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Which is the most popular ski resort with the Brits
Wednesday June 4, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

Is it Meribel, La Plagne, St Anton, Val d'Isere, Verbier or perhaps none of these, and which ski areas are on the rise? PlanetSKI has been crunching the numbers.

The British are a fairly conservative lot when it comes to skiing. 

The same couple of dozen or so draw the majority of skiers every winter.

In part that is because that is what they want, but also because those are the resorts offered by the tour operators.

Each ski company has figures on its own customers, but some specialise in single areas, resorts or countries.

So, here at PlanetSKI we decided to ask the UK's largest ski travel agent, Iglu, which are the most popular and in what order.

It sells holidays from all the major, and minor, British tour operators and is perhaps best placed for a market overview of package holidays.

It sells holidays to tens and tens of thousands of people each winter. 

The figures do not include independent travellers that make up around around 1/3rd of the overall market, so resorts like Chamonix with its high number of DIY skiers and snowboarders, does not feature as high as it perhaps should.

And the winner is, once again (drum roll and long pause)......

...Val d'Isere, in France.

"Fantastic! We are proud to be the most popular ski resort in UK and  this reinforces our will to continue meeting and surpassing, whenever possible, our UK's guests expectations," said the Tourist Office Director of Val d'Isere, Xavier Corne, when we told him.

"Our next ski season will begin on November 29th, we all look forward to welcoming you again or for the first time for those who  have not skied yet in Val d'Isere the most popular ski resort in UK."

Val d'Isere, FranceVal d'Isere, France

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The resort's victory is no great surprise as it was first in 2012/13 and the British make up around 40% of its total clients.

The major operators like Crystal, Inghams and Ski World all go there as do the small specialist chalet operators like Le Ski.

There are British ski schools there like the British Alpine Ski school (BASS) and other ones.

"We are not surprised that Val d'Isère has once again been rated so highly. It's got everything a British skier needs with lots of British run chalets to make it affordable," said the managing director of Le Ski, Nick Morgan.

Next winter the company is taking on an additional chalet, La Vieille Maison.

It will be unveiled later this month but here's a sneak preview

Espace Killy is also probably the best linked ski area in The Alps, if not the world. 

Well, that's our opinion at PlanetSKI anyway.

In number two spot and closing in is St Anton over in the Tirol in Austria. 

It is becoming more and more popular and has managed to re-invent itself in recent years from a haunt of ski bums and wild après ski into a sophisticated town along with some of the best skiing in Austria.

Last February, for the first time, there were more British visitors than Germans - though that may have had something to do with poor snow.

The Germans, who usually book late and drive, simply didn't show up as the web cams showed thin cover.

Last winter we conducted a PlanetSKI chairlift chat video interview with Head of Ski Product & Commercial Analyst of Iglu, James Box; see the bottom of this article for that interview and what makes St Anton special.

St Anton, TirolSt Anton, Tirol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In third place was Meribel, while the most popular Swiss resort was Zermatt that is in Number 11 spot

Verbier made it into the Top 12.

Below is the full list from Iglu with comparison figures from the previous winter

Top resorts

 

2012-13

2013-14

1

Val d'Isere

Val d'Isere

2

St Anton

St Anton

3

Meribel

Meribel

4

Tignes

Tignes

5

Les Arcs

Les Arcs

6

La Plagne

Alpe d'Huez

7

Alpe d'Huez

Val Thorens

8

Val Thorens

Courchevel

9

Courchevel

La Plagne

10

Les Deux Alpes

Les Deux Alpes

11

Mayrhofen

Zermatt

12

Zermatt

Verbier

"There are no big surprises in the Top 12 with the big branded resorts, with lots of chalets, dominating," said James Box.

"At country level, France was still number 1 by some margin but lost ground to Austria compared to the year before.  Interestingly Andorra was also more popular in 2013-14," he added.

Earlier on PlanetSKI we published a world-wide survey of the most popular resorts - see that story here.

The winner is La Plagne with Val d'Isere just squeezing into the Top 30 at number 28.

For a breakdown of the resorts, country-by-country, then see below.

Difference in Countries

 

 

2013/14

2012/13

Top 3 Resorts in France

1

Val d'Isere

Val d'Isere

 

2

Meribel

Meribel

 

3

Tignes

Tignes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Resorts in Austria

1

St Anton

St Anton

 

2

Solden

Mayrhofen

 

3

Obergurgl

Solden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Resorts in Italy

1

Sauze d'Oulx

Sauze d'Oulx

 

2

Cervinia

Cervinia

 

3

Cortina

Arabba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Resorts in Switzerland

1

Zermatt

Zermatt

 

2

Verbier

Verbier

 

3

Saas Fee

Saas Fee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Resorts in Andorra

1

Soldeu

Soldeu

 

2

Arinsal

Pas de la Casa

 

3

Pas de la Casa

Arinsal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 3 Resorts in USA/Canada

1

Whistler

Whistler

 

2

Tremblant

Banff

 

3

Banff

Tremblant

The positions that have surprised us is Sauze d'Oulx being the most popular in Italy and Tremblant beating Banff in Canada.

Apart from the numbers the research we have seen throws up some interesting trends with chalet holidays growing in popularity with their fixed-costs.

"Chalets and chalet-hotels are more popular than ever, with people opting for the value of a chalet rather than self-catering, which lost ground year on year," said James Box.

And once in those chalets what statistics can we glean about what they eat and drink?

For that we turned to the UK's largest ski tour operator, Crystal Ski.

Over 9,000 cakes were baked for afternoon tea, 24, 156 baguattes were munched through and the guests polished off 48,312 bottles of wine.

And as we are now getting deep into the numbers territory what weeks across the winter were the most popular according to Iglu?

1.       27th February 2014

2.       30th January 2014

3.       13th February 2014

4.       26th December 2013 - New Year

5.       06th March 2014

And as promised here is Iglu's James Box talking to us about St Anton.

For the spirit of the mountains

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