School rules impacts family skiing

16th September 2015, by Abi Butcher

Research by the Ski Club shows parents are put off by school holiday rules

Research by the Ski Club shows parents are put off by school holiday rules

School holiday restrictions have had an impact on family skiing, according to new consumer research by the Ski Club of Great Britain.

The research, released this week, is based on responses from 15,000 people including 2,059 non-skiers.

Since the introduction of legislation that penalises parents for taking children out of school during term time, 38% of skiers aged 40-49 who holidayed with children admitted it has had an effect on their ski trips — with 42% of that group deciding against booking a ski holiday because of the restrictions. 

“The restrictions placed on school holidays have undoubtedly had a negative effect on bookings,” states the report. “They have either resulted in those people who enjoyed the freedom of taking their children out of school for a week deciding not to ski at all, or in shifting their bookings to these peak times – putting greater pressure on a limited supply and exacerbating the skew that exists in peak versus off peak.”

It makes glum reading, but the rest of the report is more positive. Of those surveyed over the summer, 93% said they intended to ski again this season, with holidaying with friends and family reigning supreme.

The research showed growing interest among skiers who had not been to the mountains for three years — with 47% indicating a desire to return to the sport, up 3% from the research done last year. And 7% of the non-skiers said they intended to ski this season, an increase from 4.5% last year.

Although the Ski Club of Great Britain has conducted this research for the past two years, 2015 was the first year it has asked skiers and snowboarders whether they went off-piste the previous season — to which 38% of skiers and 43% of boarders said yes.

It will be interesting to see next year whether this number has increased — though the largest number of respondents were aged 50-59 years (35%) and 40-49 years (27%). Those skiers and snowboarders as likely, if not more so, to go off-piste — aged 21-29 — only represented 5% of survey respondents. 

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