New Study Reveals Interesting Facts About Our Guests

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SAM Magazine--October 8, 2013--In a survey released last week by PhoCusWright, a New York based travel industry research group, and sponsored by Mountain Travel Symposium (MTS), the current data available on the travel behavior of skiers and snowboarders revealed new information about these specific destination travelers.

Here are some highlights:
• Survey participants who described themselves as both skiers and snowboarders (20 percent of ski travelers) spent more money on winter resort destinations than either self described skier- or snowboard-only travelers.

• Eastern skiers and snowboarders took more winter destination trips (2.6 trips per year) than their western counterparts (2.2 annual trips) and spent 30 percent more money on overall ski travel with 16 percent more on lift tickets, 14 percent more on shopping/dining, and a 15 percent longer length of stay than western skiers and snowboarders.

• Skiers and snowboarders had a higher level of digital engagement than general travelers in using their smart phones, tablets, and computers with 70 percent using websites for vacation research and 50 percent purchasing their lift tickets online.

• The quality of snow conditions was the #1 consideration listed by 85 percent of participants in the survey with the second most important priority being the short distance between lodging options and the slopes.

According to Bruce Rosard, executive vice president of MTS, there are several findings in this research that can help mountain destinations attract and respond to customer expectations. “The biggest revelation in the survey was that participants who described themselves as both skiers and snowboarders are a pretty big ‘piece of the pie’ and this group spends the most money on their vacation,” says Rosard. “Plus, the research confirmed that skiers and snowboarders show higher levels of technology than the average U.S. traveler when booking travel. Since there appears to be a lag between current resort technology and skiers usage, that information is vital for mountain resorts to know and respond to,” added Rosard.

The White Paper is available at


tech savvy travelers

Also noted in the study, when said travelers finally reached their destination, they seemed to totally forget how to read on mountain "old style" , non-electrical device signage, including maps, directional information and safety information pertaining to tramways and closed runs.