The 2018-2019 ski season has now ended. What general conclusions can be drawn?

Ski conditions - snow cover, weather - have been excellent this year and the market stakeholders are delighted. However, the results remain mixed for hosts who have seen a slight in the number of bookings. This can be explained by a context marked by the question of the ‘yellow vest’ protesters who have had a negative impact on the foreign clientèle, as well as by Brexit, given that Brits represent 40% of the market, and the slowdown in the Russian economy. The market nevertheless remains dynamic with a new international clientèle composed of Americans, Chinese and Kazakhs in particular, who are offsetting the withdrawing nationalities.

What about Cimalpes?

Cimalpes is experiencing strong growth this year. This can be explained by its rental portfolio that offers high-end services and benefits in line with market trends, as well as by its management system based on yield management, which has allowed us to adapt our prices to the changes in demand and increase our occupancy rates. Furthermore, our multilingual booking service and our presence on OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), which represent 28% of demand, allow us to be constantly connected to the international market. Cimalpes has the highest OTA visibility of all mountain-based real estate companies!

How are the expectations of holiday-goers evolving?

Location is an increasingly important factor, as well as the property’s design and the ‘after-ski’ activities on offer. Nowadays, people want a change of scenery, a break from the daily grind! Another evolution that is accelerating is demand for more flexible booking dates. The mountain real estate market still relies too heavily on the principle of week-by-week stays, often from Saturday to Saturday. Clients now want to be able to choose their dates, but only very few companies offer this luxury!

And which trends will be growing over the coming years?

The share of collaborative platforms, like Le Bon Coin and Airbnb, or OTAs, Booking, for example, in bookings. The market share of collaborative platforms is set to exceed 50%, while OTAs, currently estimated at 16%, will be nearing 25% in the five years’ time. Bookings for short stays will also increase, exceeding 30% by 2020: the mountain sector therefore needs to adapt quickly as the clientele is highly volatile and has no qualms about changing resorts if necessary.

Benjamin Berger

CEO of Cimalpes

Benjamin is the Managing Director of Cimalpes. He is active in rental, transaction and management in the resorts of Courchevel, Meribel, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val d'Isère and Megeve. A s a local, he is an expert on these destinations in which he has carried out all the activities of Cimalpes, in the field, in the back office, in reception or in marketing.