50 million skiers a year – why France and the Alps are so popular

Posted on 16 May 2014

Reassuring for owners – and future owners – of property in the Alps, but in particular France, is a new report that reveals a French resort as the world’s busiest resort and highlights how dominant the Alps are on the world’s ski stage.

Here are some interesting snippets from the 2014 International Report on Snow and Mountain Tourism, published by Swiss business conultancy Laurent Vanat:

– More than one third of all ski resorts worldwide are located in the Alps, also home to 40 per cent of the world’s ski lifts.

– Approximately two million foreign skiers visit France each winter season and the figure is growing. The British represent a quarter of these, followed by the Italians, Belgians, Germans and Russians.

– France is home to the world’s busiest ski resort, La Plagne. The resort, at 1,200 metres and part of the Paradiski ski area, has attracted by far the highest number of ski visits (each day or half-day a skier spends in a resort) over the last few seasons, on average more than 2.5 million. Also in the top 10 for ski visits are Les Arcs, Val Thorens and Courchevel-Méribel-Mottaret.

– Only France and Austria have more than 10 resorts that generate over one million ski visits per season.

– France, Austria and the United States have the most lifts, with about 3,000 each. They are also the countries posting the highest total annual ski visits, with more than 50 million each.

– France, the United States and Spain are the countries with the most foreign tourists in the world, but it is only in France that they provide a noticeable benefit to ski resorts.

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