Winter on mountain yes, but without working too hard. Or at least, without doing winter sports such as skiing and do more relaxing things. This is the "Slons’" philosophy, a new category of tourists. Or perhaps it has always existed, but only now it is significant in tourism statistics.
Slons means "Snow Lovers No Skiers". Snow yes, ski no. And starting from this assumption there are many opportunities for those who, in fact, enjoy mountains in winter and wants to enjoy the snowy peaks without boots or skis. At first we would just call them "lazy" but the Slons have many activities to do during the day: Spas, wine tasting in mountain refuges, aperitifs at high altitude... They accept short snowshoes walks, just to digest. The important thing is that the landscape is covered with snow.
The main thing for hotel facilities is to have as many captivating tools as possible to 'capture' the Slons. South Tyrol hoteliers know it really well, they are the best, they always offer relaxing solutions even during the ski season.
This market share is growing more and more. This is well demonstrated by the last analysis - presented during the 21st edition of Ski Pass - realized by "Ski Pass Panorama Italian Tourism Observatory for the Mountain Tourism", which does periodic analyses on both the tourism market and the winter sports, identifying the latest trends. The result? It is estimated that 780,000 Italians, in 2015, would be willing to spend a vacation in the mountains enjoying the food and wine pleasures, shopping and cultivating relationships without practicing any sport. Here they are, the Slons.
So the facilities must be ready for new customers, changing approach and offers. We are talking about an estimated turnover of 268 million Euros. An enormous opportunity for the mountain areas. Speaking of valuations, we must say that the data are not exactly encouraging: only 14% of the ski resorts will be ready for the upcoming winter season with some important innovations in terms of services. The most popular initiatives to win the Slons are food initiatives, massages, shopping, dinners in mountain refuges (with snowcats transport, of course).
Experts have noticed that skiing is now influenced by the Baby-boomers, adult skiers who weren’t able to pass on their children the passion for this sport. And among "Slons" and "Baby-boomers" there is another key player in this winter season: the "Glam lady", a lady between 43 and 65 years, very active in cocktails and dinner. Much less on the ski slopes.