During the first weekend of the ski season opening on December 2nd and 3rd, Alpe d’Huez experienced remarkable attendance with 14,500 skiers mainly from the Rhône-Alpes region. This enthusiasm underscores the consistent popularity of iconic ski resorts as winter destinations. During this period, 55% of the slopes were accessible. The ski lifts managed by SATA GROUP-AEON recorded over 140,000 passages, surpassing the previous year by 40,000. Skiers enjoyed the legendary Sarenne slope, starting from Pic Blanc and recognized as Europe’s longest.
Regarding snow conditions, there were optimal snow conditions, providing a wide choice of slopes from the start of the season. The presence of many Spanish and Italian tourists, among other nationalities, reflects the international allure of Alpe d’Huez, further strengthening its reputation as a preferred destination for both French and international ski enthusiasts.
The growing interest of urban vacationers in the “mountain” experience during the opening of the Alpe d’Huez station
highlights a emerging trend : This season has shown an increasing interest among urban holidaymakers, often less experienced in winter sports and high-altitude stays, in choosing the mountains as a vacation destination.
Their primary interest lies in the overall appreciation of the mountain environment rather than the specific practice of skiing. This shift marks a significant change in the composition of visitors to ski resorts, which were previously predominantly dominated by skiers.
Growing Interest in the Mountains The increasing interest of urban vacationers in the “mountain” experience has roots in several factors. On one hand, modern urban life comes with a fast pace and a dense environment, creating a thirst for nature and escape among many city dwellers. Mountains offer a striking contrast to cities, providing a peaceful environment, breathtaking natural beauty, and clean air, away from urban pollution and noise.
On the other hand, social and cultural changes have contributed to this trend. With growing awareness of the importance of health and well-being, as well as a desire to disconnect from omnipresent technology, people are seeking activities that reconnect them with nature and offer a form of physical and mental relaxation. The mountain is perceived as a place where one can have authentic and enriching experiences. This translates into sports activities, exploring local culture, or simply enjoying the pleasure of being in an extraordinary setting.
This diversification of the audience indicates a shift in tourists’ expectations and desires. Today, mountain resorts like Alpe d’Huez are adapting to accommodate a broader range of visitors. The resort offers a more varied set of activities and services, extending beyond traditional skiing. It emphasizes unique and enriching experiences tailored to diverse preferences, thereby expanding their appeal and reinforcing their position as preferred holiday destinations.