• Nearly £700 million is spent on winter holidays by those who don’t ski or snowboard
  • Over a million Brits jet off to ski resorts each year but don’t participate in winter sports
  • Reasons include not knowing how to ski or snowboard, being dragged along on the trip by a partner and ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO)

New research from Direct Line Travel Insurance1 reveals that over a million Brits jet off to ski resorts each year for winter holidays, but don’t ever hit the slopes to ski or snowboard. Nearly £700 million2 is spent annually by travelers who go on winter holidays to enjoy the après ski entertainment.

A skiing holiday for non-skiers costs on average £592, but almost one in 10 (eight per cent) have spent over £1,000, despite not needing to pay for lift passes or equipment.

Men are more likely to jet off on winter holidays to the slopes without skiing or snowboarding than women (15 per cent vs. eight per cent) and one in five of those aged 18 to 34 has been to a ski resort in recent years without participating in snow sports.

Reasons for not hitting the slopes include: not knowing how to ski or snowboard (22 per cent), going along to partake in other activities (21 per cent), being dragged along by a partner (12 per cent) and only going along for the après ski (eight per cent). An additional six per cent went because they have ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO). One in 10 (10 per cent) went intending to ski or snowboard but couldn’t because there was no snow.

The study reveals that for those that ‘can’t ski, won’t ski’ on their winter break, the most common ‘alternative’ pastime is walking (28 per cent) or shopping (20 per cent). A further one in five (19 per cent) spend their time eating or exploring the town and local area.

Table one: Top 10 most common activities people spent their time doing instead of skiing or snowboarding


% of respondents

Went walking


Went shopping


I spent my time eating


Explored the town/local area


Took part in cultural activities (such as museums, guided tours of landmarks, etc.)


Went ice skating


Had a spa day/days


Went on husky rides


I stayed in bed


I spent my time drinking


Source: Direct Line Travel Insurance, 2016

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line, commented: “Thousands of Brits jet off to ski resorts each winter and while the thought of speeding down a mountain side may be exhilarating for some, it can be intimidating for others. So it’s no wonder over a million of us choose to avoid the slopes altogether, spending our well earned time off exploring the local area, enjoying the après ski and relaxing in the hotel spa.

“Those heading to somewhere cold and snowy this winter should ensure that they have the right travel insurance as injuries can happen on or off the slopes.”

- ENDS -

Notes to Editor

  1. Research was conducted by Opinium amongst a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults between 20th and 24th October. Figures have been scaled up using a nationally representative sample (51,339,000).
  2. 11% have been on holiday without skiing over the last five years, assuming an equal split across each year = 5,749.968 / 5 = 1,155,128 per year, multiplied by average cost of holiday (£592.28) = £681,120,242.55 per year


* More information on skiing holiday insurance can be found here and here

For further information, please contact:

Claire Jarrett 
Media Relations Associate 
Direct Line Group

Tel: 01651 832 411
Email: [email protected]

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

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