STF Releases its 2015 Snowsports Survey
The School Travel Forum (STF) has released its 2015 Snowsports Survey, which focuses on teachers’ interest in and experience of school ski trips over the past year. As an Assured Member of the STF and a leading school ski tour operator, we were very interested to see the results.
Firstly, we welcome the fact that the survey showed an increase in the number of teachers advising that they do arrange school ski trips since the 2014 survey. We firmly believe in the many benefits of school ski trips and think it’s fantastic that more and more British school children are being provided with such a fantastic opportunity.
School ski trips, of course, allow children to experience a very different sport. For many of us here at Halsbury Ski, our passion for snowsports began in childhood, with school or family ski trips. They also provide a vast range of learning experiences too. Pause for a moment to contemplate the spectacular surroundings and take the time to discuss mountain geography with your students. Or use the experience of travelling to a foreign country to encourage your students to practise their language skills with the locals, whilst exploring both the culture and, of course, the cuisine!
We were also pleased to see that the number of respondents advising that they used specialist school ski tour operators is also on the rise. When choosing between school ski travel companies, the survey showed that the two biggest factors were ‘price’ and ‘previous use’. This was no surprise to us, as we understand that there is huge pressure on teachers to provide trips that are affordable and safe. We also understand that teachers need be sure that the quality of the arrangements and the experience for their students, as well as for themselves and their colleagues, will be exceptional. Many of our groups return to ski with us year-on-year, because they know that they can rely on Halsbury Ski to provide affordable, reliably excellent school ski trips.
This is why we tailor-make every single school ski trip that we provide – so that we can cater to any budget, whilst ensuring that our tours meet the specific requirements of each and every group.
Unsurprisingly to us, the survey showed Austria, Italy and France to be the top three destinations of choice for school ski trips, with Italy overtaking France from last year’s survey. These are also the top three destinations for our school groups, with Italy tending to be the most popular.
Italy really does make for an excellent choice of destination for school ski trips. The skiing is usually excellent for beginners and intermediates, who normally make up the majority of school ski groups, and many resorts offer doorstep skiing. Add to this the warm, friendly welcome that school groups receive here, as well as the abundance of child-friendly cuisine and brilliant ski schools with a reputation for patient instructors, and it’s not hard to see why Italy is loved by students and teachers alike!
The survey also showed that, when choosing a school ski resort, teachers generally have three top priorities: suitability for school groups, good facilities for beginners and cost. This is where the experience and knowledge of our Ski Specialists come in. They work closely with group leaders to ensure that the resort they choose is the best fit for their group and their specific requirements. They can advise on the suitability of the resort for the group in terms of both availability and expected snow conditions for the group’s preferred dates, the best accommodation and transport options, and even the range of après-ski activities available in the area.
We very much enjoyed reading through the STF’s 2015 Snowsport Survey, which offers an interesting insight into the school ski industry. It was great to see that the information we receive from teachers regarding what’s important to them when planning a school ski trip was reflected in the survey. We always listen very carefully to group leaders before, during and after their trip and, using this information, have designed our services to best support them in providing their students with what should be the experience of a lifetime!