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Wednesday September 7, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

It's the Holy Grail for the industry - bringing in the next generation of snowsports lovers and one man seems to be doing it rather well. Step forward Rob Tominey.

Rob is 27- years old.

In 2011 he set up a company called Main Stage Travel. Then he established a music festival in Andorra - Snowboxx.

It went rather well.

So he moved it to Avoriaz and 3,500 people turned up.

Next year he expects numbers to swell to 5,000.

And then he wants to have more festivals at more resorts.

"The young, and I'm talking about people from 20 to 35, are an entirely different market to the traditional family skiing or middle-aged market," said Rob.

The future of snowsports?The future of snowsports?













"The youth travel industry is booming. In the strange era we find ourselves in, young people in their twenties and early thirties can't afford to buy a house but they can spend their money on other things: skiing holidays," added Rob. "And they are".

He was unveiling his story and his plans as the annual Ski Launch event on Tuesday this week in West London - it one of the first major events in the UK snowsport industry to to kick off the 2016/17 winter build up and included talks on growing the snowsports industry.

The CEO of the Ski Club of Great Britain, Frank McCusker, spoke first on the topic and concentrated on a new initiative to fund GB snowsports athletes that will hopefully encourage participtation.

The British Snowsports Fund, will see the UK ski travel industry try to generate donations from recreational skiers and snowboarders.

Holidaymakers booking a trip with several ski companies, including many of the major tour operators, will be invited to make a small donation to help the country's future Winter Olympians.

Think cycling and how sporting success has led to more people getting involved - we will be reporting the full details on that later here on PlanetSKI as it has its official launch on September 22nd

Rob Tominey has been growing the market already.

"There are three core issues of this demographic: newbies, females in sports, and summer competition," Rob said.

The number of festivals in the UK has boomed in recent years.

Big name festivals now doubling up on the same weekend, and they start earlier in the year and continue well into September.

Not to mention the number of festivals abroad attended internationally by young Britons...

The bare fact is that there is an increase in the number going away on holiday and a decrease in those heading to the mountains.

"Summer is winning, and winter needs to step up its game," Rob said to the delegates.

Snowboxx is now a five-day-long party that provides big names in music, lots of on- and off-mountain activities, good food, even better apres ski, bottomless brunches, and manages to base it all round a day of skiing.

Snowboxx Festival has sold out for the past four years and has increased its capacity from what was 1,000 people (when it started in Arinsal, Andorra) to 5,000 skiers and boarders to where it is now homed, in Avoriaz.

This year it is to run from 18th - 25th March, 2017.

As one can imagine, this does a lot to keep people interested in snowsport as it is mixed with the key attractive component of music and festival atmosphere.

It's why it is set to be the biggest ski fest in Europe.

Tignes is where the festival is setting its new sights and with a similar agenda. There will be more of the apres, food, bar and local nightlife mix as well as a focus on lessons.

In order to keep people interested, as Rob explains is what it is - keeping the hype - as once hooked you never lose it, the organisation needs to remember three main points; create an attractive holiday package, have an easy and customised booking system and brand the trip well.

Young people spend the most money in a resort. Yes, true - more than families, couples and the rest.

On average €439 euros is spent on accommodation, ski pass, ski hire and lessons per person.

€143 euros is spent in bars.

€205 is spent in supermarkets and on transport and 46 euros on transfers.

€3.5m was spent in Avoriaz in a quiet week of March.

Party timeParty time















And so, the speaker explained, there is an aim to keep the market.

There is no wish of Snowboxx to compete withother areas of the ski industry -it competes with anything holiday.

That is, summer festivals, yachting holidays, and so on...

"We want to attract those that have strayed, back to the market," said Rob.

And to do this innovations are needed. "We're growing, open to partnering... All in the aim of attracting people and keeping the market."

In the future, Snowboxx intends to have 10 locations.

Headliners are looking good for this year, with Basement Jaxx rumoured to play.

James and Rob at Ski LaunchJames and Rob at Ski Launch















PlanetSKI's James Cove, MC for the Ski Launch event, asked Mr Tominey about the main ingredient - the music and headliners - and how it affects the festival's popularity.

The reply was that it is just one in the mix, and we just have to compare it to UK festivals where there is a huge turnout and often unknown artists at the time of booking.

Whatever the answer, the essentials of skiing and festival vibes have me backing the idea and is something I'll keep my eye on.

And I'm hoping to be in Avoriaz next March.

Snowboxx Festival 2017Snowboxx Festival 2017












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