For Australians (outside Victoria) wanting to enjoy some skiing this year the NSW ski resorts of Thredbo, Perisher/Smiggins and smaller resorts in the NSW Snowy Mountains are the only game in town with travel to Victoria closed until at least late August.

The latest Roy Morgan data shows 322,000 Australians plan on visiting one of the NSW Snowfields in the next two years. Over three-quarters of these prospective skiers and snowboarders (249,000) are from NSW/ACT including 180,000 from Sydney and a further 69,000 from Country NSW/ACT.

There are a further 60,000 Australians from the rest of Australia (Queensland, WA, SA, NT or Tasmania) who plan on visiting one of the NSW Snowfields in the next two years. NSW borders remain open to residents of all these locations although the return home might require a period of quarantine.

The Victorian border closure will not have a big impact on the NSW ski resorts as only 13,000 potential skiers and snowboarders from the southern State plan on visiting one of the NSW ski resorts. Most Victorians prefer one of the local resorts.

Australians planning to visit NSW ski resorts by location

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2019 – March 2020, n=378. Base: Australians aged 14+ who say they regularly or occasionally go skiing or snowboarding.

Victorian lockdown closes two resorts, but Mt. Buller remains open

The renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in Melbourne has led to the re-implementation of Stage 3 lockdown restrictions across metropolitan Melbourne and has already seen two of Victoria’s leading ski resorts, Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham, announce immediate six week closures of their ski lifts until late August.

The independently owned Mt. Buller ski resort is still open for business but the latest Roy Morgan data shows Victorian ski resorts, such as Mt. Buller, rely heavily on Melburnians. Of the 163,000 Victorians planning to visit a local ski resort in the next two years 134,000 (82%) are from locked down Melbourne and only 29,000 (18%) are from the still open Country Victoria.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says the renewed outbreak of COVID19 in Victoria has dashed the hopes of Victorian ski resorts but further north in NSW the resorts are open and ready for business: 

“Australian ski resorts have spent months hoping Australians were able to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID19. For NSW resorts this wish has been granted with minimal rates of community transmission in the State for many weeks allowing the Thredbo and Perisher/Smiggins resorts to open for visitors from all parts of Australia apart from Victoria.

“The latest Roy Morgan data shows the southern border closure will not have a big impact on visits to the NSW resorts – only 13,000 Victorians say they planned to visit NSW ski resorts during the next two years. Of the 322,000 Australians who do plan to visit a NSW ski resort over three-quarters are in NSW/ACT including 180,000 in Sydney and 69,000 in regional NSW or the ACT.

“Unfortunately for the Victorian resorts it is set to be a long winter with Mt. Hotham and Falls Creek – both owned by US ski resort operator Vail Resorts – announcing they are closing their ski lifts until late August.

“The rival Mt. Buller resort announced on Friday afternoon that it would remain open for business. However, the lockdown of the Melbourne metropolitan area means only Victorians in rural and regional areas are allowed to visit Mt. Buller. The latest In-depth Roy Morgan data on Victorian skiers and snowboarders shows over 80% of those planning to visit the ski fields reside in metropolitan Melbourne and fewer than 20%, or about 29,000, are in Country Victoria.”

Source: Roy Morgan