A new association to promote ski and mountain holidays aims to do the same for the sector as the Passenger Shipping Association has done for the cruise market.

The Active Mountain Association (AMA) is the brainchild of Peter Stratton, head of trade liaison for governing body Snow Sport England and managing director of Simpson Recruitment, and tourism consultant Bénédicte Lapeyrere.

AMA, which plans to launch officially on September 1, aims to host events and fam trips, organise a National Mountain Holidays Week and, in the longer-term, set up a training programme for agents similar to that of cruise body Ace.

Stratton said: “We believe there is no single voice shouting from the rooftops urging people to think about a holiday in the mountains for their next trip.

“Why aren’t independent agents getting their share of the ski market? Probably because they are unsure of what they are selling. This is why AMA is needed, to help build knowledge, raise the profile of holidays in the mountains and push growth for ski holidays and summer short breaks.”

He said there was a misconception that skiing was expensive and risky. “It’s like 20 years ago when people thought cruising was for people who wanted to wear a tuxedo every night and eat with the captain – the PSA and Ace has combatted that brilliantly. That’s what we want to achieve.”

To coincide with the launch, an online survey of 18,000 skiers and snowboarders conducted by Spike Marketing found that there was “significant latent demand” in the ski market.

Some 66% of respondents said they would take the same number of skiing holidays in the next five years, 22% said they would take more and 12% said they expected to go on fewer skiing holidays.

❯ For the full report, go to spikemarketing.co.uk