Narrow artificial snow slopes in recent years have sparked debates about the future of winter sports. And there are other reasons for giving up skiing on the slopes.
In times of rising prices, studies have shown that the costs of winter sports are one of the most important arguments against skiing. The tourism association “Austria Advertising” conducted a survey in Germany to examine the reasons for not doing so.
The most common answer: It is too expensive. For former skiers who turned their backs on the slopes, advanced age and costs were the most important reasons.
The onset of winter in the Alps is currently providing good snow conditions, but in past seasons narrow artificial snow slopes on green slopes have sparked debates about the future of winter sports. However, lack of snow and environmental aspects were only cited by 11 and 10 percent of ex-skiers in the survey as reasons for quitting, while 28 percent cited financial reasons. For the representative survey, 1,500 people in Germany were interviewed in the spring.
Price increases too strong
In another survey, the market research institute Manova analyzed the 2022/23 ski season on behalf of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Around a third of those surveyed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland cited financial reasons and excessive price increases as reasons why they were not on the slopes or were less on the slopes than in previous years.
Another motive was the lack of snow. According to Manova, restaurants in ski resorts had to contend with significant losses in sales – not only because bookings fell slightly, but also because many guests saved on expenses. For the representative survey by Manova, 844 people were interviewed in Germany, 911 in Austria and 1005 people in Switzerland in September 2023.
Ticket prices increased significantly in 2023
After the price increases for lift tickets in the previous year, prices were increased significantly again in 2023. In Austria, tickets cost around seven to ten percent more. Skiing has also become more expensive in Germany. On the Zugspitze, the day ticket currently costs 62 euros, almost nine percent more than a year ago.
Austrian ski areas are increasingly introducing discounts for early bookers or for tickets outside of the main holiday season. Such dynamic prices are already widespread in Switzerland: during the week or in bad weather it often costs less than at peak times. The head of the Swiss Foundation for Consumer Protection, Sara Stalder, warns: “In the end, the skiers are the losers; they almost always pay more with dynamic pricing systems,” she told the newspaper “20 Minutes.”