The leading Russian tour operators have already started selling mountain ski tours for the upcoming winter season. The operators point out that some countries and resorts offer special prices for the Russian market (the discounts of 10-40 % of the base cost in winter). Among the main trends – reduction of sales depth, growing demand for tours in the low season and post-Christmas period, preference for inexpensive accommodation and persisting activity of VIP-customers. When analyzing demand for mountain ski tours, the operators say that it is little different from the previous years. The tourists are not very active in buying tours offered by early booking programs.
Customers’ preferences are likely to stay at the level of the previous winter season. Inexpensive accommodation is popular: cheap hotels and boarding houses, or apartments. It is also worth mentioning high hotel occupation rate in the low season (mostly one-week trips) when the package prices are highly attractive for Russian tourists. The average invoice per person in the budget category reaches €600-800. The possibility to buy a ski pass upon tour reservation is one of the additional services. According to tour operators, wealthy customers are more active in planning winter vacation.
Starting from late October and in November, market participants are waiting for growth in mountain ski tour sales. When forecasting the season’s performance, tour operators don’t expect that demand in mountain ski segment will decrease: according to them, Russian fans of this type of vacation will not change their preferences in spite of the economic situation and will surely go to the mountains.