How Catalate Ski Partners in Europe Grew Online Pre-Sales Despite COVID Uncertainty

June 01, 2022
Author
Christian Ross
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Many of our ski resort partners start selling dated ski tickets for the winter as early as summer as a way to lock in bookings and sales as early as possible and reduce the influence of the weather and other factors that influence demand in the short term. In this blog post, we’ll look at how well our European partners have done so far this winter season, which is still characterized by a lot of uncertainty due to the pandemic. To do this, we look at the pre-sale volumes at certain points in the season. The dates we’ll be analyzing are November 15th (before the start of the season in most ski areas) and January 28th (shortly before the start of February, which is historically the month with the highest number of visitors and revenue). The partners Val Cenis (France) and Arosa Lenzerheide (Switzerland) compare online sales this season with those of the 2019/20 season, the last season under “normal” conditions.

Let’s first look at some cumulative figures from our European ski resort partners*. Up to the dates mentioned, the following sales were generated online through the sale of dated winter sports tickets: Until November 15th dated ski tickets with a total value of about 4.1 million EUR or the equivalent of CHF 4.34 million were sold. Until January 28th EUR 20.55 million have already been turned over online (about CHF 21.76 million). Compared to the last “pre-pandemic season”, this is an increase of 30% until November 15th and 33% until January 28th (if we only compare the ski resorts that have already worked with us in both 2019/20 and 2021/22**).

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Now let’s take a closer look at some partners:

Val Cenis (France)

2019/20 was Val Cenis’ first season on the Catalate platform. After the last winter season in France was completely canceled, we and Val Cenis have watched with interest how online sales have developed this winter. Despite the absence of British guests due to the travel restrictions imposed, online pre-sale of dated tickets for 1-14 day tickets increased before November 15th, 2021 by 57% (from EUR 0.74 million to EUR 1.17 million) and by January 28th, 2022 by 60% (from EUR 1.61 million to EUR 2.57 million). That is almost 30% of the total sales generated with these tickets overall (online and offline, whole season). In the ski area in the Savoyard Alps, due to the location with inevitably longer journeys, the majority of guests stay overnight, which is why a significant proportion of ticket purchases are made well in advance.

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Arosa Lenzerheide (Switzerland)

Arosa Lenzerheide has been able to significantly increase its online sales from season to season since starting the collaboration with Catalate in 2017/18. We are therefore not surprised that the Graubünden ski area is once again on record course this winter. With its two towns of Lenzerheide and Arosa, the destination attracts both day visitors from the surrounding metropolitan areas of Chur and Zurich and overnight guests to the slopes. Since many overnight guests book their tickets well in advance, by November 15th, 2021, tickets with a value of CHF 1.75 million and by January 28th, 2022 with a value of CHF 11.16 million have already been sold. Compared to the reference season 19/20, this is initially a slight decrease of 9% as of November 15th and an increase of 18% as of January 28th (taking into account the core range of 4-hour, afternoon and 1- to 14-day tickets).

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Crans Montana (Switzerland) 

In the Valais ski area, a comparison with 2019/20 would not be expedient, since Crans Montana was still a member of the Magic Pass group at the time and the online sales figures are significantly higher today. We therefore use the past season 2020/21 as the reference season. Since the Covid restrictions and thus the loss of revenue in Switzerland were relatively lower, it’s more comparable to do so. By November 15th, Crans-Montana saw an increase in sales of dated tickets by 120% and by January by 90% season over season. Also interesting with our Swiss partner: They have now moved away from the sale of classic season passes. Instead, annual tickets are sold, each valid for 365 days. These are reissued every three months and with each launch our partner registers a high demand for these annual tickets – because here too the following applies: Whoever buys early saves and secures the best price.

But what do all these numbers tell us? On the one hand, guests are still eagerly looking forward to their winter holidays and on the other hand, that it is possible to control customer behavior and encourage guests to make an early purchase using a dynamic price strategy.

Would you like to find out more about how your lift company can sell more tickets and secure revenue in advance? Then contact us at partners@catalate.com.

*Arosa Lenzerheide, Crans-Montana, Aussois, Pralognan, Beckenried-Emmetten (Klewenalp-Stockhütte), Ovronnaz, Alpes Vaudoises (Leysin, Villar-Gryon, Glacier 3000), Rauriser Hochalmbahnen, Val Cenis, Chamonix, Anzere

**Arosa Lenzerheide, Crans-Montana, Beckenried-Emmetten (Klewenalp-Stockhütte), Leysin, Villar-Gryon, Glacier 3000, Rauriser Hochalmbahnen, Val Cenis, Anzere