Since 2020, the global ski market has exhibited considerable activity and growth, despite challenges posed by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, the market reached a value of $1.70 billion and is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2 percent from 2024 to 2032. 

In Italy, the ski industry saw a significant decline in total turnover value from 2017 to 2021, plummeting by 56.9 percent to 1.5 billion euros, in the broad category that includes ski lifts. The ski equipment rental market is geographically concentrated, with regions such as Trentino-Alto Adige, Lombardy, and Piedmont claiming the largest market shares. Concerns over temperature increases at ski resorts and reliance on artificial snow have underscored environmental concerns, with about 90 percent of Italian slopes using artificial snow. The market structure reveals a slight decrease in active enterprises and a gradual decline in the number of employees in the sector. Overall, the ski industry is managing to recover and grow amidst adapting to environmental challenges and changing consumer behaviors..

Trends in the Italian Ski Market

Amidst Climatic Changes In recent years, Italy has seen a dynamic shift in its ski market, influenced by a mix of environmental challenges and changing consumer behavior. The sector, contributing significantly to the local economy through its vast network of slopes and lifts, faced a promising growth with the number of snow sports enthusiasts reaching between 4 and 4.5 million, a subtle increase despite the pandemic's impact on tourism and leisure activities. This upward tick in participation was shadowed by a noticeable decline in days spent on the slopes per individual, hinting at a reduction in turnover for the industry. This reflects a broader trend where activities such as hiking and winter trekking emerge, attributable to growing environmental concerns and a shift towards less crowded experiences. Alpine skiing secured its position as the most preferred discipline, garnering over 60 percent of interest among winter sports participants, while snowboarding also held a steadfast presence. Furthermore, the geographical spread of ski equipment rental services across Italy revealed that regions like Trentino-Alto Adige, Trentino, and Lombardy remain hotspots, harboring over 50 percent of the rental market, showing a continued demand in these areas.
Ski resorts are progressively relying on artificial snow production, with Italy taking a forefront position. This adaptation measure is not without its criticisms, as it places enormous strain on energy resources, environmental landscapes, and water supplies. Current estimates suggest an alarming energy consumption of around 1400 GWh per season for snow production in the Alpine region, with the potential to escalate due to temperature increases. The market structure within Italy is equally nuanced, with a diversity of enterprise types operating the lifts. Primarily, limited liability companies and individual entrepreneurs occupied the market. However, a reduction in workforce by around 10 percent over recent years suggests an industry in transition. Italy's ski industry, while growing in demand and striving to innovate amid climate-induced constraints, paints a complex picture. 

Key Players Shaping the Italian Ski Resort Industry

The Italian ski resort landscape is populated by various stakeholders, ranging from resort operators, lift companies, to those providing ancillary services such as equipment rental and ski schools. These organizations play a pivotal role in crafting the ski experience for enthusiasts who flock to the slopes every year. 

Lift and Cable Car Operators: A central component of the skiing infrastructure in Italy is the operation of funiculars, ski lifts, and chairlifts. Companies specializing in these services ensure seamless access to mountain terrains, offering both convenience and safety to skiers. These operators are often seen as the backbone of the ski resort ecosystem, as their services directly impact a resort's capacity and skier flow. Being the point of entry to the slopes, they also significantly influence customer satisfaction and retention.

Resort Management Companies: Responsible for the overall experience, resort management companies handle accommodation, dining, and activities that extend beyond skiing. These companies create a holistic environment, encompassing luxurious stays and high-quality dining experiences that cater to both skiers and non-skiers. They organize events and entertainment to enhance the stay and often handle the marketing and sales of vacation packages, amplifying the resort's appeal and drawing tourists from around the globe.

Rental Services: The rental market for ski equipment is crucial, especially for facilitating access to ski gear for tourists who may not own equipment or prefer not to travel with it. Operationally agile and responsive to market demand changes, these enterprises are distributed across Italy's ski regions, with notable concentrations in areas like Trentino-Alto Adige. They provide everything from skis and snowboards to helmets and boots, ensuring that all skiers, regardless of their skill level, have the necessary equipment for a safe and enjoyable experience on the slopes.

