As Germany comes right after the U.S. in terms of the number of skiers, with an estimated 14.6 million practicing the sport, snow sports specialists are wondering whether Germans are going to go on a ski vacation this year, in spite of Covid-19. The question mark will probably remain for a few more weeks, also in view of the snow conditions. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Schöffel in cooperation with YouGov shows that an overwhelming majority of German winter sports enthusiasts (72%) agree that winter sports can strengthen resistance to the pandemic and personal immune systems. Nevertheless, 46 percent are unsure whether they can practice winter sports as usual because there are still too many unanswered questions about the 2020/21 winter season regarding travel restrictions or hygiene measures in the ski resorts.

The classic winter vacation is viewed rather critically: 24 percent are not planning a regular holiday because of the pandemic. The reasons cited are the general risk of infection, lack of confidence in the safety and hygienic conditions at the resorts and by ski lift operators, but also a lower desire to travel. Twenty-two percent will wait and adapt their vacation plans to the situation. The focus is on individual travel (36%), preferably staying in a private apartment instead of a hotel (32%). The most favorable destination for Germans is Germany (28%), preferably smaller ski areas and resorts off the beaten track (27%).

Fifty-three percent of the respondents said that they do not want to lower their general level of activity this winter. If, however, winter sports participation is reduced, the primary causes are financial (21%) or ecological considerations (17%). Those asked were particularly keen on winter hiking, followed by downhill and cross-country skiing. The survey also shows that sports such as snowshoeing, ski touring and winter biking are among the trendiest activities. Sports and health aspects are clearly at the forefront, while après-ski offers has become less important for booking a winter vacation.

Photo: © Joan Oger on Unsplash