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New data suggests record number of Australian visits to the ski fields this season

New data suggests record number of Australian visits to the ski fields this season
May 26, 2021

According to a new study by ski tour operator, We Are Sno, that analysed Google search data and trends - Australia’s ski resorts are set for a booming season with the top five ski resorts recording a combined 117% increase in search queries compared to pre-COVID levels.

The research looked at search popularity for each ski resort over the past year compared to previous years to determine which one would be the most popular for holidaymakers, and how visitation is likely to compare to previous years.

Adrian Gourlay, Director We Are Sno, notes “the data is showing the pent up demand that exists among the snowsports community. Also how the pandemic restrictions seem to be encouraging new people to try snowsports and visit more localised destinations. Demand for instructor lessons plummeted in most resorts last season, while some had to close early or never opened. 2020 was a tough year for the industry as a whole, but we remain optimistic that this search volume will transfer over into increased levels of resort visitation.”

Which resorts are seeing the most search interest?
The biggest winners appear to be NSW resorts, with Thredbo recording an impressive 172% increase in searches compared to pre-COVID levels for the same time period.

In fact, in April 2021 there were 117,530 searches for the resort, almost double any other Australian resort.

Perisher has seen searches increase by 128% compared to April 2019 (pre-COVID), but it is Hotham and Mt Buller that come in second and third, with 61,100 searches and 42,050 searches respectively. Both of these resorts have also seen huge surges of new searches compared to previous years, with Mt Buller’s search interest up 557% compared to April 2020 - when COVID-19 was devastating the ski industry globally.

Which resorts might have the least busy lift lines?
While higher visitation to our ski fields is great for the ski industry, it might be bad for lift lines! So if you’re looking for a resort which may be the least crowded, Falls Creek might be your best bet. Searches here are still up 128% compared to the same period in 2019, but it has the lowest search count of the main five resorts at 38,340. With all resorts seeing such strong growth, it may also be important to time your visit, avoiding public holidays and peak weeks where possible.

Australians are making the most of the travel bubble with New Zealand
The analysis also looks at the prospects for the New Zealand winter tourism industry, and it seems Australians are going to be making the most of the newly opened travel bubble.

Searches on Google (by Australians) for New Zealand related ski trips are up 152% year on year, and over 52% higher than pre-COVID levels for this time of year. Queenstown (and the surrounding resorts of Coronet Peak and Remarkables) continues to be the most popular ski destination, with 27,330 searches, up 87% on pre-COVID levels. However, Wanaka demand has also surged, with 102% more searches over the same period.

The data suggests Mt Hutt (near to Christchurch) or Mt Ruapehu (on the North Island) may be the less busy resorts to avoid the crowds. Both receive considerably less search interest and growth compared to previous years.

More people are looking to learn to ski or snowboard this season
Instructors look set for a prosperous winter with the amount of people looking to learn to ski or snowboard doubling compared to a normal season like 2019. Searches for ‘learning to snowboard’ and ‘snowboarding lessons’ are up 92% compared to 2019, while the same ski terms are up 79.

The full analysed data can be viewed at wearesno.com

Image top: Mount Hotham.

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4th June 2020 - Mt Hotham’s 2020 snow season focus is on keeping visitors safe

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