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NSW snowfields move further ahead of Victorian rivals in 2019

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2017 – June 2018, n=384, July 2018 – June 2019, n=378. Base: Australians 14+ who say they regularly or occasionally go skiing or snowboarding.
Nearly half of Australian skiers and snowboarders, 49%, say they would like to visit at least one of Australia’s snow areas within the next two years, up 2% on year ago, the latest tourism data from Roy Morgan shows.

Driving the increase over the last two years is an increasing preference for the NSW Snowfields/High Country area now mentioned by 35% of skiers/snowboarder as a destination for a holiday during the next two years – up 4% points on a year ago.

Thredbo/Perisher/Smiggins is clearly the most popular Australian snow resort area mentioned by 29% of skiers/snowboarders, up 1% point on a year ago while other Snowy Mountains resorts are mentioned by 10% of skiers/snowboarders, up 2% points in a year.

The leading Victorian snow fields have lost ground on their NSW counterparts over the last year with 22% of skiers/snowboarders looking to visit the Victorian snow fields for a holiday during the next two years – down 2% points on a year ago.

This decline has been spread across the major resorts with all three experiencing a decline compared to a year ago. Mt. Hotham continues to lead the way as the preferred snow destination in Victoria mentioned by 11% of skiers/snowboarders (down 2% points) ahead of Falls Creek on 10% (down 1% point) and Mt. Buller on 7% (down 5% points).

Proportion of regular or occasional skiers/snowboarders who say they would like to take a holiday at destination within the next two years

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2017 – June 2018, n=384, July 2018 – June 2019, n=378. Base: Australians 14+ who say they regularly or occasionally go skiing or snowboarding.

Skiers like getting involved in a range of sports and are conscious of the environment

In 2019 the quintessential Australian skier is a woman aged in her 30 or 40s in Generation X who is probably close to the snow fields in either New South Wales or Victoria. Over three-quarters of Australian skiers reside in these two States.

She is well educated with a diploma or degree under her belt and employed full-time in a professional or managerial role with a personal income of over $65,000 and a household income of over $160,000 she is most likely to be in the highest socio-economic AB Quintile. Over 40% of Australian skiers are in the AB Quintile.

In terms of the Roy Morgan Values Segments she’s more likely than the average Australian to be in either the Look At Me or Socially Aware 'With a strong sense of social responsibility and a propensity for convincing others of their opinions, they often become involved in pressure groups. This Segment can be idealistic, believing they can change the world, or save the world.'.

As well as enjoying hitting the piste our archetypal skier is far more likely than the average Australian 'to love to do as many sports as possible', 'buy a product because of its label' and she's almost twice as likely to 'like to drink wine with her meals'. She also likes to 'entertain spontaneously' and she's far more likely agree that 'at heart she's an environmentalist', to 'organise holidays on behalf of her family and friends' and perhaps unsurprisingly 'for her next holiday she'd really like a total eco-tourism experience'.

Although she clearly loves skiing she also likes trying her hand at many activities and is more than twice as likely as the average Australian to play a musical instrument or sing in a band or choir, to go to professional sporting events, or play sport. She also likes to be entertained and is more than twice as likely to go to the ballet or opera, live theatre or jazz, classical or blues performances and far more likely to be involved in Pilates, yoga, dancing and horse riding.

Snowboarders are young, well-off and enjoy sampling the local nightlife as well as the snow

In contrast to Australian skiers our snowboarders are overwhelmingly men and younger than the skiers, primarily under 35 years of age  putting them squarely in Generation Z or the slightly older Millennials. Similarly to our skiers over two-thirds of our snowboarders are in Victoria or New South Wales with nearly 40% in Victoria alone making the southern State the clear home of snowboarding.

He's likely to be well educated with a degree or diploma, employed full-time and with a higher personal income, at $68,000, than his skiing counterpart although the household income at $150,000 per annum is over 5% lower than for skiers. He's also likely to be from the highest AB socio-economic Quintile and have primary school aged children and far more likely than the average Australian to be in the Roy Morgan Values Segment known as Something Better or Young Optimism - 'Young people with this pattern are conscious of the image they project and want to make the right one. The mindset tends to be associated with people who want to experience all life has to offer: travel, a career, friends, and family'.

Our characteristic snowboarder is far more likely than the average Australian to 'favour natural medicines and health products' agree that 'Aboriginal culture is an essential component of Australian society' and 'he'll go out of his way in search of a bargain'. He's also far more likely to 'try to buy organic food whenever he can' and 'enjoy food from all over the world' although he's also more likely to agree that 'if he could afford to eat out every night he would'.

He's more than twice as likely as the average Australian to go to a pub or hotel only for a drink, go to a casino, hit the nightclubs and to go to professional sporting events. He's also far more likely to play sports, work on cars or play video games at home than the average Australian. When it comes to sport he's far more likely to watch Basketball, Soccer and Car or Motorcycle Racing on TV than the average Australian.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says NSW snowfields are winning out over their Victorian counterparts with 35% of Australian skiers/snowboarders looking to take a holiday at a NSW resort in the next two years compared to only 22% at Victorian resorts:

“The NSW High Country is the place to be according Australian skiers and snowboarders with 35% saying they would like to take a holiday at a NSW snowfields resort in the next two years up a significant 4% points from a year ago.

“An increasing number of skiers/snowboarders mentioned the resorts of Thredbo/Perisher/ Smiggins and also other snowfields in the Snowy Mountains.

“In contrast the Victorian resorts need to lift their game. Only 22% of skiers/snowboarders mentioned a Victorian snowfield, down 2% points on a year ago, and the declines were spread across the three leading resorts of Mt. Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt. Buller.

“Over 900,000 Australians are regular or occasional skiers/snowboarders and not only is there competition between leading Australian resorts in New South Wales and Victoria for their custom, but over the last few years international snowfields in places such as Japan, New Zealand, the United States and Canada have gained prominence.

“Nearly a quarter of skiers/snowboarders (24%) mention the United States as a destination they’d like to take a holiday to in the next two years compared to 12% of all Australians. The same holds true for other snow destinations including New Zealand (22% cf. 15%), Japan (19% cf. 10%) and Canada (17% cf. 8%).

“However the increasing popularity of international resorts has come during a period when the Australian Dollar (AUD) was elevated and this has changed in the last few months. The AUD has now been valued under 70 US cents consistently since late April – the longest period under this benchmark since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008/09.

“Today’s research shows that although NSW snowfields are moving ahead of their Victorian counterparts at the moment the increasing price attached to an overseas snow trip as the Australian Dollar falls presents new opportunities for the likes of Mt. Buller, Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek to attract holidaymakers to their snow fields over the next few months and years.”

Click here to view a Roy Morgan profile of Australians going skiing or snowboarding on their last holiday or view our range of Holiday Destination Preference Profiles - including profiles of Australians who would like to take a holiday at various Australian regional destinations including Sydney, Melbourne, or at the Snowy Mountains, Victorian High Country and many other regional and overseas destinations.

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Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%