Would You Pay More For An Eco-Friendlier Ski And Snowboard Holiday?

25th April 2024

Tags: Green Eco-Friendly Sustainable Ski Holidays

Would You Pay More For An Eco-Friendlier Ski And Snowboard Holiday

The increased amount of media coverage in recent years on how climate change may be affecting ski resorts has meant there has been a notable shift in the collective consciousness of skiers and snowboarders towards environmental issues.

Media Sensationalism and ‘Greenwashing’

Some of this media coverage has been criticised for being overly sensational as it has, for example, included photographs of snowless slopes in little-known ski areas when there has been plenty of snow cover in the more popular resorts.

Plus, some of those within the worldwide ski industry have been accused of ‘greenwashing’ – the practice of jumping on the eco-bandwagon by using deceptive marketing ploys to promote a business or organisation as environmentally friendly or sustainable through misleading or unsubstantiated claims.

Impact on Tourist Behavior

However, there is no doubt that the global conversation about sustainability and responsible living has made many of us become increasingly aware of the impact our actions have on the planet, and the choices visitors to the mountains make are increasingly influenced by their concerns for the environment and a desire to minimise their carbon footprint.

Survey Insights from Erna Low

The ski tour operator Erna Low, which works with Ski Line to provide holidays in France, Andorra, Austria, Italy, and Bulgaria, recently commissioned a survey which found skiers and snowboarders are willing to pay 11% more for an eco-friendly snowsports holiday if it helped to cut their carbon emissions.

Erna Low, which has been organising ski holidays since the 1930s, now has its own sustainability manager. He is Paul Lange and commenting on the research he said: “The survey results are extremely encouraging for the industry.

“Although many snowsports enthusiasts have clearly seen first-hand the impacts of climate change, this means they are fully aware of the impact of holiday choices. And as a result, they are willing to make changes, including paying more for an eco-friendlier holiday, to offset this to protect their passion.

“At Erna Low, we recognise the importance of addressing these challenges and we are committed to doing what we can as a business to contribute to mitigating policies and ensure eco-friendly awareness is promoted to protect the sustainability of the ski industry.”

Regional and Age Variations

The research revealed that 92% of the snowsports enthusiasts surveyed expressed concerns about climate change when booking their ski holidays.

This percentage did differ across age groups. Over 55s said they would be willing to dig deep to make a change, while millennials were a little below the UK average.


Regionally, those in the West Midlands say they are prepared to pay the highest additional costs to help cut down the carbon emissions of their ski holiday. Those in the East of England, however, are least likely to want to part with more of their cash, according to the Erna Low survey.

East of England9.58%
Greater London11.71%
East Midlands10.96%
West Midlands10.96%
North East12.50%
North West11.07%
Northern Ireland11.43%
South East10.83%
South West11.94%
Yorkshire & Humber10%

Would You Pay More For An Eco-Friendlier Ski And Snowboard Holiday: A Summary

Increased media coverage on the potential impact of climate change on ski resorts has sparked a shift in the awareness of skiers and snowboarders towards environmental issues. While some media portrayals have been criticized for sensationalism and certain sectors of the ski industry have been accused of ‘greenwashing,’ the global conversation on sustainability has undeniably influenced tourists’ choices, with many expressing willingness to pay more for eco-friendly snowsports holidays. A survey commissioned by ski tour operator Erna Low revealed that 92% of respondents expressed concerns about climate change when booking ski holidays, with variations across age groups and regions in the UK. Erna Low’s commitment to addressing these concerns includes the appointment of a sustainability manager and efforts to promote eco-friendly practices within the ski industry.

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