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South America’s epic season
Monday November 10, 2008 - Email this article to a friend

Last winter was one of the best in recent times in South America with record levels of snow and visitors.

Despite a poor start Argentina had large amounts of snow towards the end of the season and saw an increase in visitor numbers.  Over the past 5 years the resort of Cerro Catedral near Bariloche has seen business go up by 45% and this year some resorts stayed open longer as the late snow kept the runs covered in snow.

It’s been the same in neighbouring Chile where more than 500,000 people came to ski and snowboard, a rise of 9% on the previous winter. The Valle Nevado ski resort, where 45% of visitors are foreign, grew the most at 15%.

“We had 5 metres of snow this winter and many new winter activities for our visitors,” says the resort’s general manager, Ricardo Margulis. “We want to end the myth that skiing is a sport reserved for the rich. It’s a middle class sport and we want to popularize it more”.

South American Success

Skiing in South America has risen sharply in recent years partly fuelled by resort development but also by price and a growing desire among some skiers and snowboarders to visit somewhere more exotic.

A recent survey found that the total cost of a trip to South America was half the price of a ski holiday to the USA or Canada.

If you want to find out more about Argentina then take a look at our content editor’s blog from there last winter and watch a short film he made about the trip.

He also wrote a feature story for the BBC’s Ski Sunday web site that is live at the moment.

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