Less skiing and more hiking during winter sports

24/02/2018 10:00
© Hollandse Hoogte
During the winter season of 2016, covering the period from 1 October 2015 up to and including 29 April 2016, Dutch people went on winter sports vacation 866 thousand times. This is 30 thousand times less than in the previous winter. Austria remains a firm favourite. Skiing holidays are becoming less popular, while hiking trips are gaining ground. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on recent analyses of figures on winter sports holidays.

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Austria remains the top destination

With 515 thousand winter travellers, nearly 60 percent of all winter sports holidays in 2016 were spent in Austria. This is slightly more than in the winter of 2015, when 476 thousand Dutch winter sports enthusiasts took to this country. Other popular destinations for winter tourism are France (17 percent) and Germany (8 percent). Remarkably, Switzerland’s share in winter tourism destinations has almost halved, from nearly 10 to over 5 percent.

Hiking increasingly popular

Hiking holidays have become more and more popular in recent years. In 2016, hiking was the main activity for 16 percent of winter sports fans on their break, up from 10 percent in 2014. Aside from hiking, snowboarding has also become more popular in recent years. This sport was cited by over 14 percent as their main activity, as against 11 percent two years previously.
The share of winter tourism with an emphasis on alpine skiing decreased from 77 to 68 percent.

Winters sports holidays relatively short and expensive

The duration of an average winter sports holiday is just over one week (8.6 days). In comparison: the average holiday abroad (four or more overnight stays) lasts almost two weeks (12.9 days).
Winter sports vacations are however relatively expensive: in 2016, the average cost of a long winter sports holiday was 83 euros per person per day, while it was 15 euros less for a regular holiday.

Travel packages by car

Most people (84 percent) go to their winter destination by car, a minority travel by airplane or coach (both 7 percent). This trend has remained more or less stable in recent years.
The Dutch usually do not make their own travel arrangements for their winter sports holidays. Over 60 percent of these vacations are booked via a travel agency or tour operator. One-third take care of their own booking and 5 percent go without making prior arrangements.