The 2008/09 winter sports season saw a 6% drop in passenger numbers with 1.27 million passengers taking a snowbound break.

The Ski Club of Great Britain’s Snowsport Analysis 2009 blamed the fall in skier numbers on a combination of the financial crisis and the weakness of the pound against the euro.

The report also revealed the drop was most felt by the independent travel sector, which saw its share of the market fall from 23.4% in 2007/08 to 21.5% in 2008/09. Operators expanded their share from 76.6% to 78.5% over the same period.

It is believed this is because the pound’s weakness against the euro meant more consumers booked packages in order to save cash, while consumers were also wary of making their own bookings with low-cost carriers following the demise of Zoom Airlines.

The report also revealed nearly half, 47%, of all consumers booked their 2008/09 ski holidays over the phone, 21% used a specialist ski agency while 8% visited a high-street agency. Online booking saw the most significant rise, from 14% to 16%.

Meanwhile, the average cost of a snowsports holiday last season was £686, a £22 increase on the previous year, although this largely due to currency fluctuations.