A recent survey carried among high-end travellers reveals that climate change may be affecting winter tourism more than ever before; even in the luxury travel sector.

With winters becoming warmer and snow becoming less guaranteed each year, we conducted a survey among users of our two luxury online travel agencies (OTAs) – Premium Switzerland and Premium Europe – before the winter holidays to see how travelling behaviours may have been affected by these circumstances. For this purpose, we interviewed up to 311 individuals who travel during the winter season to high-end destinations around the world and we discovered a worrying decline in winter tourism.

When asked if they would choose again a winter destination for their next holidays, a staggering 63% of the surveyed individuals replied that they wouldn’t. Unsecure snow conditions were cited as the main reason for a change in destination (75% of the surveyed sample) while other issues such as higher prices weren’t regarded as a problem with the vast majority (only 24% cited it as the reason for another type of destination).

Regarding winter resorts, Zermatt was chosen as the preferred destination (14% of the surveyed sample would visit it for their next winter holiday) with Courchevel 1850 following suit (12%). Arlberg Region (10%), Verbier (9%), St. Moritz (8%) and Meribel (6%) were also mentioned as desirable. However, a staggering 37% opted for non-conventional winter destinations with Maldives and the Canary Islands cited as the most desirable. Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the Caribbean Islands were also considered.

This reveals that winter holidays are now steadily evolving into what could be considered a second summer holiday, with many travellers opting for warmer destinations to avoid possible disappointments if the snow falls too late in the season.

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