but they are the ones we need to attract. Good skiers are already addicted to the snow; they will come back by themselves. Beginners, on the other hand, need to be drawn. Targeting school kids is a great opportunity to get them into snow for the rest of their lives. Inviting skiers to come with their inexperienced friends will increase traffic. Focus on learning programs. A beginner who learns the right techniques will enjoy be converted to a lifelong enthusiast.
Skiing can be tough and sometimes it looks like nothing is done to make it easier. The ski industry has many opportunities to evolve to fit today’s consumer.