Australian Ski Industry Faces Crisis After Lockdown Filled Winter

Australian Ski Industry Faces Crisis After Lockdown Filled Winter

Australia

Australian Ski Industry Faces Crisis After Lockdown Filled Winter

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“In our city store, we are down over 90 percent so it’s really just about survival … I think most snow retailers are doing the same thing. How do we survive? How do we still have our businesses intact when this all starts to end, which won’t be till June 2022?”Neil Ritchie, Owner of Auski retailer in Melbourne

After two straight winters of various lockdowns, the Australian ski industry is not in good shape. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that there is panic among ski industry officials in Australia following two disastrous seasons. Various factors have got the Australian ski industry here. For one, foreign and domestic tourism has been nonexistent for the past two years because of the pandemic. This season, visitors from cities like Sydney have been completely blocked from traveling to the mountains due to heavily enforced lockdowns. Ski shops can’t get business from foreign visitors and out of towners, and have made next to no money over the past two years. With a nine-month wait until next season, many businesses in the industry are expected to shut down altogether.

Some ski resorts, like Charlotte Pass, have shut down operations for the season due to the uncertainty and costs that this winter season has left the mountain in a losing situation. Mountains like Falls Creek have had to reopen three times due to the lockdowns. Many resorts are facing complaints from customers for a lack of refunds.
Prior to the pandemic era, the ski industry in the country was a $2 billion dollar business and contributed 200,000 jobs to the economy. Industry leaders are now aiming for government aid packages to save the industry, including for off-mountain businesses such as manufacturers and ski stores. To summarize, Snowsports Industries Australia describes the urgency needed to save the industry:

“There has been a closure of nearly two years … our members have gone through their second winter as essentially a non-event…We are pretty resilient … but it is an impossible task to ask them to survive … there are going to be some casualties, unfortunately.”

Image Credits: Falls Creek, Charlotte Pass Snow Resort

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