Let’s go…snow holiday with Club Med
When it comes to South Africans picking holidays or destinations for a trip, more often than not a sun or beach destination will come out on top, as these are “familiar” options – and we know that Mauritius is a firm favourite for South Africans, considering its great weather for most of the year and the convenient four-hour flight to get there.
The thought of a “Snow Holiday” may seem foreign (both literally and figuratively) to a large portion of the South African market. There are many possible reasons for this, including the fact that South Africans do not see snow (unless in the Lesotho/Drakensburg region), which means a snow holiday is not top-of-mind. A snow holiday also seems like a lot more of “a mission” with a lot more prep and planning required than, say, a beach holiday or a trip to the bush.
There are also misconceptions around the cost of snow holidays. Many South Africans look at the DIY snow holiday option – in putting their trip together themselves – which becomes very costly very quickly; and they are perhaps not aware of the fact that an all-inclusive package is the more cost-effective option. And finally, there is perhaps a bit of apprehension around the cold weather. (How on earth will I keep warm?)
Having said all of that, South Africans by a whole – are an adventurous bunch who are keen to try new things, and so a snow holiday should fit perfectly into this spirit.
Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho is one snow destination close to home that South Africans visit either to try their hand at skiing, snowboarding or other snow sports, or simply to see and experience snow.
The popularity of the snow holiday experience – a growing trend towards skiing has emerged, and what was once seen as an elite and exclusive pastime, in recent years has started transforming itself into an experience that’s more accessible than ever before.
While snow holidays are typically assumed to be for snow sport enthusiasts, they are becoming extremely popular as a holiday option for those looking for a wellness, health and relaxation retreat.
“That may sound surprising, but there is so much to do at a snow-filled destination than just ski or snowboard. Whether its shopping, indulging in the resort’s spa treatments, hopping on and off chair lifts to discover the best views of the region for the perfect Instagram picture, tobogganing, snow-shoe walking, enjoying the Jacuzzi in the snow, or simply sitting at the fireplace with a good book with majestic mountains spread out in front of you – there’s so much to offer everyone,” says Olivier Hannaert, MD of Club Med Southern Africa.
More South African families are opting for snow holidays, too. They are looking for resorts that cater to the whole family. Club Med offers the perfect solution for families as children stay free at select snow resorts!
This includes daily ski or snowboarding lessons (for the little ones and adults) with professional instructors every day and a variety of in-resort and out-of-resort activities, allowing the whole family to enjoy the snow and the slopes.
Globally there is high demand for snow holidays, which means snow holiday resorts are also in need. Club Med has also made a concerted effort to try and make snow holidays more accessible to a larger part of the population, and with over 20 all-inclusive Club Med snow resorts around the world at present, and one new snow resort opening each year, Club Med is answering this demand and providing a wider variety for the South African traveller who is keen to try something new, somewhere new.
· Afriski saw 11 000 day visitors during the 2016 winter season (June, July and August 2016)
· Of which about 60% actually skied or took part in some form of snow activity
· And roughly 24 000 bed nights sold during that season (7 600 guests who stayed for three or four nights)
· 2015-2016 saw a 10% increase of guests staying at Afriski which is testament to the fact that more South Africans are entertaining the idea of a snow holiday.
Let us know your fave ski spot of all time below 🙂
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