Current figures from DAV, OeAV and Skimo-Austria, an Austrian interest group of ski tourers, show that the group of ski tourers continues to grow. The studies assume a growth of 6 to 10 percent per year. The manufacturers are riding on the wave of success and supply both retailers and end consumers with innovative developments in the areas of skis, clothing and safety equipment.
However, the potential is far from exhausted - dealers and manufacturers agree on this. For example, piste touring was dismissed as a short hype. Similar to bouldering in the climbing hall, however, ski touring on the piste is a low-threshold entry into the sport discipline.
Dynafit recognised this several years ago. Benedikt Böhm, General Manager said: "We see a positive development especially in piste touring and an increasing demand from our retail partners, since tours in the ski area are of course possible even in poor snow conditions".
Dynafit relies on cooperation with lift operators and ski resort owners instead of prohibitions and seeks communication: "We support the fact that piste operators are increasingly looking for solutions to channel ski tourers and alpine skiers." Since November 2019, Dynafit has been a partner in a new concept for skiers on the slopes of the St. Johann Tirol ski lifts and is working together with Intersport Patrick in this context. And the Dynafit ski touring park on the Pitztal glacier is also very popular.
Only ten years ago, ski tours were associated with particularly "hard dogs" who were taking risks and were saving a lift ticket. But the image has changed. Outdoor, and thus also touring, is the lifestyle of a whole generation. Women in particular are also finding more and more pleasure in nature sports.
According to Skimo-Austria, there is already a balance between the sexes in piste touring. In classic ski touring in the open terrain, men are still dominant in the ratio of 70 to 30, but here, too, the touring ladies are increasingly taking off. In the meantime, more and more areas are offering camps and tour trainings especially designed for women.
Sports retailers, such as Stailerai in Oberndorf/Tyrol, recognise a clear trend towards touring as a family activity. Here, too, piste touring is the first choice: It goes up on the slope edge and thus in the prepared ski area, and down on the slope. The feeling and pride of having reached a mountain peak on skis without lift support has a lasting effect on the next generation.
The Stailerai offers local kids a free set-up to try out for one day. Parents come with their kids to pick up the rental equipment. A customer loyalty measure that works across the generations.
The mega trend Urban Outdoor has also arrived at touring. Ski clothing manufacturers such as Spyder bring the slopes into the pedestrian zone. The traditional Austrian brand Löffler also mixes mega trends and is launching its first ski tour collection for the coming season.
Petra Gumpoltsberger, Marketing Löffler, said: "The trend is clearly towards piste touring and ski fitness. Outdoor, in particular touring, is not just a sport, but is increasingly becoming a lifestyle. Our touring textiles can also be worn during leisure time or on the way to work. Thus, it influences not only classic sportswear, but also the fashion industry. The focus is clearly on multi-sports use. This trend is an opportunity for manufacturers to make a fashion statement alongside functionality.