Ski and Snowboard Schools: Catering to all levels of skiers and snowboarders, ski schools are instrumental in the Italian ski market. Offering lessons from beginner to advanced levels, these schools not only help novices learn the ropes but also allow experienced skiers to refine their techniques. Staffed by certified instructors, these schools are key in aiding skiers to navigate the slopes confidently and safely.

Snowmakers: With the climatic challenges imposing a threat to natural snowfall, companies that specialize in artificial snowmaking have become increasingly relevant. By guaranteeing snow cover, these players support ski resorts in maintaining reliable operations throughout the season.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market Summary

1.1 Introduction

Ski resorts are a vital sector in the tourism and sports industry, with a significant impact on the global economy. By 2023, the global ski market had reached a value of $1.70 billion, showing the popularity and importance of the winter sport. The growth forecast for the market is estimated at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2 percent between 2024 and 2032, underscoring a steady growth trend in the industry.

In Italy, the ski sector is particularly thriving. The country boasts 5,792 km of slopes, stretching across various regions, offering a wide range of skiing experiences for all skill levels. These slopes are supported by 1,830 lifts, which facilitate access to the various trails and contribute to the efficiency and accessibility of Italy's ski resorts.

Ski resorts offer a wide range of services and activities, going far beyond just skiing. These facilities are designed to provide a complete experience for both winter sports enthusiasts and those seeking a relaxing stay in the mountains.

  • Liftsand Slopes: in addition to lifts connecting different parts of the mountain, ski resorts offer slopes of varying difficulty, from beginner trails to those for experienced skiers. This ensures that every visitor finds a trail suited to his or her abilities and preferences.
  • Ski and Snowboard Schools: many ski resorts offer ski and snowboard lessons for all levels, from beginners to advanced. These courses are taught by qualified instructors and are a great way to learn or perfect skiing techniques.
  • Accommodationsand Dining: ski resorts often include a variety of lodging options, from luxurious hotels to more intimate and cozy chalets. They also offer a variety of dining options, from fine dining restaurants to traditional mountain lodges, where local and international dishes can be enjoyed.
  • Activities for Non-Skiers: for those who do not ski, ski resorts offer alternatives such as snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, and spas. These activities allow people to enjoy the beauty of the mountain environment even without skiing.
  • Events and Entertainment: ski resorts often organize events and entertainment, such as concerts, sports competitions, and family activities, making your stay even more enjoyable and diverse.
  • Equipment Rental: for those who do not own their own equipment, many resorts offer rental services for skis, snowboards, boots, helmets and everything else needed for a safe and enjoyable skiing experience.
  • Safetyand First Aid: safety is a priority at ski resorts, which are staffed with qualified first aid and snow emergency management personnel.

However, the ski resort industry is facing significant challenges due to the environmental crisis. Climate change and global warming have a direct impact on snow conditions and the length of the ski season. Reduced snow cover and rising temperatures are putting a strain on ski resorts, which must adapt to ensure continued operations. This includes investing in snowmaking systems and developing sustainable strategies to mitigate environmental impacts. The environmental crisis not only affects the skiing experience, but also the local economies that depend heavily on ski tourism.

In this context, ski resorts are called upon to balance economic growth and environmental sustainability by seeking innovative solutions to protect and preserve the mountain environment while ensuring the best possible experience for ski enthusiasts.

1.2 The global market

Worldwide, there are **,*** km of slopes: ski areas are served by **,*** lifts . The market for cable cars and ropeways is expected to reach a projected market value of $** million by ****, with an average CAGR of**.* percent. The market currently has a value of $*.* million. The increase in demand is attributable to ...

1.3 The domestic market

To visualize the value of the Italian market, consider data for Ateco Code **.** (***) the value is *.* billion.

Value of turnover enterprises active in "other land passenger transport nca," Ateco Code **.** Italy, ****-****, in billion euros (***) Istat

1.4 Increases in temperatures at Italian ski resorts

In a detailed analysis involving *** municipalities located between the mountain ranges of the Alps and Apennines in Italy, a worrying picture emerged regarding rising temperatures. This phenomenon, which reflects the urgent global climate crisis, shows significant variations in intensity depending on the specific location. Among the municipalities analyzed, those with the ...

