Like a seasonaire returning from a strenuous afternoon at the Folie, the world’s economy lurches from one calamity to the next. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this mogul field of economic uncertainty has changed the way we go skiing.
There’s no doubt that we missed skiing and snowboarding more than any other type of travel, with a bounce in the ski holiday market last winter that saw us all rushing back to the mountains for a snow fix.
But the stats don’t lie. Independent travel is down and, among the ever growing popularity of package deals, it’s the inexorable rise in popularity of package deals that stands out as the real sign of our times.
“Last winter saw all-inclusive bookings rise by over 300%,” explains Richard Sinclair of SNO, a ski holiday specialist selling packages from all UK airports to both the Alps and North America.
It’s perhaps the biggest phenomenon of the ski travel industry right now, so we compiled a list of the reasons why we’re choosing skiing packages with everything included.
A family’s perspective on booking all-inclusive ski holidays
Budgeting ease Families often operate on stricter budgets. All-inclusive packages allow families to know upfront the full cost of their holiday, making it easier to plan and ensuring there are no surprise expenses.
Convenience Organising a family trip involves considering the needs and preferences of multiple people. An all-inclusive package simplifies this process by bundling accommodations, meals, lift tickets and sometimes lessons or rentals, reducing the number of decisions to be made.
Meals included Anyone who’s travelled with kids knows the challenge of finding suitable dining options multiple times a day. All-inclusive deals typically include meals, snacks and sometimes drinks, eliminating the daily hunt for kid-friendly restaurants.
Activities for all ages Many all-inclusive resorts offer programs tailored for kids and teens, giving them opportunities to learn new skills, socialise and stay entertained. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy their own activities or take some time off knowing their kids are in good hands.
Safety All-inclusive resorts often provide a secure environment, which is a big plus for families. Whether supervised activities for kids, medical facilities on site, or even trained and DBS-checked childcare staff, parents can have peace of mind.
Variety of options Beyond just skiing or snowboarding, many packages can add alternative activities like snowshoeing, ice-skating or spa treatments. This ensures that family members of all ages and interests have something to look forward to.
Less planning stress Planning a family holiday can be overwhelming. With an all-inclusive package, a lot of the planning is already done, allowing parents to focus on enjoying the experience with their loved ones.
Value for money When considering the cost of meals, entertainment, activities and other amenities for an entire family, all-inclusive packages often provide better value for money compared to piecing everything together separately.
Social opportunities for kids Resorts often host families from various places, giving kids a chance to make new friends and enjoy group activities.
Streamlined experience From check-in to check-out, the experience is designed to be seamless. This is particularly valuable for families, reducing potential points of stress or conflict.
In essence, for families, it’s about maximising the fun and minimising the fuss, while giving certainty to your budget. All-inclusive ski holidays offer a straightforward way to ensure everyone has a memorable time without the usual travel-related hassles or extra costs.
The industry’s assessment of the rise in popularity of the all-inclusive ski holiday
Economic predictability With global economic fluctuations and uncertainties, knowing the full cost of a ski holiday upfront is hugely attractive. An all-inclusive package ensures there are no hidden expenses or unexpected costs, or at least covers many of the expected but expensive extras, allowing travellers to budget accurately.
Currency stability In times of economic uncertainty, currency values might be more volatile. Booking an all-inclusive package means skiers lock in their price, avoiding potential extra costs due to currency fluctuations while in destination.
Value perception In a time when many are looking for maximum value for their money, all-inclusive packages can appear particularly attractive. They bundle together key components like lodging, meals and ski passes, often presenting a perceived better deal than purchasing everything separately.
Efficiency and ease The world has felt unpredictable and sometimes overwhelming in recent times. The ease of booking an all-inclusive package — where everything is sorted out for you — offers a break from those complexities.
Marketing and deals Recognising the shift in traveller preferences, many ski resorts and travel companies have been marketing all-inclusive packages more actively, sweetening deals with special offers and additional perks.
Diverse offerings Many all-inclusive packages in the summer holiday market offer more than just the basics, adding in things like spa treatments, guided excursions and gourmet dining experiences, and the wintersports travel arena is no different, with different suppliers variously creating products that include either all food and drinks or lift passes, ski school or kids’ clubs. This enhanced offering can be a big draw for travellers looking for a rich and hassle-free holiday experience.
Overall, the industry attributes the surge in all-inclusive ski holiday bookings to a combination of economic factors, the lingering effects of the pandemic, and a heightened emphasis on value, convenience and safety in travel decisions.
“Perhaps the two biggest factors, since covid and the cost of living crisis, are that skiers want to know their total spend before they agree to go, and that they really want it to be a holiday, which means feeling relaxed,” says Richard.
Perhaps not needing to think about either your budget, nor shopping/cooking/washing up, is the most reliable way of ensuring your week in the mountains feels like a holiday.
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