SCOTLAND’S ski resorts are celebrating another bumper season – currently matching two seasons ago which proved to be worth £30million to the country’s economy.
With great snow conditions and a period of settled overhead weather for the start of half term, Scotland’s five mountain snowsports areas are reporting an excellent start to the season.
Heather Negus, chair of Ski-Scotland, said: “We’re already well ahead of last season at the same point – in fact, almost 19% ahead – and also marginally ahead of 2012-13, which was itself a great season. However, we’ve still a long way to go to equal 2010-11 which was the best in recent years.”
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The snowsports areas report that the staggered half term in Scotland coupled with good snow have really benefited them.
Each person who skis or snowboards at a snowsports area on one day is counted as a ‘skier day’. Up to Sunday 15 February 2015, there have been 113,578 skier days across the five areas.
By Sunday 16 February last year, there had been 95,622 skier days and 113,254 up to the same point in 2012-13.
Mrs Negus added: “We’re delighted with these results, particularly as half term is not finished yet.
“Last year we had brilliant snow in huge quantities but lost many days to storms. This year, we have good snow, have had some excellent overhead weather, but have still lost a lot of days to storms – and we’re still marginally ahead of 2012-13.”
The snowsports areas expect to continue to be busy with English half term visitors until the end of this week.
After that, they recommend skiers and snowboarders keep an eye on snow and road conditions, webcams and weather forecasts on the official Ski Scotland website and be ready to head for the mountains whenever conditions are good.
Snowsports form a significant part of Scotland’s winter tourism economy; for each £1 spent at a ski area, a further £4 is spent “off the hill” in local businesses such as accommodation, places to eat and drink, shops and filling stations.
Using current data, the excellent 2012-13 season was worth more than £29.27million to the Scottish economy.
Of this, only £5.85million was spent at the ski areas themselves. The 2013-14 was slightly less successful, with many days lost to storms and storm damage.
Despite that, over 235,000 skiers and snowboarders took to the slopes, worth around £23.7million to the Scottish economy.