ore than one in five active adult
leisure travelers are interested in taking ski or snowboard
vacations, according to Peter Yesawich, president and CEO of
Yesawich Pepperdine Brown & Russell, a Maitland, Fla.-based
marketing research company.
Of those 22% interested in skiing or snowboarding, 36% are
so-called Gen-Xers, age 25 to 35, and 32% are baby boomers age 36
Even more promising is the news that 43% of those who plan to
take ski or snowboarding vacations will bring their children along,
Yesawich said. That percentage is significantly higher than among
the general or nonskiing population (which measures about 35% to
36% who will bring kids along on vacations).
"What this means is that there is a concentration of interest in
the next generation of skiers and snowboarders," Yesawich said.
The inference is that young winter sports enthusiasts will
become the ski resort patrons of tomorrow, bolstering the industry
into the future.
These statistics come from the 2003 National Leisure Travel
Monitor, a survey of 1,350 leisure travelers by YPBR/Yankelovich
Noting the boost in family travel since 9/11, Yesawich pointed
out that family travel doesn't just occur during school vacation
According to the survey, 64% of respondents traveling with
children said they would be willing to take their kids out of
school for vacation.
"There has been a myth in the industry for years that the family
travel faucet is turned off after Labor Day," Yesawich said. "The
insight here is that [parents] are equally likely to take their
three- or four-day vacations in January or February as in June or
July," he said.
The news isn't all good for travel agents, however. Yesawich
said that skiers and snowboarders tend to be an affluent and
technologically savvy group that is quick to turn to the Internet
When responding to the question: "I get the best prices on
travel services from ...," 20% of respondents answered "suppliers"
[the hotel or airline directly], 63% answered "the Internet" and
17% responded "travel agents."
"That doesn't mean that only 17% will call a travel agent, but
it does mean that when they begin shopping and planning, there is a
clear predisposition to turn to the Internet," Yesawich said.
As to hot winter-sports destinations, Colorado mountain resorts
came out tops, with 77% of the vote. Lake Tahoe (California/Nevada)
was next, garnering 58% and Utah mountain resorts was third, with
54%, he said.
Finally, with regard to the lifestyles of skiers and
snowboarders, the survey shows respondents are predisposed to
taking vacations, interested in dining and apres-ski activities and
tend to be younger and more focused on family than the general
The bottom line, Yesawich said, is that the percentage of adults
with an interest in skiing and snowboarding "is a very substantial
market in the current environment."
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