Nearly six in 10 ski-lovers look for the sustainability credentials of their holiday providers before booking
A survey of 2,000 adults who have been skiing or snowboarding in the last four years found the issues which have the biggest environmental impact when it comes to international holidays are air pollution (48 per cent), energy consumption (39 per cent) and plastic waste (39 per cent).
According to a new report Switzerland (38 per cent) continues to be the most popular for the ski season, followed by France (37 per cent), Austria (28 per cent), Italy (27 per cent) and Canada (23 per cent).
This suggests British snow fans are still after those traditional alpine resorts and are also opting to stay closer to home.
The report comes from luxury travel club brand Club Med’s annual ski report, The Economy of Ski: The Financial Factors Impacting the Upcoming Season.
The report also found more than half of respondents are prepared to book a ski holiday despite the current cost of living crisis.
And 60 per cent of frequent skiers are in fact planning to spend even more than usual on a luxury ski holiday this year.
Ski-lovers are finding better ways to avoid chaos
Nicolas Bresch, Managing Director, UK & Nordics at Club Med, said: “It’s encouraging to see that many of the destinations Brits want to travel to are places where we have some of our best winter ski resorts.
“We are excited to see that the appetite for alpine destinations is on the up as we have ambitious expansion plans over the next five to ten years, including resort renovations for Serre Chevalier next season and Saint Moritz for the 2024/25 season.
“This is in addition to the opening of an Exclusive Collection space at La Rosière which will now offer 43 suites from December 2023 and an entirely new resort in San Sicario in the heart of the Italian Alps for the 2025/26 season.
“As always, we are working closely with our customers and trade partners to understand where the greatest demand for new resorts lies and aim to accommodate.”
Looking ahead to the 2022/23 season, people are looking to organise their holidays further in advance with research showing 87 per cent of frequent skiers have already booked their trip six months or further in advance.
This is in contrast to last year where 72 per cent of frequent skiers were prepared to book at less than a month’s notice.
Data from within the Club Med business further supports this, showing that clients have booked at least three months earlier when compared to the 2021/22 season.
When reviewing the airport and airline chaos of recent months, 69 per cent of Brits are now considering travelling with hand luggage only to avoid long delays or lost luggage.
In relation to airport travel, two-thirds (66 per cent) would consider holiday options which avoid flying altogether.
When looking at a destination or resort, value for money is the single most important factor for 40 per cent of people, while 39 per cent of frequent skiers deem good conditions and snowfall as one of the most important factors when choosing a resort.
Initiative has seen certification in all resorts
Resorts located in Les Arcs and La Rosiere see a higher than average snowfall in December, with La Rosiere on average getting 52cm on average in the run up to Christmas alone, which helps to explain their popularity early in the season.
Climate change is at the forefront of public consciousness now more than ever and many have taken definitive action to reduce their environmental impact.
Club Med has implemented a range of eco-commitments to improve the environmental management of its business, aware of the onus placed on the travel sector to reduce its carbon footprint.
Notably, the Club Med resort at Valmorel was the first mountain hotel in France to be certified HQE (High Environmental Quality) in 2012, while all new resorts to undergo construction since 2018 are BREEAM eco-certified (or equivalent).
More recently, the ‘Happy to Care’ initiative has now seen 100 per cent of all eligible Club Med resorts receive a Green Globe3 certification.
And across all resorts, single-use plastic items have been banned.
Supporting local communities
Eco-conscious choices are of particular importance to those going on winter sports holidays as travellers look to spend the majority of their time amongst nature.
When booking a ski holiday, 43 per cent of frequent skiers report that they choose holiday providers which give back to the local community, while 37 per cent choose companies which sustainably source food, and 35 per cent select those which are single-use plastic free.
Nicolas Bresch, Managing Director, UK & Nordics at Club Med added: “Our commitment to sustainability began over 40 years ago, in 1978 with the introduction of the Club Med Foundation.
“The Foundation continues today to strive to support local communities and the environment in which we live and house resorts.
“We are always looking for ways we can do better as one of the biggest all-inclusive holiday brands, not only in Europe but worldwide, which is why we have worked hard to make sure 100 per cent of eligible Club Med resorts are Green Globe Certified.
“We understand that sustainability is becoming increasingly important for holidaymakers, and we are proud to say it has and always will be a priority for us.”