Ski tour operator Crystal Ski Holidays has conducted an analysis that reveals the nations most obsessed with winter sports based on factors such as all-time winter Olympic medals, yearly skiing visitors, skiers per 10,000 people, and Google search data.
The results, which were published in December 2018, highlight that the US sees the highest amount of yearly skiing visitors from in and out of the country, with 54,905,000 people trekking to the resorts to experience the slopes – ‘that’s one million fewer people than the whole population of South Africa’, the report notes.
France and Austria mark the second and third most popular destinations respectively. With slopes such as Chamonix, Morzine and Tignes, France welcomes 54,012,000 foreign and domestic visits to ski resorts every year; Austria has 51,722,000 visits and boasted the highest skier to tourist ratio out of all countries, with an average of 35 per cent – meaning that for every 100 tourists to visit Austria, 35 of them are visiting to ski.
The study’s ‘Surprising Ski Enthusiasts’ category identified the UK as the country with the highest numbers of skiers per skiing area: a grand total of 634,000. Belgium came second, with 179,000 skiers for every ski area.
China has the highest number of ski areas out of all other nations, with 703 areas in total for its 12,880,000 yearly skiing visitors; the country also has 62 Winter Olympic medals under its belt. With 547 ski areas and 58 Winter Olympic medals, Japan came second, but it’s also worth noting that Japan has 2.5 times more visitors than China heading for the mountains (32,141,000 ski visitors).
Other results revealed that for each of Austria’s 254 ski areas, the country has 203,630 potential skiers, while in Russia, you’d only have to share one of the 354 ski areas with 19,068 others.
To see the full report, click here.