Sport-Related Subculture as a Useful Basis of Market Segmentation: Insights for Ski Area Managers
Sports and recreation are critical components of the modern lifestyle. Love of adventure, the superstar cultural appeal of professional athletes, and concerns about obesity and other health conditions related to a sedentary lifestyle are among the many factors that contribute to the ever increasing popularity of sports. Growing affluence around the world and the accessibility and relative affordability of travel have boosted revenues of recreational sports destinations, such as ski resorts. The ski resort industry is a major player in recreation; in the United States alone, in 2002 ski resorts directly employed over 70,000 people and reported revenues exceeding $1.8 billion (Bunting, Wagner, & Jones, 2005). Beyond the direct contribution of the ski resort industry to the economy, there is also a trickle-down effect to other sectors, including construction, travel and hospitality, and sports equipment manufacturing. Despite the size of the industry, its economic viability faces challenging conditions.