It's no secret that COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns figuratively froze over Australia's beloved ski slopes and resorts in 2020, but new research is suggesting this year's snow season could be one of the most popular in years.
Research into Google search data and trends, conducted by ski tour operator WE ARE SNO, found the top five ski resorts are recording a combined 117 per cent increase in search queries compared to pre-COVID levels.
The study looked at search popularity for each ski resort over the past year compared to previous years to determine which one would be the most popular for holidaymakers, and how visitation is likely to compare to the past.
Resorts in New South Wales appear to be the biggest winners, with Thredbo recording a whopping 172 per cent increase in searches compared to pre-COVID levels for the same time period.
WE ARE SNO says in April 2021 there were 117,530 searches for the resort, almost double any other Australian resort.
In comparison, Perisher has seen searches increase by 128 per cent compared to April 2019, while Hotham and Mt Buller recorded 61,100 and 42,050 searches respectively.
Though the research suggests a bumper period for the ski industry, an influx of visitors to the slopes could impact lift lines.
WE ARE SNO says Falls Creek might be the best bet for those looking for a quieter experience. While searches are up 128 per cent, it has the lowest search count of the main five resorts at 38,340.
Aussie ploughing into New Zealand
With the New Zealand travel bubble in effect for most of Australia WE ARE SNO says many of us down under are looking to take on our neighbour's famous slopes this winter.
Searches on Google by Australians for NZ ski trips are up 152 per cent year on year, and 52 per cent higher than pre-COVID levels for this time of year.
Queenstown and the surrounding resorts of Coronet Peak and Remarkables continues to be the most popular ski destination in NZ with 27,330 searches. However, Wanaka demand has also surged, with 102 per cent more searches over the same period.
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