Swiss ski resorts bounced back in 2021/22 after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the industry hard, reports the Swiss association of mountain lift operators.
March 2022 was a particularly good month for the sector. Dry sunny weather combined with the ending of Covid-19 restrictions led to a 32% year-on-year jump in the number of mountain lift tickets sold and a 37% increase in sales. Over the 2021/22 winter season, ticket numbers (+15%) and sales (+19%) were both higher than the average of the previous five years.
While the fresh snow conditions coveted by those who like to venture off piste were very poor this season, sufficient snow and long periods of sunshine supplied the essential ingredients required to draw the majority of skiers, who are happy to ski on groomed trails.
However, the poor snow conditions were felt acutely in Italian-speaking Ticino. There, mountain lift ticket numbers were down 79%, principally because of a lack of snow.
The biggest winners were resorts in the cantons of Valais (+35%), Central Switzerland (+38%) and Eastern Switzerland (+50%) where year-on-year lift ticket sales numbers were up substantially. These regions have numerous high altitude resorts where snowfall is more reliable.
However, as the snow line rises the number of viable winter resorts is likely to decline across all of Switzerland.