How many ski resort guests actually self-identify as “skiers”?

A big takeaway from our reader survey was interactivity. So last week we sent the notification list an overview of our methodology and question and then asked them to predict the results. We then promised to share their predictions next to the actual numbers this week. Take a look.

An interesting thing happens the more people participate in an activity. It goes from being something they do to something they are. Not someone who can ride a bike, but a cyclist. Not someone who loves food, but a foodie. Ski resorts depend on skiers to survive, but how many of those guests actually call themselves skiers? Here’s what we found.

The Goods
To find our answer we took all ski resort guests from 20 different mountains that met three criteria:

  1. At least $1 of spend.
  2. At least one visit during the winter.
  3. A Twitter handle matched to them.

We then asked, “how many of these paying, winter guests who have Twitter accounts call themselves either a ‘skier’ or ‘snowboarder’ in their Twitter bio?”

Let’s start with what the folks on our notification list predicted last week:

A pretty even spread that seems to gently peak around the 6-10%. A rough average of these guesses suggests that the average prediction was about 29% (likely higher, considering we don’t have details for the “>51%” long tail).

So how did that compare to the results? We’ve included that average below next to the actual numbers.

Just 2.0% of our sample called themselves a “skier” or “snowboarder” in their Twitter bio. Another 4.4% mentioned “ski” or “snowboard” in some form.

What This Means
What’s interesting in this result is not just that so few resort guests call themselves skiers, but how large the gap was between our perception and the data. We’d have to increase the size of that group by 15x for reality to match expectation.

Perhaps this idea demands a specific strategy or perhaps just having this thought on the table will have a subconscious effect on how marketers create their messages. Whatever the next steps may be, knowing that resorts may not be talking to “skiers” after all is a very intriguing concept.

Next Week, Another Round
We’ve got another interesting travel marketing insight coming up next week. Want to try predicting the result or see the actual numbers when they drop? Stick your email below.

Share on: