Winter 2022/2023 – The top five trends identified by the HomeAway Mountain Vacations Observatory

The mountain in winter, a holiday that goes beyond skiing

A trend reinforced by an exceptional 2021/2022 season according to a study by HomeAway®

For only 27% of holidaymakers, the mountain rhymes with skiing from morning to night
83% of holidaymakers who left last winter enjoyed their stay despite the closure of the ski lifts
62% of vacationers planning to leave next winter plan to stay in a vacation rental
Eating out is the top activity for 56% of mountain enthusiasts (and even 59% of families with children)

Paris, November 17, 2021 – As winter approaches and the first winter sports resorts open this week, Abritel®, expert in family holiday rentals, reveals the new behavior of French people on holiday in the mountains. A targeted study* conducted by

YouGov in October with 1,000 French holidaymakers highlights their new expectations for winter mountain holidays, trends reinforced by a previous season disrupted by the health crisis.

Discover the presentation document by clicking here

Mountain holidays, much more than skiing

After an extraordinary last winter, Abritel’s latest study reveals that the health crisis has reinforced a new way of enjoying a stay in the mountains. French holidaymakers have indeed been able to experience and appreciate the mountains differently. Despite the measures to close the ski lifts.

In addition, even in normal times, 83% of those who enjoy winter sports holidays in the mountains say that they engage in activities other than skiing.

As for the next winter season, 63% of those planning to spend a holiday in the mountains confirm that they will not give up on departure even in the event of a new closure of the ski lifts.

On the other hand, 69% of holidaymakers say they are ready to go to the mountains in winter even if there is not enough snow, especially if the resort allows other activities (for 28% of them).

However, snow cover remains a more important criterion for families with children, 36% of whom (compared to 28% of holidaymakers without children) do not want to leave if they cannot ski in the best conditions.

Looking for a multitude of experiences

Regarding the criteria for a successful holiday in the mountains in winter, only 27% of holidaymakers mention the possibility of skiing from morning to night and almost as many (25%) seek out the diversity of sports activities to practice.

What are these other activities vacationers look for?

Trips to restaurants come first for 56% of mountain enthusiasts (and even 59% of families with children), followed by nature walks (55%), snowshoeing (41%), sledding (37%), cross-country skiing (24% ), water sports (16%) and dog sledding (15%).

Alpine skiing is only really practiced by 44% of those who go to the mountains in winter.

In terms of the activities other than downhill skiing that they would like to do, families cite dog sledding in the first place (35%). And still tempted by animals, 14% of families want to be tempted by Ski-Joering (a new ski activity where you are pulled by a horse).

Xavier Rousselou, Abritel spokesperson on consumer studies, notes: “After a long period marked by restrictions, the French are showing serious appetite for the mountains. In addition to skiing, they are clearly looking for a variety of activities to take full advantage of all the delights of the mountains in winter. French seaside resorts must continue their efforts to diversify their range of sports, nature and well-being activities. »

Holiday in the snow, an atmosphere and above all an atmosphere

A change of scenery, friendliness and, above all, rejuvenation are what French holidaymakers particularly appreciate during a holiday in the mountains. 60% of mountain lovers in winter associate a successful holiday with enjoying nature, 56% say they meet family or friends during this winter holiday. 45% of them mention the possibility to rest and 41% mention the balance between sports activities and relaxation activities.

The special atmosphere of the mountain also counts for a lot, since 52% of holidaymakers are seduced by the presence of snow and the whiteness of the landscape. When it comes to choosing their destination, they are also 52% of holidaymakers to take into account the beauty of the environment and the charm of the village or resort, but also 34% to appreciate the family character of the place as a criteria to be mentioned among the first selections, well ahead of the size of the ski area (mentioned by only 20% of holidaymakers).

No successful holiday without cozy accommodation

Holiday homes are by far the favorite accommodation of French holidaymakers for their snow holidays. 62% of holidaymakers planning to go to the mountains next winter plan to choose this type of accommodation where they feel at home. They are indeed 37% to want to rent an apartment and 25% a chalet. Families with children prefer holiday homes even more often (70%).

Charm and comfort are the main criteria when choosing an accommodation for 41% of holidaymakers, followed by the presence of a parking space (36%), Wi-Fi (33%) and direct access to the slopes (29%). Ultimate comfort, they look for a fireplace for 16% and a sauna or hammam for 12%.

How do you go on a skiing holiday?

For your next winter holiday, you may want to go skiing and take advantage of this time to get together with your family. This year you don’t know yet which station you’re going to. On the other hand, you know that you plan to ski in the Alps. If you want to make the most of your holiday and enjoy one of your passions, we recommend skiing in the ski resort of Les Arcs.

Now that you have chosen a resort, it is essential to book your accommodation. If you want to discover the accommodation offer in Les Arcs, you can go here. Indeed, when you are going to book your stay, always prefer a site that specializes in winter sports holidays, as is the case with Depending on your needs and your desires, you should know that you can make your stay à la carte.

You can opt for an all-inclusive formula with rental of accommodation and equipment. You can decide to book only this or that part. Depending on your holiday or your days off, you can book your skiing holiday for a weekend or a week.

What resolutions for this winter?

42% of French holidaymakers are planning to go on holiday this winter, with the majority (52%) choosing the mountains as their destination. 60% of families with children plan to go to the mountains. The others leave by the sea, in the countryside, in the city, in France or abroad or do not yet know their destination.

The month of February remains the most popular time for these mountain holidays, as 49% of these holidaymakers plan to leave in February, an even higher percentage for families with children who plan 54% of holidays that month.

The months of January (27%) and December (25%) will also be popular.

On the other hand, 40% of French holidaymakers plan their holidays and book them more than a month in advance, 50% when it comes to families with children.

On Abritel, the most requested destinations so far** for the February holidays are:

  • Bourg Saint Maurice
  • Morzine
  • Gerardmer
  • Les Belleville
  • Tignes
  • La Plage
  • The two Alps
  • Saint Lary Soulan
  • LaClusaz
  • Valloire

Xavier Rousselou explains: “The mountains in winter remain a major destination for French holidaymakers. The health crisis has not affected the desire to go to the mountains next winter, especially among families. The diversification of sports and leisure activities, in addition to alpine skiing, combined with the quality of the accommodation, reinforce the passion of the French, and families in particular, for mountain tourism »

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