With baby boomers now at the upper end of the skiing age, more needs to be done to attract the millennial generation.
Generation Y, shaped by technology but often time poor and burdened by student debt, need a ski experience relevant to them and resorts are having to realign their offering. Many resorts now offer free wifi on the slopes and hotels and lodgings in certain destinations are moving away from the traditional rustic look preferred by the boomer generation towards a more contemporary style. Winter X-Games type parks and music and comedy festivals are becoming a permanent fixture at many resorts.
Austria's Mayrhofen, close to Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich, is attractive to both long and short-stay visitors. Each spring, the resorts host the ‘Snowbombing’ dance music festival, while outside the ski season, the village is a popular base for hikers, mountain bikers and paragliders.
Given that skier numbers in the West are at a high plateau, or, in some markets, in decline, the most resilient Alpine resorts will be those that are able to diversify their demand base. This means attracting new, younger visitors – for a variety of activities – and tapping into growing Asian ski markets.
The prime resorts in the Alps have a key advantage: an established reputation as a destination for the world’s wealthy. Few global rivals have the cachet of the premier Swiss, French and Austrian destinations. However they will need to adapt if they are to continue to flourish.
Read more: Savills Alpine Property Market Report