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Sunday November 20, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

It's Val d'Isere. Rubbish, it's Zermatt. Nonsense Val Gardena is tops. Hang on Val Thorens has just won the World Ski Awards. Which awards do you believe?

There are now a multitude of award ceremonies for snowsports and lately they have come along like London busses.

There weren't many a few years ago and now people seem to be falling over themselves to assemble a judging panel, consult the public via social media & the internet and hand out gongs.

Last weekend it was the turn of the World Ski Awards who held a glittering black tie occasion in a swanky  5* hotel in Kitzbuhel in Austria.

According to the press release that dropped into our inbox it was "a night of high drama".


The award for the best resort went for the third year in a row to Val Thorens, in France.

The resort is rightly pleased.

"Val Thorens was created by visionary men who were committed to their goal; pioneers whose state of mind is still very much at the forefront of our minds today," said the director of Val Thorens tourist office, Grégory Guzzo.  

"Val Thorens also makes an unrivalled level of constant investment, which allows our customers to enjoy a high level of service, reduces time spent queuing or travelling in lifts, and increases the amount of time actually spent skiing. The hundreds of thousands of votes prove that our customers are loyal to us, and are very fond of us," Grégory added.  

How is the decison reached?

"Votes are cast by professionals working within the ski industry - senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media - and by the public (ski tourism consumers).

Votes are submitted online at World Ski Awards website." said a statement from the organisers.

A team from PlanetSKI is in Val Thorens next weekend for its official opening and we will be looking in detail at what makes it a winner.

Earlier in the autumn we had the World Snow Awards (not to be confused with the World Ski Awards).

Val d'Isere in France was its winner.

(It also picked up the global award and Best Resort for apres ski)

Justine Mather, 3-time winnerJustine Mathé, Val d'Isere

















Now we should point out that the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, is one of the judges of the World Snow Awards - see here for what it is like around the judging table as votes are cast.

The judging panel, 2015The judging panel, 2015













We will also be in Val d'Isere next month and assessing whether it really is the most improved resort in the Alps.

And then the Ski Club of Great Britain also passed on its assessments of the best resorts this autumn.

And here is its view:

1. Val Gardena, Italy

2. Val-d'Isère, France

3. Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria

And how did it reach its conclusions:

"Resorts that received the highest consumer recommendation from UK skiers. The awards were decided as a result of the Ski Club's consumer research report 2016.

The top three UK tour operators using the same rating were also awarded.

The report, which is now in its fourth year, offers insight into the habits, intentions and attitudes of people who participate in snowsports, both here in the UK and abroad.

From a pool of over 1.3 million email addresses the 2016 survey generated 17,270 responses of whom 2,432 were non-skiers.

Using the question, 'how likely are you to recommend this resort or tour operator'? Responses are given using 0-10 scale (detractors through to promoters) and the percentage of customers who are Promoters are subtracted from the percentage who are Detractors. This then provides a Net Promoter Score rating ranging from -100 to +100."

So, there you have it.

And let's not forget a bi-annual award that was handed out earlier this month by Mountain Management Consulting through Austria's University of Innsbruck.

They selected Zermatt as we reported here.

In second place was Livigno in Italy while Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in Austria was third.

For full details of the survey then see here.

So, where are we left after the awards are put on mantlepieces, the PR machines have eased off and the red carpets rolled up?

They are welcome as every industry has its awards ceremonies but perhaps they should be taken with a pinch of salt rather than seen as gospel.

So, which is our favourite resort at PlanetSKI?

"That's easy -  it is the one that has fresh snow and the one I'm in with my friends and family making turns in the powder and laughing. I have had some of my best days in small resorts that few have heard of and some fairly tedious times in the so-called world class resorts," said the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.

He has clocked up over 600 ski resorts at the last count and skis in over 50 different resorts each winter

If he has to pin it down he has a simple answer.

"I prefer the question 'If you could only ski in one resort for the rest of your life and visit no other then which would it be?' And my answer without a moment's hesitation is Zermatt," James adds.

"It is not to everyone's taste but it is to mine."

So what is your favouruite resort? 

Feel free to add your thoughts over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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