The original home of timeshare is the world’s best ski destination, according to social network website survey
In the 1960s Hapimag launched the first shared ownership resort in Europe, in Switzerland, which was based on the timesharing concept.
Since then ski holidays have become a much more permanent fixture on the annual holiday calendar. What was once an indulgent getaway for the rich, famous or simply ski obsessed, a holiday on the slopes is now an affordable pre- or post-Christmas escape.
New ski resorts and more new routes opening up every year thanks to “cheap and cheerful” airlines like Ryanair, easyJet and Jet2 (which have arguably, singlehandedly, changed the ski industry beyond recognition) have made the ski getaway big business. Now, with fledgling ski destinations like Bulgaria vying for business, it’s a more competitive market than ever.
Switzerland, land of triangular chocolate and snow-capped mountains, has come top of the ski list in a recent survey by lifestyle and travel social network WAYN.com. It commissioned the survey in which 1300 travellers worldwide participated to find out where they go for their winter holidays, and which ski destination they rated the highest.
Switzerland beat both Austria and France which came second and third, also managing to outrank the rest of the world’s ski resorts. Canada came in at number four while Italy and the US tied for fifth place, with Russia at number ten.
Interestingly, some destinations associated more with adventure travel or even wine almost made the top ten as well, including Chile, where you can swim and ski in the same day, as well as New Zealand and a surprising newcomer, South Korea.
US skiers tend to spend more than Europeans but despite the economy up to 22.5% of the skiers surveyed normally spent more than £950 on their ski trip, with the average cost per ski break coming in at between £476 – £635.
7.8% of American ski fans said they take two ski trips a year and 55% of Europeans surveyed said indulge in a ski holiday once every two years.
WAYN co-CEO Jerome Touze points out that although ski holidays were traditionally seen as very expensive or even ‘posh’, the last decade or so has seen a change in the industry: “Package deals, faster transport and the opening of ski resorts in destinations not traditionally associated with skiing saw the ski market become increasingly global and open- even if the global recession inevitably slowed this trend recently. Indeed, the recession is still likely to dampen many people’s ski plans as the survey results suggest.”