Struggling Economy Driving Consumers to Alter Ski trips, But not Cancel Them
Boston, MA, January 6, 2009– Travel industry reports forecast a dark winter for the travel industry, but FlipKey.com, a leading vacation rental website, indicates this doesn’t necessarily spell a down season for the whole ski industry. FlipKey – www.flipkey.com – which markets over 60,000 vacation rentals throughout the United States, has found that consumer interest in many ski areas remains strong and has actually increased from 2008. In fact, an informal survey of vacation rental managers in areas that draw from a more local traveling population reports year-over-year increases. Vacation rental managers are also seeing an increased interest in vacation rental properties rather than other lodging options.
According to Jeremy Gall, Chief Operating Officer of FlipKey, “Destination ski areas, such as Aspen, CO, that require consumers to travel long distances will struggle this season; however, we are seeing a boost in interest to more local ski resorts. For instance, Loon Mountain, a local draw within the New England market cited 9% year-over-year increase in pre season ticket sales.”
Similarly, Cort Roussel of Franconia Notch Vacations, servicing the White Mountain region of NH, added, “Cannon Mountain has seen a 40% increase in the volume of season’s passes sold over last year.”
Those benefiting from current traveler trends tend to be located in areas that cater to local interest and/or offer alternative lodging accommodations. Specifically, consumer interest in vacation home rentals has been bolstered by the current economy, as more people seek more affordable vacation options that do not require excessive travel.
“We are seeing increased interest in our larger vacation homes as families are traveling in groups, taking advantage of the shared weekly rent and comfortable space afforded by our vacation homes,” said Joanne of New England Vacation Rentals.
Nick Lanza of Big Bear Vacations (Big Bear Lake, CA) cites, “Out-of-state skiers are relatively absent this year, but we are seeing a surge in interest from southern California.”
The decrease in destination ski travel is mostly a function of the economic downturn, but can also be placed on new airline policies. The introduction of baggage fees across the airline industry places further burdens on the long distance ski traveler. A family of four flying from the east Coast to the Rockies can incur more than $300 in additional fees for simply checking in their skis and boots.
The emerging formula for this years ski family is to stay local, drive a few hours and book a vacation home rental that affords the family extra space to discuss how bad the economy is.
FlipKey™ is a leading vacation rental service featuring the world’s largest collection of verified vacation rental guest reviews. FlipKey believes reputation, trust and feedback from past guests are the best resources to ensure consumers find the ideal vacation home. FlipKey currently features more than 60,000 vacation homes offering vacationers the unique advantages of more personal space, superior amenities and ideal locations throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. FlipKey is majority owned by TripAdvisor, LLC, and is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, attracting more than 32 million unique monthly visitors* across 12 popular travel brands. FlipKey is available at http://www.flipkey.com
*Source: comScore Media Metrix, May 2008
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