Destinations

STUDY: NSW snowfields the ‘main game’ in town with Victorian border closed

The NSW ski resorts of Thredbo, Perisher, Smiggins and smaller resorts in the Snowy Mountains are the only game in town with travel to Victoria closed until at least late August, according to new research.

A study by Roy Morgan has found that 322,000 Aussies plan to visit one of New South Wales’ snowfields in the next two years.

Over three-quarters of these prospective skiers and snowboarders (249,000) are from NSW and the ACT, including 180,000 from Sydney and a further 69,000 from country NSW or the ACT.

A further 60,000 Australians from the rest of Australia (Queensland, WA, SA, the NT or Tasmania) plan on visiting one of the NSW snowfields in the next two years, data from Roy Morgan shows.

The news adds to the already apparent popularity of ski resorts like Thredbo, which has struggled to keep up with demand from Australian travellers eager to hit the slopes.

The resort apologised in June after its website crashed due to “overwhelming” demand for ski passes.

NSW borders remain open to residents of all these locations. However, the return home to Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania will require quarantining upon arrival.

Moreover, with the growth of clusters of coronavirus infections emerging in south-west Sydney, the Northern Territory and Queensland have declared COVID-19 hotspots in multiple areas across NSW.

Data from Roy Morgan also shows 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. However, most Victorians prefer one of the local resorts.

The release of Roy Morgan’s latest tourism study comes amid Melbourne’s re-implementation of stage three lockdown restrictions, as the state battles a second wave of coronavirus cases across greater Melbourne.

In the last 24 hours, Victoria has reported a record 317 coronavirus cases – the highest daily total since 10 July when Victoria recorded 288 cases in one day – and two deaths, bringing the total number of lives lost in the state to 29.

Off the back of that move by the Andrews state government, two of Victoria’s leading ski resorts, Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham, announced immediate six-week closures of their ski lifts until late August.

The independently-owned Mt. Buller ski resort is still open for business. However, 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, 82 per cent are from locked-down Melbourne and only 18 per cent are from still-open country Victoria.


Featured image source: iStock/_sudesh_ 

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