Despite significant pandemic-related operating constraints, Quebec resorts recorded 6.1 million skier visits in 2020-21, exceeding the province’s 10-year average of 5.9 million visits, according to preliminary numbers from the Quebec Ski Areas Association’s (AASQ) Economic and Financial Study.
Passholders played a key role in that visitation figure, accounting for 61 percent of total skier visits this season, up a whopping 30 percent year-over-year. The study also showed a slight increase in midweek visitation; it was up 3 percent, quantifying that forecasted trend.
While total visits exceed expectations, restrictions on travel (Quebec was closed to out of province visitors), ski schools, and day tickets impacted revenue substantially. Day ticket revenue fell by 23 percent, and ski area membership revenue decreased by 9 percent. Ski schools were hit hard, reportedly down 62.3 percent in revenue.
Nonetheless, Yves Juneau, AASQ CEO, declared the season a win. “The fact that skiing was allowed all season long in the province of Quebec by the government and that sanitary measures were embraced equally by ski areas’ staff and visitors made all the difference for us. When we compare ourselves to other tourism and leisure industries, it feels like Quebec ski areas experienced a miracle during the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.