1.5 The plants in Italy

Decommissioned, temporarily closed, and partially closed ski facilities represent different phases of inactivity in ski areas. Decommissioned facilities are ski resorts that have been completely abandoned and are no longer in operation, often leaving behind dilapidated facilities. Temporarily closed facilities, on the other hand, are ski areas that have stopped operations ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand characteristics

In the ****-**** winter season, the number of snow sportsmen reached *.** million, marking a * percent growth from *.** million in the ****-**** season. This increase comes despite the significant impacts of the COVID-** pandemic on previous ski seasons. During the peak of the pandemic, the ski industry faced significant challenges, including early ...

2.2 Factors influencing demand

For the ****-** season, Skipass Panorama estimated *,***,*** participants in snow sports, with a specific increase for slope skiing. However, the increase in the number of practitioners is balanced by the reduction in days spent on the mountain per individual. Despite the increase in practitioners, turnover is expected to decline, not only ...

2.3 Geographical distribution of ski rental in Italy

The geographic distribution of ski equipment rental in Italy, based on **** data, provides an interesting overview of both the popularity of skiing in different regions and the intensity of use of rental services. Trentino-Alto Adige emerges as the leading region with **.* percent of the market, followed by Trentino with **.* percent and ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market structure and dynamics

To view the overview of the market structure and dynamics, we analyze Ateco code **.**.**, which includes the operation of funiculars, ski lifts and chairlifts (***). Analyzing the active enterprises in the sector, there was a slight decrease from **** of *.** percent. **** was the year in which activity decreased the most compared to the ...

3.2 Value Chain

The following is an overview regarding the value chain in the analyzed market, focusing on the different key stages:

design and construction: includes the planning and implementation of the ski lifts and necessary infrastructure; maintenance and operations: this phase covers the regular maintenance of lifts and slopes to ensure safety and ...

3.3 Geographical distribution of ski areas

Italy has *** ski areas with *,*** kilometers of slopes served by just over *,*** lif ts, according to Italy's offerings in Europe are measured against those of neighboring France, which according to's findings offers **,*** kilometers of slopes spread across *** ski resorts where *,*** lifts are active.[***]

3.4 Artificial snow: a relevant segment of the Italian landscape

The increasing reliance on artificial snow elevation in the ski industry is a worrying trend, particularly evident in Italy, where this phenomenon occurs with greater intensity than in other European countries. Some experts argue that this practice is an effective solution for adapting to climate change; however, this perspective does not ...

3.5 Main actors

The following are the main enterprises in the industry:

Also of note are the facilities of the famous resorts of Courmayour and Cortina, which occupy lower positions in the ranking. The former, operated by Courmayeur Mont Blanc Funivie S.p.a., recorded revenues of €**,***,*** in ****, the latest year for which data ...

4 Supply analysis

4.1 Type of Offering

In Italy, ski passes are tickets or passes that provide access to the lifts at a ski resort. There are different types of ski passes, each designed to meet the specific needs of skiers and snowboarders.

Single-Day Lift Pass: This type of lift pass is valid for a single day and ...

4.2 Ski pass prices

Ski pass prices vary depending on several factors, such as date, age, and number of days, and can be purchased online or at resort checkouts. For more details and up-to-date rates, it is recommended to consult ski resort websites or online booking platforms directly. Below is an overview of the pricing ...

4.3 Technological revolution in Val Thorens: drones improve ski safety and efficiency

Val Thorens, an integral part of the majestic * Vallées ski area in the French Alps, stands out as the highest ski resort in Europe. With its *** km of slopes, it offers a wide range of serpentine runs and immaculate slopes. This prestigious destiny, known for its vast and varied ski ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Rules and regulations

The safety of lifts

Italian regulations on the safety of chairlifts and cableways have been updated, aiming to ensure maximum safety for users of these facilities.

Managerial Decree of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (***) No. *** of May **, ****: This decree introduced specific models for operation and maintenance regulations for cableways used ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Segmentation


  • Funivie Madonna di Campiglio
  • Funivie Folgarida Marilleva
  • Cervinio
  • 3 Zinnen
  • Magellim Groupe
  • Società Incremento Turistico Canazei
  • Funivia Plan De Corones
  • Carosello 3000

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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Funivie Madonna di Campiglio
Funivie Folgarida Marilleva
3 Zinnen
Magellim Groupe
Società Incremento Turistico Canazei
Funivia Plan De Corones
Carosello 3000

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