Strong Scottish ski season pumps £23m into economy

Snowboarders at the Cairngorms. Picture: PA
Snowboarders at the Cairngorms. Picture: PA
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THE snowsport season in Scotland, which enjoyed better conditions than some world-renowned resorts, generated over £23 million for the Scottish economy, new figures released today reveal.

The five mountain ski resorts are celebrating another excellent season, with a total of 230,634 ‘skier days’ recorded. An estimated £4.6 million was spent at the centres, while the remaining £18.6 million went to accommodation providers, places to eat and drink, as well as shops and filling stations.

The season officially finished at the weekend.

Heather Negus, chair of Ski Scotland, said: “In many ways, this season was very similar to last year’s.

“We had excellent snow at most resorts and the five snowsports areas were able to operate for a total of 463 days, better than last season’s 441.”

Although results are similar for both seasons, during the previous winter Scottish resorts enjoyed better, deeper snowfall than many world-renowned resorts.

Mrs Negus said this resulted in considerable media interest which Ski-Scotland was able to build on and so attract more customers.

She added: “The winter just past also brought great dumps of snow almost everywhere, with unprecedented late-season powder in huge quantities for Glencoe and CairnGorm Mountain, which gave a great boost to the end of the season.

“This great, winter-quality powder brought out more skiers and boarders to slide late-season. Usually by April people are thinking of other activities, but not this year, when many chose to ski and board in T-shirts and shorts.”

During the season, the mountain resorts were also able to start new developments, with financial support from the Scottish Government providing the catalyst for investment by the ski companies.

This work will continue over the summer months, so skiers and boarders can look forward to improvements for next winter.

A ‘skier day’ means one person who skis/boards on one day – many are serial visitors and are counted each day they enjoy their snowsports.

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.

Over the last six snowsports seasons, using current data, Scotland’s snowsports areas have hosted more than 1.5M “skier days” which have generated over £155 million for the national economy.

Ski-Scotland is the marketing partnership which has promoted snowsports in Scotland collaboratively for 25 years.

It comprises the five mountain ski areas - CairnGorm Mountain, Glencoe Mountain, Glenshee, The Lecht and Nevis Range - the sport’s governing body Snowsport Scotland, indoor real-snow centre Snow Factor in Glasgow and VisitScotland, the country’s tourism agency.